How To Be More Sustainable & Ethical This Christmas

(Photo Credit: TheseFourWalls)

(Photo Credit: TheseFourWalls)

According to Waste Connect, 1.5 billion Christmas cards ended up in waste bins in the UK this year and 8 billion Christmas trees were used (most were thrown away). That’s not even taking into consideration the amount of food, and packaging waste.

The festive season is a time to relax, and celebrate with loved ones, though, it doesn’t mean that we should all neglect all efforts to take care of our planet.

Reducing your negative impact on the environment at Christmas is just a matter of shopping smart, and disposing of things responsibly. You may even find that being sustainable and ethical at Christmas time will save you money.

Save up scraps for gift wrapping

(Photo Credit: Ecocult)

(Photo Credit: Ecocult)

You can use kraft paper, newspaper, or leftover fabrics to wrap up your Christmas presents; it will give them a cute, rustic look whilst also being eco-friendly.

Or use environmentally-friendly wrapping paper

(Photo Credit: Wearth London)

(Photo Credit: Wearth London)

For example, purchase wrapping paper made from recycled material like this one from Re-Wrapped, or this reusable fabric wrapping paper from Wearth London.

Buy second hand/handcrafted/locally made/from small businesses

(Photo Credit: Wearth London)

(Photo Credit: Wearth London)

Books, games, or DVDs are great second-hand gift options. There are so many small businesses out there that work hard on their products, such as these Vegan Baubles from The Punky Bunny, or this Hand Poured Soy Candle by Morgan Jost.

Skip on the turkey and opt for Tofurkey instead

(Photo Credit: LIVEKINDLY)

(Photo Credit: LIVEKINDLY)

There are so many companies offering great meat alternatives for your Christmas mains, for example, Tofurkey, V Bites, Fry’s and Linda McCartney.

Or do some meat-free side dishes & dessert

(Photo Credit: Wallflower Kitchen)

(Photo Credit: Wallflower Kitchen)

There are countless recipes online that make the perfect Christmas sides, starters, or desserts, like this Christmas Tree Garlic Sharer from So Vegan or Italian Chocolate Christmas Cake by Wallflower Kitchen.

Use up all the leftovers from Christmas dinner

(Photo Credit: Cate In The Kitchen)

(Photo Credit: Cate In The Kitchen)

Make a delicious Christmas leftover sandwich, add everything in a leftovers pie, make bubble and squeak… There are so many options. This simple Christmas Sandwich by Cate In The Kitchen only includes 6 filling ingredients, and you can of course add in any leftovers you have that need to be used up.

Send e-cards

(Photo Credit: Ethical Shop)

(Photo Credit: Ethical Shop)

Send your loved ones e-cards to reduce your paper use. If you would rather do it the old fashioned way, you could purchase cards made from recycled materials, like this one from the Ethical Shop, or even make your own!

Buy less

(Photo Credit: Resolver)

(Photo Credit: Resolver)

Favour quality over quantity when it comes to gift buying this year. If you want to really reduce your footprint, why not organise Secret Santa amongst your friends and family so that you all get a gift, but you don’t have to buy for everyone.

Buy experiences

(Photo Credit: Vegan Food & Living)

(Photo Credit: Vegan Food & Living)

Instead of a physical gift, why not purchase an experience or day out instead? Afternoon tea, a 3-course meal, concert tickets, etc.

Regift

(Photo Credit: CBC)

(Photo Credit: CBC)

It’s about time we got rid of the re-gifting stigma. If you have received something you don’t need, or already have, what’s the problem with re-gifting it instead of throwing it away?

Use LED lights for the Christmas tree

(Photo Credit: Knot and Nest Designs)

(Photo Credit: Knot and Nest Designs)

LED Christmas lights can be more expensive, but they are more cost-effective and energy-efficient. LED lights also last much longer than standard lights.

Buy a plant-based cheeseboard

(Photo Credit: Violife)

(Photo Credit: Violife)

Violife has a plant-based cheese board, or you could create your own from brands such as Kinda Co.

Donate to food banks and charities

(Photo Credit: Times Higher Education)

(Photo Credit: Times Higher Education)

Christmas is all about giving, so we should all learn to branch out a bit more and give to those who need it most, if you’re in the position to. If you can’t afford to donate, why not volunteer with a charity over the holidays?

Dispose of your real tree responsibly

(Photo Credit: World Of Tim)

(Photo Credit: World Of Tim)

If you have a real tree you could re-pot it in your garden, or donate it to your local garden centre. If you have an artificial tree, try to re-use it each year rather than purchasing another one.



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