With the festive season already upon us, most of us are in the throws of planning our Christmas parties and events. Let’s be honest, it’s always the goal to out-do or improve on what was done last year, so it’s really the perfect opportunity to make this year your most eco-friendly and sustainable Christmas yet!
Now, don’t be intimidated by that if in the past you have, like most of us, overloaded on plastic and single-use decorations, or purchased an array of plastic toys for the nieces & nephews, it really is the small changes that can make all the difference in reducing our environmental footprint during the festive break. With a little bit of pre-planning, and shopping smart, it’s surprisingly quite easy to make those few conscious changes that will make all the difference.
With this in mind, we have put together a few simple ways to have an eco-conscious Christmas this year, and to help you with some sustainable Christmas ideas to get you started on your eco-conscious journey.
- Rent a Christmas tree - So, for those of us who can’t afford to buy a real Christmas tree and have often resorted to using a plastic reusable version, yes reusable is great but rushing out to purchase one of those this year is a sustainable no-no! Real Christmas trees are much more sustainable than artificial alternatives. In fact, one study found that you would have to use your fake tree for 20 years for it to be greener than using the real deal. That being said, have you ever wondered what happens to those real trees come January? That’s still a whole lot of unnecessary waste of beautiful trees! This year, take the time to research your local area for Christmas Tree Rentals. You’ll be making a whole load of difference by hiring a tree and many providers will let you decorate and care for the tree during the festive period, before they pick it up to replant in January. How awesome is that?
- Know your wrapping paper - It’s all well and good to re-use last year’s wrapping paper, and that’s certainly a healthy start, but be sure you’re making a conscious purchase when looking to buy your wrapping paper this year. What many of us don't realise is, that many rolls contain non-recyclable materials like foil, glitter or plastic. A great way to know if your wrapping paper can be recycled or not is to try the scrunch test. It is as it suggests, simply scrunch up the paper in your hands and then let it go. If the paper stays scrunched up then it can most likely be recycled but, if it unfolds (even slightly), then it likely contains non-recyclable materials. Recycled wrapping paper made of brown paper or tissue are more readily available now and some even come with fun and festive designs so be sure to keep this in mind while you shop. You can also try using colourful fabric swatches or left over offcuts to wrap up gifts this Christmas – we certainly have a lot of fabric left over here in our studio which will be put to good use this festive season.
- Reduce your food waste – Throughout the year we tend to be more mindful of our food waste, but Christmas makes for a little more waste than usual. Making a conscious effort to buy what you know you will use is the first step. It can be tricky, as with all the store closures we tend to buy more than we require so as not to be caught out, but some careful planning and being a little more organized here will go a long way. For the produce that you have bought, a great way to keep your food and dishes fresher for longer during the festive season and through the summer (if you’re in the southern hemisphere) is to wrap your food in My Eco Wrap. Keeping left overs fresh so that they are still consumable for the next few days is a great way to reduce the waste you may have seen in the years before.
Wishing you all a merry and more sustainable Christmas!