By Guest Author|
December 3, 2019|
3 mins read
Christmas is a truly magical time of the year – there’s exciting winter events, delicious festive food and drink, and pretty lights and decorations for everyone to enjoy. The Christmas season also allows people to spend lots of quality time with your loved ones and give something back to the community. What’s more, Christmas doesn’t have to be harmful to the environment, there are plenty of ways to reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season. To help you make the most out of this year’s festivities, here are our top five green Christmas tips:
When selecting presents for your family and friends, there are many alternatives you can take to be more sustainable with your gift-giving.
While some gifts need to be purchased new, there are many that can be made. This is a stronger gesture as homemade gifts offer personal touches and show that you spent time to create something that will make them happy. Furthermore, making gifts yourself mean less items are packaged for delivery or carried around in plastic bags, meaning that you’re sending less non-recyclable materials to landfill. You’re also upcycling materials and objects of your own, using less plastic and, most importantly, creating something personal for your loved one that they will certainly appreciate. Ideas can include candles, cakes, soap, clothing – anything you put your mind to!
If you are struggling to come up with something, or find the time to, there are also a range of sustainable shops throughout the UK and online that only sell or deliver items in recyclable packaging and produced by ethical methods. Consumers are now going green with their purchases and carefully selecting brands and businesses with better eco-friendly practices – in fact, 60% of millennials (ages 22-35) and 55% of Gen Z (36-54) are will pay extra for sustainable products, demonstrating that caring for the environment is a priority for a large amount of consumers. Therefore, they’d appreciate it if you did the same (as would the planet!)
Plus, this way you’re giving back to the community, especially if you are looking for items made locally. These products have not been travelling around the world and adding to greenhouse emissions, and you know that the money you spend in these stores will be used in restaurants and other stores within your community.
Another idea is purchasing experiences and days out for your friends and family. You can buy tickets to a show in London’s West End, a sports game or a trip to a spa. This is a great way to create memories for you and your loved ones.
Tis the season for bright coloured lights in every home, shop and street, which may look pretty but are using electricity that drains our natural resources.
You can start at home. Create your own Christmas lights display using eco-friendly light bulbs such as LED and CFL. LED lights use up to 95% less energy than standard Christmas ones! Also, don’t forget to turn off any Christmas and tree lights before you go to bed, and maybe don’t keep them on all day when you’re out the house or it’s too light in the day for them to have much of an effect. By reducing the amount of hours that your lights are switched on for, you’ll make a great contribution to the environment.
3. Avoid plastic Christmas trees
While fake, plastic trees are tempting as they last year on year, they are certainly not that great for our planet. A lot of production goes into making them, which means a lot of energy is used despite the fact that it’s just going to produce more waste in the future.
Fortunately, there are now multiple options when it comes to purchasing trees. Nowadays, more and more places such as garden centres are offering a tree-hire service, meaning that once the tree is returned, they will replant it and nurture it throughout the year, photo above of their Christmas tree fields.
Alternatively, you could grow your own, which isn’t as daunting as it sounds. You can pick the tree you’d like, from pine to fir – all you need is to prep the soil and look after it as much as you can. Here is a guide for growing your own Christmas tree.
4. Cut Down On Food Waste And Meat Consumption
Finally, our last tip is to cut down on food waste and meat consumption, even if the latter is only for a few days over the festive period. There are now so many veggie and vegan Christmas recipes out there – including Christmas dinner and puddings! – so no one will feel left out just because they’re not tucking into turkey. This also applies to drinks too.
However, if you’re really struggling to cut down on meat, you can instead source local and free-range produce from local farms and markets. As will products delivered from online retailers, food is delivered to supermarkets after travelling half-way across the world and likely in unnecessary amounts of packaging too. It’s also a great way to support small-scale farming, which uses less energy than industrial sites. They also preserve more of the natural world by taking up less space, thus retaining reducing land degradation.
5. Choose Eco-Friendly Modes Of Travel
With Christmas comes the opportunity to attend a multitude of festive events up and down the country, but of course the increase in cars on the road is not great for our planet. Luckily, there are different ways to cut down on this when travelling to these different events:
Going to a Christmas market is the perfect way to get yourself in the holiday spirit and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Christmas markets are held all around the world, but you can find plenty of excellent events held in the UK such as Winter Wonderland in London and the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham. These markets host hundreds of stalls serving traditional Christmas food and beverages, along with fun family activities like ice skating rinks, reindeer, and snow canons. You can help make your Christmas market trip as eco-friendly as possible by taking public transport like trains or coaches. Fortunately, there are many companies offering coach trips to Christmas markets all across the UK. A trip to a Christmas market is a fun family day out that is sure to get everyone in the festive spirit!
Indoor Santa’s Grottos and Snow Centres
Fortunately, you don’t need to travel across the world to experience snow this Christmas, meaning that you can cut down on air travel, which is extremely damaging towards our environment.
Several indoor snow centres around the UK offer a truly unique winter experience. Snowdome is a popular venue in Tamworth that offers the ultimate snow, ice, and leisure experience for the whole family. Here, you can take part in skiing lessons, try your hand at snowboarding, go tobogganing, or just have fun in the snow. During the winter months, the venue hosts an impressive winter wonderland that features plenty of real snow, a real-life Santa, and an animal village. Santa’s winter wonderland is a truly festive experience that will get the whole family excited for Christmas.
Christmas is a special time of year when families get together and enjoy the magic of the festive season. Going to Christmas events and activities is a fantastic way to get the most out of the season and spend time with your loved ones. Unfortunately, Christmas is often associated with large volumes of waste which can be extremely harmful to our environment. However, there are many ways to reduce environmental harm and support a green Christmas. Use some of the tips above to make your Christmas trips and activities as eco-friendly as possible this festive season.
Author – Ruby Clarkson.
Ruby Clarkson is a freelance writer who is passionate about our planet and the animals that we share it with. When she is not writing, she is either out in the garden or wrapped up in a blanket with a good book. Accompanied by a bar of chocolate of course.