The festive period is a time of community, warmth and giving. But it’s also when our impact on the environment grows. With all the gifts, decorations, feasts and travel to see loved ones, Christmas can be a season of excess. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s the perfect opportunity to adopt eco-friendly practices that make your Christmas not only joyful, but sustainable too. Let’s look at four ways you can have a more environmentally conscious Christmas in 2023.
For many, particularly children, one of the best parts of Christmas is the giving and receiving of presents. Instead of opting for mass-produced gifts, shipped from all over the world, consider some of these options:
- Handmade Gifts
They say it’s the thought that counts, and what could be more thoughtful than making a gift for someone you love, with your own hands? So get creative, and get personal.
- Second-Hand Shopping
Vintage, thrift and charity shops are treasure troves for unique presents, and these days are wildly popular, so the choice has never been more varied. They’re also infinitely more sustainable.
- Eco-Friendly Wrapping
Ditch plastic-coated traditional wrapping paper, which usually can’t be recycled. Instead, use recycled paper, cloth or reusable gift bags. Also, avoid using sellotape if you can; the UK uses an estimated 40m rolls of the stuff each Christmas. No one will notice – but the planet will appreciate it.
- Gift Experiences
Give the gift of experiences, such as cooking classes, concert tickets or a spa trip. Not only do they create memories that will often outlast a product, they typically produce less waste.
There’s also a longer-term option to create amazing experiences – all while doing your part for the planet, helping others and safeguarding your financial future.
Utility Warehouse (known as UW for short) offers people a unique opportunity to boost their income and enjoy some wonderful adventures – like all-expenses-paid holidays – along the way. They’re listed on the London Stock Exchange and have won dozens of awards for their excellent customer service and marketing-leading energy, broadband, mobile and insurance products.
You can find out how to join as a UW Partner on their website.
While decking the halls is an essential Christmas custom, it doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment.
- LED Lights
One for throughout the year, consider replacing traditional Christmas lights with energy-efficient LED strings. They use significantly less energy and last longer too.
- Going Natural
Find decorations made from natural materials like holly, wood and pine cones. These can be composted after the holiday season.
- Living Christmas Trees
In the UK, as many as 6m Christmas trees go to waste every year. Instead, go for a potted or live eco-friendly Christmas tree that can be planted when the celebrations end – and stop contributing to landfill and methane emissions.
- Homemade Ornaments
It’s amazing how much fun can be had by making your own ornaments and trinkets. And it’s never been easier, either, with many online tutorials and inspirational examples. So involve the family in making your own – ideally from recycled materials.
Make your Christmas dinner much more sustainable without sacrificing any of the trimmings.
- Find locally Sourced Food
Eat local, and support local farmers and your community in the process.
- Go Meatless
Sourcing ingredients closer to home is a good start, but if you really want to help lower your carbon footprint, it’s essential to incorporate a few plant-based dishes into your Christmas menu. Nut roasts and vegetable tarts have a much lower carbon footprint than meat-based staples, especially beef.
- Reduce Food Waste
Another all-year rounder, try to plan your meals carefully and make sure that any leftovers are stored in the fridge. For the parts that don’t survive, look into getting a bin for food waste if you don’t already have one.
- Use Eco-Friendly Tableware
Use reusable plates, cutlery, and cloth napkins. If you must use disposables, go for biodegradable or compostable options.
Give Back to Nature
It’s possible to give back to the environment, as well as each other, at Christmas time. Here are two options:
- Plant a Tree
Many companies are involved with projects that help the environment. One of them is Utility Warehouse (UW). Their tree-planting initiatives include planting a tree for every new customer who signs up for all their service.
- Support Eco-Friendly Businesses
From using recycled materials in their products to carbon-neutral business models, there are many companies trying to do more to help reduce their environmental impact. Learn more about them, and see how you might be able to adopt their services. For example, if you’re interested in sourcing your energy from renewable sources, check out Utility Warehouse green initiatives.
Embracing sustainable gifting, decorating, eating and giving back to nature can make this holiday season a true celebration of the spirit of Christmas while being more mindful of the world we share.