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Each year millions of Christmas trees, acres of wrapping paper and a serious number of cards and envelopes are incinerated or dumped into landfill sites once the festive season is over.
While you might think you already do your bit for recycling, we have had a look at how you can produce less waste over Christmas but still have a great time.
Of course, the most sensible option here is to buy an artificial tree. Yes, it is plastic and it doesn’t smell but it will dramatically cut down (excuse the pun) the number of real trees being destroyed. If you really can’t break with tradition, then buy a real tree with roots that you can plant in the garden and reuse every year.
Real napkins and tablecloths
When you are out shopping keep away from disposable napkins and tablecloths. Yes they are quick and easy but you can pick up reasonable real ones that can be used all year round again and again – you can even dye them another colour if you get bored.
Dec the halls
Have you ever stopped to wonder just how much plastic goes on your tree each year and the damage you might be doing when you chuck them out because you fancy a new theme? We not step away from the plastic fantastic decorations on the High Street and go for natural ones instead? Flora and fauna are the perfect way to make your home feel festive, and with a little TLC you can create pine cones, ivy and holly into something special and unique.
Go for solar-powered outdoor lights where possible and remember to turn your Christmas lights off when you go out or are asleep.
Christmas cards are an intrinsic part of the festive season but boy do they create a lot of waste. Consider sending e-cards or if you want to keep things real, recycle cards from last year to make new ones and hand deliver them where you can to keep your carbon footprint down. You can also use old cards to make new tags!
Rather than buying more ‘stuff’ why not consider giving friends and family experiences this year? From riding lessons and spa days to cookery classes and tickets to a gig so they have something they will remember forever. If you do want to give a real gift, maybe make cookies, cakes or sloe gin or visit an antique or vintage shop and show the ones you love that you have really thought about their gifts rather than opting for the BOGOF offers.
Another way to keep things sensible is to opt for Secret Santa with family and friends with a set budget and ideas of what people would really like.
There is the temptation to panic buy on Christmas Eve but this means a tonne of food is often wasted. When you go shopping, make a list and stick with it and don’t throw leftovers away as there are so many things you can do with that turkey, those veggies and the last of the wine.
We know it can be the list thing you want to do, but make sure you bag up with paper and cardboard, the bottles and cans and recycle as usual – it does make a difference.
Whatever you do this Christmas, think about the bigger picture as you celebrate.