We’re dreaming of a green Christmas!
Christmas can be a time of excess – drinking, eating and buying too much. We’ve put our heads together to look at ways to enjoy a greener and more sustainable Christmas…
It’s a wrap
Choose wrapping paper that is recyclable, the plasticised stuff – although nice and glittery and shiny – can’t go in your recycling bin. The general rule of thumb is, if it will scrunch up and stay scrunched then it can be recycled. If it doesn’t stay scrunched (fast becoming my new favourite word apparently) then it’ll have to go in the rubbish bin. Don’t forget to take off as much sticky tape as possible. There are alternatives to wrapping paper; cloth bags and wraps are fast becoming popular, but make sure you get them back to use again next year.
Join the tree debate
There’s always a debate about real vs fake Christmas trees. Fake trees are made of plastic of course, and, according to the Carbon Trust, a 2m artificial tree has a carbon footprint more than twice of a real tree that ends up in landfill and more than 10 times a real tree that is burnt. However, if you keep and reuse your artificial tree for at least 10 years then its environmental impact is lower than that of a real tree. The Carbon Trust has more tips for a sustainable Christmas.
The way you dispose of your real tree is important; burning, chipping or (best of all) planting, significantly reduces its carbon footprint.
There are other reasons for using fake over real of course. Using a fake tree over a number of years can work out much cheaper. You’ll also generally find fake trees inside public buildings because they are flame retardant, allergen free and don’t carry insects.
Tuck in – don’t chuck in
Did you know - every year in the UK around 7 million tons of food is thrown away at Christmas.
So how can we reduce that? Take the time to plan what you’re going to make, not just on Christmas Day but on the days afterwards. That way you can choose ingredients that will work for multiple meals. I’ve really learned the value of planning meals this year, not only does it make my shopping trips easier, but I’m also saving myself money.
My freezer has also really come into its own this year. I try and make several portions at a time when I cook and freeze it, in portion sizes. 500g yogurt pots work perfectly for soup I’ve found, but you can also get reusable food storage bags that probably take up less space. That way I’ve always go a supply of ready-made food for when I really can’t be bothered to cook.
For other tips on using leftovers follow these links: BBC Good Food, Love Food Hate Waste.
Help save the future with your present
And while we’re on waste, I’ve seen research that says approximately £42m of unwanted Christmas presents are thrown out in landfill each year. I really hope you love everything you’re lucky enough to get this year, but if you don’t, please think about donating them to charity shops instead of throwing them away.
So what are you going to be doing over the festive period? Our Emma, if you’ve read her previous blog, is passionate about her garden and will be spending the time planning, tidying and planting. She’s been using her creative skills and turning her plants into decorations and following her family’s tradition by using her home grown strawberries (frozen) to make strawberry tarts on Christmas Eve.
I’ll be using my time to catch up with family that I haven’t seen for a while.
Whatever you are doing, we both send you our best wishes for a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.