10 Tips for a Waste Free Christmas
The festive season is a time of food, drinks, lights and, unfortunately, waste. In fact, every Christmas, the average UK household waste increases by a shocking 30%! Why not try saving some money and helping the environment this year with our top 10 tips for a waste free Christmas? 1. Recycle wrapping paper According to […]
The festive season is a time of food, drinks, lights and, unfortunately, waste. In fact, every Christmas, the average UK household waste increases by a shocking 30%! Why not try saving some money and helping the environment this year with our top 10 tips for a waste free Christmas?
1. Recycle wrapping paper
According to C B Environmental Ltd, approximately 83² km of wrapping paper ends up in UK rubbish bins every Christmas (that’s enough to cover Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands!). There are so many things we can do to prevent this and all it takes is a little bit of reusing, recycling and getting creative with wrapping paper!
When you receive a gift, try opening it with care so that you can re-use the wrapping for next year. You can also buy wrapping paper made from recycled materials which can then be recycled or reused again too.
You don’t necessarily even need wrapping paper to wrap a gift; rummage through your cupboards and drawers to see what you can find: maps, newspapers, magazines- anything! Brown paper has become quite a trend; it’s cheap, widely available and looks great!
Need a small gift box? Believe it or not, kitchen and loo rolls can make for the perfect little gift box when the ends are folded in and wrapped up with string. Check out Pinterest for some more great ideas.
Get creative and use ribbons, biodegradable string or labels made from old Christmas cards to decorate and if possible, avoid plastic sticky tape which cannot be recycled.
2. Cut down on Christmas cards
Although exchanging Christmas cards is a much loved festive tradition, it does take its toll on the planet. Commercial Waste reveals that if we put together all the Christmas cards we send to each other, end to end, they could go around the world 500 times!
In place of paper cards, sending electronic cards is a fantastic way to cut your waste. You can even personalise them by using a family portrait, for example. Or why not really get into the festive spirit by sending a merry video message to loved ones.
3. Reduce your food waste
Christmas is the time for roasting the biggest turkey or nut roast you can fit in the oven (with all the trimmings), indulging in all your favourite cheeses and gorging on mince pies, however, what many don’t realise is that up to 40% of our delicious festive food ends up wasted. Here’s how to combat food waste:
Plan your meals before you go food shopping and go in with a list to prevent accidentally overbuying. Even when you plan ahead, leftovers around this time of year are inevitable but it’s what you choose to do with them that counts. Do NOT throw away leftovers! Got some leftover veggies from Christmas dinner? Whip up a warming soup on Boxing Day! Made too many roast potatoes? That definitely calls for a potato salad! And if you’re already tired of festive food (unlikely), just put it all in the freezer for a tasty meal another day.
Don’t forget to bring your own containers and bags when doing your Christmas food shop, to help minimise your plastic consumption. And, where possible, opt for food in recyclable packaging! Did you know that our kombucha cans are fully recyclable and our bottles contain a minimum 35% recycled glass.
4. Recycle your Christmas trees or find an alternative
Every year, we buy around 6 million Christmas trees, however a meagre 1.2 million will be recycled. The other 4.8 million will be left to rot or thrown away. We understand there’s nothing quite like the fresh scent of pine at Christmas time, but if you do choose to buy a traditional tree, it is important that you recycle your tree after the festive season is over or you can even repurpose the wood, perhaps for firewood.
If you’re not able to recycle your tree, or you don’t have the patience for falling needles, artificial trees are a great alternative. They can be used time and time again, however artificial trees do have to be used for at least 20 years before becoming more environmentally friendly than a real one.
How about avoiding a conventional tree altogether? Make your very own up-cycled Christmas tree out of things you already have at home! Check out Pinterest for some inspiration.
5. Christmas decorations
There’s nothing more exciting than putting up the tree, the fairy lights and adorning the house in shiny yuletide ornaments but, this year, how about taking on a sustainable twist? Cut out all the plastic and the glitter, and decorate consciously.
Try opting for solar powered lights where possible and always remember to turn them off when you’re out of the house or asleep. As for the rest of your decor, look to the natural world for inspiration. There are so many things you can collect outdoors, such as sprigs of holly, pine cones, oranges and cinnamon sticks, which not only smell incredible and festive but look the part too.
6. Reduce your gift recipient list
The excessive gift giving around Christmas time leads to clutter in our homes, uses up many resources in production and will soon end up in landfills (no one needs that much ‘stuff!’). Wouldn’t it be great if you could avoid all the Christmas shopping chaos this year and save the planet?
Here’s an idea: organise a family secret Santa, so everyone gets one gift from each other, instead of multiple per person. You can do the same with a group of friends or with your office. There are great online tools to help you organise the gift exchange too!
7. Buy gifts that’ll last a lifetime
Make lasting memories with loved ones when you choose to gift an experience instead of material items. Take your friends and family ice skating, grab a drink after work or challenge yourself in an escape room. Have a great time and be present, as a present.
If you really want to give material gifts, you can invest in useful items such as cast iron pans, kitchen knives, metal water bottles and straw sets. Make sure to buy sustainably-made and good quality products that’ll last!
8. Use reusable tableware
Festive dinner party season is just around the corner so that usually means avoiding the washing-up with disposable plastic tableware. phs Wastekit estimate that the UK uses 300 million plastic cups and straws at Christmas parties which eventually ends up in landfills or our oceans.
Let’s make a difference this year and invest in reusable, compostable, biodegradable or recyclable tableware!
9. Re-gift and donate unwanted gifts
According to Story of Stuff, within 6 months, only 1% of everything the average person buys is still in use, and the other 99% will be discarded sooner or later. Many of us will receive an unwanted gift this Christmas, but are too polite to ask for the receipt. Sound familiar? In this situation, we suggest you exchange the item, sell it, re-gift it if you know someone else who would love it, or donate it to charity. There’s no use in holding onto it and you definitely shouldn’t throw it away!
10. Up-cycle and re-purpose your party wardrobe
Many of us are guilty of giving into fast-fashion and buying a new outfit for every event. This Christmas, try and be more conscious of your fashion choices and still ace your party wardrobe with our top tips.
Why not try a clothes exchange with friends? Revamp an outfit with a statement accessory? Or if you’re really looking for something different, try buying in charity shops or on a second-hand online marketplace? (Vinted and depop are great for this)
Have you tried our limited edition Christmas favour? Shop our Spiced Gingerbread Kombucha here.