When many people think about Christmas, they think of presents piled under the Christmas tree. It’s easy to forget about the waste generated, mostly in the form of gift wrap and product packaging. As a nation, we generate lots of extra waste during the month of December. The amount of energy used also tends to increase too, mainly due to electric lights and decorations. Some of this increased energy usage is also related to the fuel used for travel purposes. There’s no need to panic, though. Here are some green Christmas ideas you can do to fight back against the problem of Christmas waste:
Get Creative With Gifts
Gift wrap and product packaging really adds up over Christmas. Not every family recycles all of this used paper and plastic after the big day. Worse still, some wrapping paper isn’t recyclable at all.
To avoid creating even more clutter, try to find gifts that utilise as little packaging as possible. You might consider gift cards, or tickets to a concert, or event. If you do plan to give a gift that needs to be wrapped, try to reuse old material rather than buying new wrapping paper. Get creative! Use old newspapers, paper bags, or fabric. Or make a wrapping paper using maps, or the pages of an old magazine, or book. If you’re struggling to find inspiration, make sure you check out these eco-friendly Christmas wrapping ideas!
Consider An Artificial Tree
For many families, picking out, chopping down and decorating a new tree every Christmas is one of their key Christmas traditions. But, this also means throwing away another tree each year. Consider buying an artificial tree instead. Not only will this save a tree, it will also keep them from accumulating in landfills. Since you’ll probably end up using the same artificial tree every year, it means you can cross “tree shopping” off of your Christmas to-do list for years to come.
If you will miss the festive scent of a real tree, then make your own Christmas tree spray instead.
Avoid Disposable Dishes
No one likes taking care of dirty plates, especially after a Christmas party. The solution for many is to buy disposable plates, cups and silverware that doesn’t need to be washed after the meal. But, using traditional dishes and cutlery cuts down on much of the rubbish that is generated after a Christmas meal.
If washable dishes aren’t an option, make sure to find disposable dishes that are recyclable. You may also want to put out a clearly-marked bin so that your guests don’t throw things in the wrong bin by mistake.
Use Less Power For Lighting
Christmas lighting has come a long way. These days, you can get energy-efficient LED lighting both for outside use and on the tree. These lights come in a variety of styles and colours and use much less energy than traditional lighting. It’s best to put any lights on a timer, or only turn them on when someone will be around to enjoy them.
Keeping things “green” around Christmas is just as easy as it is any time of the year. Do what you can to reduce the amount of consumable materials you use; reuse items like plates rather than buying disposable ones and recycle anything that you can rather than throwing it away.
It’ll take a bit of effort, but incorporating these green Christmas ideas into your festive plans allows you to help the planet while you celebrate the Christmas period with your loved ones. What could be better than that?
If you wnat to take things a step further, check out this article on striving for a plastic-free Christmas.