Step into a Sustainable Christmas
Christmas is right around the corner, and here at Earthwatch we can’t wait for the fun to begin! Unfortunately, the way we celebrate has the potential to create a lot of waste and pollution.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! With a little thought, you can greatly reduce your environmental impact this year.
Here are 5 ways to have a guilt-free Christmas:
- Keep an eye on the food you buy
Let’s face it, Christmas food is amazing! Huge roast dinner? Check. Big tub of chocolates? Check. Biscuit selection box? Check.
But have you ever thought about the environmental impact of your festive food choices? Livestock farming has a massive carbon footprint, and plastic packaging creates tonnes of waste.
Don’t worry though, we’re not telling you to avoid all your Christmas favourites! Instead, be mindful about what you choose to buy. For example, you could buy meat that is locally sourced, and buy less of it than you have in the past. Also, look out for food without plastic packaging – this includes vegetables!
- Consider your decorations
I love decorating my home (my cats love it too!), but some decorations damage the planet. Tinsel and some baubles, for example, are plastic and don’t tend to last very long. They soon end up in landfill.
Instead, try to buy long lasting decorations you can re-use every year, or make your own! You could also host a decoration swap with your friends if you want to mix things up a little.
- Think about your wrapping choices
Unwrapping presents is awesome! But it’s not just what’s inside that counts – the wrapping paper we use matters. Lots of wrapping paper contains plastic, foil, dye and sticky tape which means it can’t be recycled.
This doesn’t mean you have to give your gifts bare – there are plenty of alternatives you can try!
Brown paper is classy, and you can decorate it yourself to add a personal touch. You can also use old newspapers to add a retro feel. And ditch the sticky tape – use (non-plastic) twine or ribbons to make the paper easier to reuse or recycle.
- Be careful about your Christmas cards
It’s lovely to receive a Christmas card and know that someone is thinking of you. But have you ever noticed that lots of cards contain glitter or other non-recyclable materials? This year, try to buy cards that are purely paper, or make your own.
When it’s time to post your cards, consider whether you can hand deliver some of them. By hopping on your bike or taking a walk, you get to go outside and actually visit the people you are giving a card to.
Obviously, you might have to post some cards. If possible, choose second class to allow for more environmentally friendly delivery options.
- Watch what you wear
There are lots of opportunities to dress up around Christmas, and it can be tempting to buy new clothes. But fast fashion is having a huge impact on the environment. This year, try to wear clothes you already own, shop second hand, or even swap with some of your friends.
If you do buy new, try to avoid sequins, which are plastic and can shed in the wash and end up in rivers and the ocean. Instead, aim to get more sustainable things which will last and that you will want to wear again and again!
Katie Scott, Supporter Development Manager, Earthwatch Europe
p.s, we've also got your sustainable gifts sorted!