ad // Christmas might be the happiest time of year for a lot of us humans but for the environment? Not so much. A study conducted by the University of Manchester argue that Christmas can cause the equivalent carbon footprint as that of a single car travelling 6,000 times around the globe. Scary, huh? Whilst we should definitely all enjoy ourselves as much as possible, we could all definitely do with learning how to make Christmas more eco friendly.
Now I’ll put my hands up and admit that I’ve never been the most eco conscious of people. But these last few years in particular have definitely made me more aware of the environmental impact so many of our actions have. I mean and rightly so. We’re destroying the planet in front of our eyes.
And Christmas is obviously one of the most impactful times of year when it comes to the environment. And not in a good way.
Christmas has obviously become vastly commercialized however it is a happy time of year for so many people. It’s a time for fun Christmas days out, sparkly Christmas fashion, and getting together with family and friends, eating, drinking, playing games and kicking back after a long year.
So, I think it’s important to find that balance. We can still enjoy Christmas as much as possible and do all the things we want to do, whilst at the same time, just being a bit more conscious of our actions and maybe making some sustainable swaps along the way.
One individual can’t save the planet by themselves. And I hate this all or nothing approach to sustainability, especially when we don’t know the circumstances of the people around us, i.e a disabled person unable to use a paper straw.
But there’s always something each of us can do and if we all learnt how to make Christmas more eco friendly and did one or two things to help the environment during this time of year, then it will all add up and make a collective difference.
Here’s some ways of how to make Christmas more eco friendly, so you can enjoy the festivities as well as doing your bit for the environment!
Recycle as much as possible
Christmas is a great time to make sure you’re ON TOP of your recycling game. As you can expect to end up with a lot of recyclable waste after the Christmas Day festivities are over. If you can, ensure everyone else in the household refrains from throwing anything in the regular bin and stock up on recycling bags!
Switch to more eco friendly Christmas wrapping
You’ve probably heard a lot of people on social media over the last few years mention that not all Christmas wrapping is recyclable. I had NO IDEA before I found that out. It’s paper, you assume you can recycle it. So perhaps this year, switch to brown paper wrapping and recyclable craft tags instead!
Switch to LED Christmas lighting
Not only will this have an impact on the environment, but it’ll also have an impact on your bank account. And ANY extra savings are always handy around Christmas. LED lights use 75% less energy than incandescent lights. The folks over at INUI LED Lighting, who sell eco friendly LED panels have this handy LED Lighting Calculator, which could help you work out how much you could be saving in terms of money AND energy!
Substitute physical Christmas cards for eco friendly e-cards
Okay, be serious. Who here keeps their Christmas cards when Christmas is over? Christmas cards produce a HECK of a lot of waste and whilst they’re a nice gesture, is all that extra waste necessary? A lot of people are now switching to more eco friendly e-cards, as a way wish friends and family a happy Christmas, without the extra environmental impact.
Try Vegetarian or Vegan options for a more eco friendly Christmas
It’s no secret that the meat industry plays quite a part in environmental damage. This is something I definitely need to work on, as I’m currently still a meat eater. Saying that, a lot of my favourite meals and foods are Vegetarian.
So, I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to a Vegetarian or Vegan Christmas dinner (I mean, all the best parts are Vegetarian anyway, am I right) If this sounds like you, then this could certainly be an option for a more eco friendly Christmas.
Or buy organic, free-range produce and shop small, local farms where possible
However, if cutting out meat isn’t an option for you, for whatever reason, switching to organic, free-range produce from small local farms could be the better option for how to make Christmas more eco friendly. And perhaps have a couple of meat free days AFTER Christmas to make up for it?
Cut down on food waste
And finally, another point on food but let’s face it, food is the best part of Christmas, isn’t it? And boy don’t we consume a lot of it this time of year? More than we need. Absolutely. Try budgeting for food this year or keeping to strict lists. And if you find you do have a lot of food waste, don’t just chuck it in the bin. Find some recipes to make out of it for Boxing Day!
How are you planning to make Christmas more eco friendly this year? Do you already do any of these points that I’ve made or are you planning on it for the first time this year? Do you have any other tips on how to make Christmas more eco friendly? Let me know!