Christmas is a time we all indulge, whether that be in another mince pie or that present you’ve been waiting all year for, but should we be worrying about the effect our festivities are having on the environment?
Whether you’re a full blown eco warrior or are just beginning on your journey to a more sustainable lifestyle, there are lots of ways to have a more environmentally friendly Christmas this year without sacrificing any of the fun and festivities. Read on for all our top tips but if you have any great Christmas tips to share don’t forget to leave a comment or send us a message on Instagram.
1. Avoid throwaway gifts
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of Christmas, picking up little bits and bobs here and there ‘just for something extra to open‘ that will ultimately end up in the bin. Retailers know that an attractively priced stocking filler is likely to be popular, but these gifts often have little consideration for the environment and are packaged in lots of non-recyclable plastic that eventually ends up in landfill.
Buying gifts that are designed to last couldn’t be easier and with so many great options out there you’ll be sure to find something for even the pickiest person on your list. A reusable water bottle or coffee cup is a great option when you’re struggling to know what to buy, and with a practical but stylish design they also come with a healthy dose of the feel good factor as 10% from each sale helps fund beach cleans across the UK and promote the use of multiple use items.
2. Wrap presents the eco way
We all love seeing the presents wrapped under the Christmas tree, but did you know that most wrapping paper can’t be recycled? Why not offer two gifts in one by wrapping presents in a beautiful scarf this year or opt for plain brown paper finished off beautifully with ribbon that can be used again next year. If you really want to use wrapping paper, avoid any with foil, or glitter as these cannot be recycled. A good test is if you can scrunch up the paper and it doesn’t bounce back then it can be recycled. Plus try to save any pieces of paper, gift tags or twine that can be reused on gifts next Christmas.
We love this video filled with great eco ideas for wrapping gifts without sacrificing on style:
3. Choose eco-conscious crackers
Crackers are one of the worst contributing factors to the waste recorded at Christmas, and with many made from non-recyclable materials containing throwaway plastic toys it’s easy to see why so many environmentally friendly options are becoming available.
New this year, ProCook have launched two sets of crackers made from recyclable materials (you’ll just need to trim the powdered section off the snapper inside) with beautifully festive designs. In place of single use plastic toys, you’ll find a selection of useful kitchen accessories and gadgets that you can use time and time again but don’t panic, you’ll still find the traditional Christmas hat and corny joke that we all know and love in there too.
4. Plan for a zero-waste meal
Shop organic and local where you can and plan your meals in advance to avoid falling into a frenzy once you reach the supermarket. Create a list before you go and stay strict with yourself to minimise the amount thrown away once your guests have left, and don’t forget to make a note of any special dietary requirements so you don’t create big batches of food that only a few can eat.
It’s easy to pick up readymade food for convenience at Christmas, especially when cooking for the masses, but as much of this comes in non-recyclable plastic trays making things yourself in advance is a great way to relieve stress on the big day whilst avoiding unnecessary plastic. Stuck for recipe ideas? You can browse ProCook’s Christmas recipes here. In need of new cookware, knives and tableware this year? ProCook has everything you could need to throw the ultimate Christmas gathering.
5. Deck the halls with boughs of holly
No, we mean it! Many Christmas decorations are made from non-recyclable plastic that ultimately find their way to landfill so why not bring the outdoors in this year and decorate with holly, ivy, fir and eucalyptus? With a little care and attention, decorations foraged from nature can last the entire Christmas period and will add a beautiful festive fragrance to your home.
If bringing nature indoors isn’t quite what you envisaged this Christmas, opt for decorations made from glass, wood and recyclable paper in place of plastic and try to avoid trend pieces that you may not want in a year’s time.
Making a Christmas wreath at home is surprisingly easy, just check out this simple tutorial below:
Do you have any top tips for having a green Christmas? Share them with us in the comments below or send us a message on Instagram.