I can’t believe how fast December has flown by… Christmas Day is literally just around the corner, and I am very very excited! As they say ‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry.’ However during the festive season we tend to be more wasteful and the season can quickly turn into a season of excess. But don’t worry as there are a few ways in which you can make this Christmas a more sustainable one whilst still enjoying all of the festivities. I have written a few of my favourite suggestions for a sustainable Christmas so read on to find out more.
Hosting Christmas?… Be Prepared/Avoid Food Wastage!
Just as Santa checks his list twice, if you’re hosting Christmas then planning ahead is a fabulous way to ensure that you don’t end up with much food wastage. It can be very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle around this time of year and that will often lead you to buy way more than you actually need. So why not stay on track and make a meal plan… after you write that out you can then write your shopping list knowing the amount of required quantities that you need. This will help you to only end up purchasing what you need and it may even save you some money too! Win, Win.
Food wastage is a huge issue during the festive season but there are a few ways to tackle this issue. Being prepared with a meal plan and writing down your list like mentioned above is one great way to ensure you purchase only what you really need but there are other things you can do to help with food wastage also. During Christmas remember that the fridge and freezer are your friends and it’s a great way to store any left overs you might have if you have over-catered, always ensure that you store your food properly and safely so that you can enjoy later on. Cooking with leftovers is the perfect way to improve your culinary skills, you can make a good variety of soups, stews and casseroles with your festive leftovers. Yummy! You could also send your guests home with shared out left-overs too so they can enjoy the food later on aswell.
If you are looking for some other sustainable suggestions for food then here are two more; Try to avoid packaged foods as much as possible and try to buy loose produce where you can, you could find this in the plastic-free aisle of the supermarket or at your local farmer’s market. Also don’t forget to shop for produce at a zero-waste/refill store, you can take your own containers to refill and this is a great way to avoid unnecessary plastic packaging.
Decorating for the festive season is a fabulous way to bring the festive spirit indoors. One of the best tips for decorating sustainably is to reuse your Christmas decorations as often as possible, so keep reusing all of last years decorations, and the year before and many years before that too. For lights why not opt for LED lights for indoor use and for your outdoor display opt for solar-powered ones where possible. If you are looking to have a zero-waste Christmas then this is the perfect opportunity to get creative as, there are so many wonderful ideas for zero-waste Christmas decorations to make and try out; Cookies can make some great tree ornaments that are not only fun to bake but will taste delicious after use, Home-made festive bunting can be used instead of tinsel and to add abit of sparkle find some eco-friendly glitter. There are so many ways to decorate for Christmas than just the traditional decorations so think outside the box and have fun with it.
Change The Way You Wrap
It’s a magical sight seeing presents underneath a Christmas tree wrapped up in all sorts of different festive designs and prints but the tradition leads to alot of waste sadly. It’s thought that in the UK alone we collectively throw away each year roughly 227,000 miles of wrapping paper, which is enough to stretch nine times around the whole world! That is absolutely crazy when you really think about it. Alot of wrapping paper can’t be recycled either. Thankfully there are other options you can use for wrapping gifts up; Newspaper/Sheet music can look wonderful when used for gift wrap, Scarfs/cloth or fabric can create some unique reusable packaging, a reusable basket or hamper is a lovely idea too or even a ‘bag for life.’ You can decorate all of these with natural flourishes of berries, herbs, spices, leaves, twine and handmade bows for that extra special touch. Another tip is: When thinking about presents to give why not consider some zero-waste options like; refillable beauty/skincare buys, eco-friendly essentials like reusable water bottles and bags, homemade soaps and candles, edible treats or gift experiences. All of these make for lovely gifts.
I hope you have enjoyed reading these suggestions for a more sustainable Christmas and I would love to know if you have any others to add and share with others, if so feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below. All comments are greatly appreciated and I love hearing from you all.