Ah Christmas. A large population of the world say this is their favourite time of year, myself included. It may be cold, but my god, there are fairy lights everywhere and chocolate is on sale in every place that sells it. What. A. Delight.
Of course, this great time of year isn’t so great for others. There are those less fortunate than us, as well as issues with the government, millions of other things including our environment that will sadly, will still be there once the festivities are over. There are ways you can be sustainable this Christmas, so here are my top ten:
1. The tree you use
Buying a new tree every year is bad for the environment. Standard procedure. This is a pretty obvious one, but if you use an artificial tree for a good couple of years – you’re instantly helping out. Artificial trees are nothing to be sniffed at, especially because this tends to be a widely used thing now. Let’s face it, any living thing with baubles and fairy lights on it will look pretty. End of.
2. Make your wrapping vintage
Reusing materials to wrap your presents looks so much better than you might realise. Using old magazines for wrapping paper is incredibly sustainable, as it says on the tin, it’s recycling. You can also create tags for gifts with old Christmas cards. Puts more thought into things!
3. Eco-friendly gifts
There is an unbelievable selection of gifts that are planet friendly. For those who love a good pamper, Friends of the Earth provide pampering gifts with a donation to their charity. With about 25% off usual prices, Friends of the Earth’s products are all completely organic, with 85%-100% of the ingredients from plant extracts. Friends of the Earth has many ideas for an eco-friendly Christmas, so hop on to their website and have a look.
4. Handling the leftovers
One of the best things about Christmas is the food leftover from the buffet that you have for lunch the next day. Yum. With this in mind, a lot of food will get thrown away every Christmas because no one needed it. If you do have food leftover, see what you can freeze, and if not, take the food to a homeless shelter and see what they can do with it. There’s always a way.
5. Organic booze!?!?
Yep, you heard it. Mulled wine is probably one of my favourite festive drinks and I’m sure many others would say the same. Vinceremos Organic Wines have created an organic mulled wine for the festive season. It tastes just as great as the usual stuff, so what are you waiting for? (Friends of the Earth can get you discounts too!)
6. Craft your way through decorating
Homemade Christmas decorations are sometimes some of the most beautiful. Obviously, nobody can be expected to decorate their entire house with paper wall hangings (like Buddy the Elf did), but you can do some, as well as baubles.
It has been said that every year, people in Britain throw away 1.5 billion cards they are given at Christmas, not recycled, thrown away. E-cards are becoming increasingly popular. With all of using technology through our every day lives, this is a new way of sending greetings to your loved ones.
8. Defrost your freezer before Christmas
If you defrost your freezer regularly, it works a lot better afterwards. If you do this before Christmas, your leftover food will freeze better and thus, last longer.
By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer
Photo Credit: R. Pondoc (Third Year at CCCU)