The lights are twinkling, the bubbles are flowing and the mince pies are toasting hot, fresh out of the oven. What’s not to love about Christmas? Well, as much of a joyful time it is, the festive period is incredibly notorious for waste.
Whether it’s food, unwanted presents or plastic decorations which end up in landfill, more goes to waste at this time of year than any other. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Keep reading to find out 5 really easy and straightforward tips you can implement for a greener, more eco-friendly Christmas.
1: Don’t throw out mini Christmas trees
Those little tabletop trees which you can pick up for a fiver or a tenner shouldn’t be put in the black bin. Instead, pot it up and grow it on outside to enjoy it again the next year, or if you don’t have space, compost it instead.
2: Avoid glitter and foil wrapping paper
As lovely as they look, glitter and shiny wrapping papers can’t be recycled.
Considering they’re wrapped only to be unwrapped and chucked in the bin, unrecyclable wrapping paper is the epitome of waste. Instead choose plain kraft papers which you can personalise with ribbons, homemag tags and decorations.
Alternatively, look for wrapping paper which is stamped as 100% recyclable.
3: Repurpose packaging to make gift tags
Speaking of gift tags, you can make these from so many different boxes and packaging containers. If you buy coffee pods or capsules for an at-home machine, try using the sleeves the pods arrive in. Old Christmas cards and postcards work a treat, too.
All you need to do is cut a tag shape, hole punch the end and thread some twine through. And that’s it! You’ve saved yourself some money and recycled.
4: Make your own decorations
On the subject of getting crafty, why not try making some of your own decorations from natural materials? Dried leaves and flowers make for beautiful wreaths while old book pages and even junk mail can be folded and glued into beautiful hanging stars. There are countless tutorials to be found on the likes of Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, so get creative.
5: Avoid novelty gifts
As funny as they might seem at the time, novelty gifts almost always end up in one of three places: the back of the cupboard where they’re forgotten about indefinitely, the charity shop or the bin. Not only are you wasting your own money, but you’re wasting the materials to make the item, the air miles to ship it, the packaging to wrap it. If you’re struggling with ideas and find yourself leaning towards novelty, remember: chocolate exists.