Christmas is an exciting time of year: Incredible food, fantastic presents and much needed quality time with loved ones! With so much preparation and thought put into this holiday, we could be forgiven for getting distracted by the festive twinkling lights and forgetting about our impact on the planet.
So how can we get creative and make sure that 2017 is the ‘greenest’ Christmas yet?
Here’s a few tips to get you started on your way to a sustainable holiday period:
Paper, paper, paper!
We send out so many Christmas cards and wrap all of our presents in paper. Of course we can recycle paper products at home but what about something a bit different? Here’s Crawley Borough Council’s advice for repurposing Christmas cards:
- When it comes to reusing greeting cards, one of the simplest things to do is to cut the front picture off the old greeting card and use it as a postcard or to make a new greeting card.
- Make tiny gift boxes from them.
- If there is nothing written on the inside of the front, reuse it as a thank you note and send as a postcard.
- Make bookmarks from them.
- Storage Box – Use decoupage techniques to create a fun box.
- Gift Tags – cut the design from the front of the card as use as gift tags
Instead of recycling wrapping paper try saving as much as you can to reuse next year. If you’re the crafty type then there’s plenty of other ways you can reuse wrapping paper, from giving new life to a bookshelf or creating confetti for your New Year’s party – for more tips like this click here.
For many of us, the food at Christmas is the main event! How can we make this greener? It’s all to do with portions: buy the amount you need – if you have four people coming over for dinner, do you need a 5kg bag of potatoes? If you buy your veg loose you can get the correct amount and avoid both unrecyclable plastic bags and food waste. Perfect! (Just make sure you have enough for Boxing Day too!)
A popular present and stocking filler are toiletries! Who doesn’t want a new product to pamper themselves with? Avoid face and body scrubs that contain microplastics – these are small beads of plastic often used to exfoliate skin. When the product goes down the drain the small beads bypass water filters and end up in the sea – not good! Luckily there are tonnes of alternatives: companies use rice husks, apricot stones, sand, salt and many other natural products to exfoliate skin in an environmentally friendly way.
When the holidays are over take your Christmas tree down to West Sussex County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Site at Metcalf Way (crawly). The tree will be turned into composting that will be used around Crawley’s parks.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but just a few ideas to get you started. You may have even done all of these already!
From everyone here at Tilgate – we hope you have a very merry, and very green, Christmas!