As much as we all love the festive season and as much fun as it is spending time with friends and family, there’s no denying that Christmas can become quite wasteful very quickly indeed unless we’re careful.
In 2017, Christmas waste figures from Wildlife and Countryside Link revealed that approximately 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging would be thrown away and not recycled (heavier than 3.3 million Emperor penguins).
The UK was also found to use 300,000 tonnes of card packaging during the festive season, which is the equivalent weight of two million reindeer.
You’ve also got to think about the amount of food waste created, quirky little presents given just to get a laugh out of someone and which will end up in landfill almost immediately, even the contents of your Christmas crackers… there’s quite a lot to consider for anyone keen to go as zero waste as they can this year.
If you start giving it some thought now, however, it will likely be easier come December to push through with your plans… so here are some ideas to help you reduce the impact your family Christmas will have on the planet this year.
Instead of buying material products to put under the tree, why don’t you think about giving people experiences instead? This immediately reduces the amount of waste created and it means you have the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones, making memories that will last a lifetime.
Make your presents
Another fun way to give out presents is to make them yourself. This really is a win-win because everyone loves a homemade gift and you have the fun of making everything yourself.
Jams, chutneys, marmalades and so on really aren’t all that difficult to make and by the end of December you’ll be expert at it. Save your jars throughout the year so you can use them and get them back in the circular economy. You’ll have a great time trying out all sorts of different recipes and, trust us, your house will smell amazing for months.
Use cloth as wrapping paper
As pretty as rolls of Christmas wrapping paper may well be, you can use something else if you like! Do some research into the Japanese art of gift wrapping – known as furoshiki – where cloth is used instead of paper.
There can be no denying that presents wrapped in cloth with pretty little bows on the top look beautiful and you can have the fun of either making your own wrapping cloths or finding them online in all sorts of beautiful designs and patterns.
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