Christmas is one of the most challenging times of year to be environmentally-friendly – and being eco-friendly during the festive season can sometimes seem like an impossible task.
It is possible to celebrate – and have fun – without putting extra pressure on our planet. Here are some tips for a more eco-friendly Christmas.
A traditional Christmas dinner uses seasonal British food, which you can nearly always buy from a local producer. Try your local farmers' market or farm shop for fresh, seasonal produce. Buying organic will also have a positive environmental impact.
Many Christmas treats – such as mince pies, Christmas cakes and puddings – can be made at home. This reduces packaging, and homemade items are often much tastier too!
Homemade mince pies are usually better than shop bought, in our opinion!
Around a third of the food, we buy at Christmas ends up in the bin. By planning meals carefully, not over-buying, storing food properly, and making creative use of leftovers, you can save money and avoid waste.
Although it needs replacing each year, a real tree is more environmentally friendly than a plastic one. Fake trees last just six years on average; they cannot be recycled and take thousands of years to break down in landfill. And they take a lot of energy to manufacture.
Buying a locally grown tree from a Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited grower ensures a completely renewable, carbon-neutral tree – which has the added benefit of having provided a habitat for wildlife during its lifetime. And many councils will collect and compost your tree at the end of the festive season.
Avoiding other plastic decorations is important too. Traditional green foliage decorations such as holly, ivy and mistletoe can be composted at the end of December – and by bringing fresh greenery into your home, you will be continuing a Christmas tradition that has been practised for centuries.
Mistletoe is a wonderful, compostable Christmas decoration
Living wreaths make beautiful decorations, and they're environmentally friendly, too. You can forage your own materials and make your own, or learn how to make a healthy holiday wreath using dried foliage and herbs. If you're feeling lazy, buy one that's already made!
If you fancy something a little bit different, indoor-59.airplant's wreaths incorporate Airplants, which can be recycled and re-used in terrariums once the holidays are over.
Other eco-friendly decorations include chillies, popcorn, cinnamon sticks and gingerbread, all of which can be added to the compost heap when Christmas is over.