A more environmentally responsible Christmas

Using the 3 R’s reducing, reusing, and recycling can we integrate these habits as part of our Christmas traditions?

We often speak of the excesses of the season. Are there ways we can reduce waste? The UK throws away around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in a year, although 8.4 million people in the UK are in food poverty. By planning meals each week, making a list for what you need and using this when you shop can help reduce the amount of food thrown away. Reducing meat consumption, why not try a vegetarian or vegan meal over the festive season whether at home or if eating out? Instead of gifting “things” or “stuff” you could gift experiences which create memories. Or you could consider gifting an online cooking course run by refugees, buying a goat or even twinning a toilet via various different charities.

Can you reuse your Christmas cards as gift tags for another year? Or cut them in half to use as Christmas cards for next year? There are lots of ideas online for crafting leftover cards into Christmas decorations too. Gift bags could also be stored and used again for gift packaging as well as wrapping paper.

As a last resort, if we are unable to reuse, can the waste be recycled? Not all wrapping paper can be recycled. Before you purchase do check the labelling. If you are unsure, try the scrunch test. If it scrunches and stays scrunched it can be recycled, if it unfolds it cannot. A similar test should be applied to Christmas cards too, any with glitter or foil adornments cannot be recycled, so please do sort carefully. If you have a real Christmas tree, try buying a potted one or if you do buy a cut one, remember it can be composted, some organisations will even pick it up from your house for you. Battery usage also increases at Christmas, do make sure you are recycling these responsibly and not throwing them into general waste.

It is those living in countries who have contributed the least to the warming of the planet who are being affected the most. Please try to spend some time thinking about your festive habits and if there are ways you can change your lifestyle.

Eco Lifestyle Group

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