Having a Sustainable Christmas: Some Tips

by - December 13, 2020

Photo by Keiran White (@keirancwhite)
There is a lot of talk around Christmas about what to do and what not to do - especially this year with COVID-19 and discussions over whether it's okay to see people, what regulations to follow, etc. etc. Equally, reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions around a time of excessive eating and hyper-consumerism is hard to get your head around.
Stuff like global pandemics and existential crises (e.g. climate change) aren't super festive, and are not really what you want to focus on at this time of year. So I have written out some really simple steps to have a more sustainable Christmas:
  1. Recyclable wrapping paper and sellotape (or at least remove your sellotape before recycling the paper)
  2. Sustainable crackers! Apparently Christmas crackers are a British thing and we do love them, but they're not very sustainable. Not only are they single use, but they are often filled with plastic toys you never use or even see again after 25th December. My mum's solution to this was pouches - she filled them and so put things in we'd actually want (we kept the jokes, and had chocolate instead of a toy). You can also get recyclable crackers.
  3. Sustainable presents! Buy your loved ones things they can use and keep for life, and products that will reduce their waste - e.g. water bottles, coffee cups, make up removing cloths, refillable deodorants, shampoo bars, or high quality sustainable made clothes made to LAST
  4. Support local businesses for your Christmas shopping! Shopping local reduces emissions from transport. 
  5. Get organised (she says, publishing on 13th December...) BUT next day delivery is a massive emitter of greenhouse gases. The rush to deliver things in time for Christmas means even more vans, planes, ships transporting products around. If you are organised and there's no rush for your products to get to you, we wouldn't need this surge in transport leading to extra vehicles on the roads and even more emissions. 
I have purposefully not delved into some of the bigger topics around a green Christmas (e.g. the meal and the tree) because I wanted to keep this simple and light hearted - something we all deserve nearing the end of a tough year. 
If you want to read more about having an eco-Christmas, I recommend this article by Fi Watters for SheSapiens.

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