By Ubayd Kahn, GLOBUS Correspondent
Christmas is right around the corner and along with the festivities comes the period of peak consumption, from last-minute gift buying to impressive dinnertime spreads. This Christmas will be like no other. However, that does not mean we cannot still do our part to be a little more sustainable. How can you be more sustainable this Christmas, you ask? Here are a few suggestions to have – in update of the famous festive classic – the “Green Christmas” you’ve been dreaming of.
1. Give better gifts. Better gifts benefit everyone. The person receiving the gift, the person giving the gift because of how happy you make the person, and the environment. In 2018, research suggests people in the UK received 70 million unwanted Christmas gifts. By spending a few extra minutes pondering your purchase this year, and better ensuring the gifts you give are kept long term, you are evermore likely to keep your gift out of landfill. If you still are stuck gift ideas, check out WWF’s Green Gift Guide for their range of sustainable alternatives.
2. Wind back on the food waste. Food production is the largest contributor to tropical deforestation. Plan ahead to make sure there isn’t a significant amount of excess food. Maybe, even pitch in to make sure the food is extra tasty, so it’s all eaten and not wasted. Inevitably, there will be leftovers, but try to make sure it’s not all covered in plastic. Alternatives such as Tupperware, foil, or bamboo wraps work just as well.
3. Use recyclable wrapping paper. It is estimated the UK will use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year – and over 83km(squared) of this will end up in our bins. By using recyclable wrapping paper, you are doing your bit to ensure not all this material has to go to waste. Also, try to remember to actually recycle it and not throw away recyclable paper. Look into FSC certified wrapping paper for a recyclable source.
4. Be mindful of your Christmas tree decs. By now, you have definitely had your tree up and decorated a while (if you haven’t, are you waiting for Santa to do the job for you?). Using LED lights on your tree, however, uses less energy and looks just as good. Also, make sure to turn off the lights at night. It helps the environment, but is also safer and much cheaper. Furthermore, even the tree you choose can have a big impact – have a look at this flow chart on choosing an eco-friendly Christmas tree for more information about the actual tree.
5. Put some care into you Christmas cards. A staggering 1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away by households each year! Further still, many cards become non-recyclable from decorative materials such as glitter and plastic, so try to avoid cards decorated or packaged in materials that will return to have a negative effect on natural ecosystems. Better yet, OXFAM provides cheap and eco-friendly alternatives with their selection of Christmas cards. Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment, but giving back to charity too.
Christmas is a time for giving back – and that includes to our planet as well. Take this time to recuperate from the tumultuous year that has passed, but be mindful of your waste and the impact that your home will have on the weird world outside.
With that said, from all of us at GLOBUS, we want to wish you a very merry holiday period, and a happy new year!
Header image: Photo by Arun Kuchibhotla