Tis the season to be more sustainable

This article looks at five ways to celebrate a more sustainable Christmas.





This Christmas let’s give the planet the gift of sustainability by pledging to celebrate a fun Christmas that is also environmentally friendly. The sad truth is that the Christmas period generates a massive amount of waste. This could be significantly reduced if everyone played their part in making Christmas a more sustainable celebration.

Here are some ways you can contribute:



1. Say no to wrapping paper

Each year in the UK, over 50,000 trees are cut down to make enough wrapping paper just to be used and thrown away the next day. Wrapping paper that is embellished with glitter is also unrecyclable. Therefore, in an effort to reduce the amount of waste, buy wrapping paper made of recycled materials or wrap gifts with newspaper or your favourite magazine and most importantly, avoid putting glittery decorations on them. 



2. Don’t panic buy

Each year, billions of pounds is spent on unwanted gifts that are simply thrown away. This happens when you do not plan for the holidays and end up panic buying impersonal gifts. This Christmas, get people what they want and if you’re unsure of what that is, you could always ask around and if you are still uncertain, vouchers to local restaurants are always a safe bet. 



3. Reduce energy waste

The holiday season leads to an increase in both physical waste and energy waste. According to the Centre of Global Development, the amount of energy needed to light up all the Christmas lights in homes in the America is more than all the energy used by counties like Ethiopia and Tanzania. The energy waste can be easily tackled by switching to LED lights set on a timer or by getting solar powered lights that can reduce the energy consumption during the holiday period. 



4. Go vegan this Christmas

This year, why not have a variety of vegan options for a healthier and more sustainable Christmas? With famous chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay showcasing lovely vegan food, you could incorporate their world-class recipes to your Christmas spread. Studies show the carbon dioxide emission from our combined Christmas meals in the UK is equivalent to 6,000 car trips around the world and this can be reduced significantly by having vegan meals.



5. Avoid food waste 

Planning a Christmas feast can be overwhelming and this can cause people to prepare more than what’s needed. The unfortunate truth is the amount of poultry thrown away each year in UK homes is enough to make 800 million Boxing Day curries. When prepping meals for Christmas this year, plan ahead and set a menu suited to the dietary requirements of all your guests. By not over doing Christmas meals, you’ll have enough leftovers to have a day or two after Christmas and enough to keep in the freezer without having to throw away any food. 


Making big changes for the holidays can be challenging but the best thing you can do is try out something small and make it a new tradition with your friends and family. You can build up from there each year towards a sustainable Christmas.