It’s the time of year when people start to think about the dreaded “C” word … but did you know in the UK alone we produce 30% more waste than usual during the festive period? Never fear our Living Seas team are here to help you make greener choices this festive season whether it’s ditching cards, choosing more nature-friendly gifts or transforming items into decorations!
Our guide to an eco-friendly festive season
- Ditch the Cards
It’s estimated that around 1 billion Christmas cards end up in bins every year. That’s equivalent of 33 million trees! The best option for our planet is to ditch the cards in favour of e-cards, a text or even a social media post wishing your friends and family a happy festive season.
Top tip – transform cards that have been sent to you into gift tags or tree decorations.
Buying gifts can be the toughest step on the festive season “To Do” list and each year over 21 million people in the UK receive at least one unwanted gift. This year why not buy your loved one an eco-friendly gift instead?
- Give the gift of nature this year with a membership to The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales
- Put together a zero-waste kit. You could include shampoo and soap bars, a bamboo toothbrush, a re-usable bottle or travel mug.
- Go vintage! Buying vintage or pre-loved items is better for the environment and you never know what hidden gems you will uncover
- When buying gifts try to choose items than can be used multiple times and come with as little packaging as possible.
If you are shopping for gifts this year please consider purchasing your present from our Wildlife Trust online web shop, all proceeds support our vital conservation work and important research
- Wrapping Up
In the UK we’ll use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper a year! It may look pretty but shiny and glittery paper isn’t recyclable so will just end up in landfill. And let’s not forget that Sellotape is made of plastic. So, what are the alternatives?
- Use brown paper with biodegradable paper or washi tape
- Try re-usable items like boxes and 100% organic cotton or hemp bags
- Choosing a tree
Both real and fake trees have an impact on our environment; a staggering 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasses are emitted by the 7 million real trees that end up in landfill every year and fake trees are typically made of plastic and can’t be recycled.
If you choose a real tree –
- Plant it in your garden so you can use it again and gain
- Rent a sustainably grown tree
If you choose a fake tree –
- By pre-loved instead of a brand-new tree
- If you buy a new tree then re-use it each year
If you're thinking about changing your current tree then don’t just throw the old one away … give it to friends or family, sell it or donate it to charity.
- Time to decorate
You probably have a magical box full of sparkly, festive decorations hidden in the attic or under the stairs ready to pull out in December. Most of these decorations won’t be recyclable so make the most of what you have and don’t throw anything away!
If you want to add something new then try these eco-friendly options –
- Make your own! Transform old clothes, fabric scraps or waste into beautiful decorations
- Buy pre-loved decorations from charity shops or websites like Ebay
- Swap decorations with your friends or family
Top tip – turn off your lights overnight or when you leave the house to save energy and help the planet!
- Food glorious food
Each year we waste a staggering 4.2 million plates of turkey and trimmings and 74 million mince pies over the festive season. Taking the environmental impact and the fact that the Trussell Trust has seen a 74% increase in food back usage in the past five years, this really does seem criminal! So what can you do to reduce your food waste this year?
- Plan your meals and when standing in the supermarket or ordering food online ask yourself “do I really need this?”
- If you have leftovers use them! From turkey curry to bubble and squeak there as so many tasty meals you can create with leftovers
Visit Click here to visit the love food hate waste website for information on how to store food and handle leftovers
We hope the guide to an eco-friendly festive season will help you to make some changes this year. Don’t forget to think about the greener choices you can make when buying items such as advent calendars and crackers.