There’s no denying that Christmas can be a time of excess. Too much food, too many parties, too many presents to buy… but does it really have to be that way? Why, when we strive all year to reduce our waste in general, do we let it all go to pot the moment December hits? We buy gifts without thinking, we wrap them in expensive paper that will serve no future purpose, and we over-consume in almost all areas too. All this in the name of Christmas. Time for a change? We think so! Read on to discover our top three tips for reducing waste at Christmas and let’s make this festive season a little greener for good.
Go back to basics
Reduce, re-use and recycle. When it comes to Christmas, its even more vital to follow these rules at all times. Receive a gift last year you know someone else would love a lot more than you? Recycle it. Re-gifting is an excellent way of cutting down on unnecessary ‘stuff’ in the home, but also a really lovely way to ensure that not only are you keeping your shopping bill down, but you’re cutting down on carbon emissions because you’re not ordering another gift that needs to be produced and delivered.
Wrapping paper. Did you know that a staggering 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper ends up in the bin each year in the UK? Time to put a stop to that. Use recycled paper from previous gifts, or purchase paper that’s already been preloved in some form. Avoid the commercial rolls that are kind on the wallet as lots of these tend to be made using plastic and can’t be recycled. Got some boxes hanging around? Get the kids to decorate them and make the gift extra thoughtful.
Gifts. One of the things we love most about Christmas is being able to give gifts to those we love. But if you’re striving to reduce waste, one way that you can ensure your gift ticks all the boxes is to opt for an experience rather than a physical gift to wrap. Buy an afternoon tea-date or invest in a course of lessons perhaps. Don’t forget we offer exclusive boutique courses via Little Soap School…
A tree is for life, not just for Christmas
It’s up to you whether you go artificial or real. We’re not judging here! Different families have difference reasons for choosing the type of tree that works best for them, but all we ask is that you consider making it a tree for life.
If you love the smell and experience of having a real Christmas tree, its a good idea to find out if you can easily compost it when the festive season ends- and do this before you buy! If you’re going for an artificial tree, take care to pack it up carefully so that it lasts for years and years. You can either store in the box it comes in, or you can invest in a special Christmas tree bag that stores it all away until the following year. The point is, if you’re going to buy one in a box, make sure its one that you intend to re-use for many years.
According to the Independent, a staggering six million trees were simply thrown away after Christmas in the UK in 2006. Wonder what the total would be today? Real or fake, don’t let it end up on landfill!
Don’t waste food
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a fridge bursting at the seams and cupboards bulging with food, right? According to this article though, four million Christmas dinners are thrown away at Christmas in the UK- that’s a LOT of wasted food.
If you’re looking for tips on how to use up left-over food this festive season, this is a really handy guide to doing just that. But why don’t we approach this proactively instead?
Plan out for your meals this Christmas and shop only for the items you know you need. The shops are generally only closed on Christmas Day, so if you run short on supplies you can also top up where necessary. This should help to cut down on unnecessary food waste a little. If your food can be frozen, use your freezer to keep it fresh until you’re ready to cook, and always save leftovers and scraps etc for composting.