Cheers to a sustainable Christmas! At YGS we’re passionate about everything green and this includes the festive season! Read below for some top tips of how to keep your Christmas as sustainable and planet-friendly as possible.
- A green gift! Why not think outside the box and give the gift of green this year? This could be a tree for the garden, a packet of vegetable seeds (broad beans, onions or winter gem lettuce are ideal for planting in December!) or a house plant!
- Experience gifting! Cut back on physical gifts (that are often not wanted to used) and give the gift of a day trip or an activity? We’d recommend a trip to the Eden Project!
- Give the gift of a donation or plant a tree! You can back these campaigns and do something positive for the environment while cutting down on excessive physical gifting. Check out National Trust or Woodland Trust for ideas.
- Eat green! Eating plant-based meals is better for you and better for the environment. The livestock industry generates 15% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions and requires space and huge amounts of water and feed. There are plenty of meat alternatives around – so get veg-creative.
- Eat for the season! Buying locally sourced products that are in season can ensure your wallet stays fuller and your conscious is a little clearer! It reduces energy spent on foods that wouldn’t normally grow naturally. Ideas here!
- TREE-mendous! Real trees remove carbon from the atmosphere while they are growing! They’re the eco-friendly choice and over 400 Christmas tree growers across the UK are registered with British Christmas Tree Growers Association, adhering to guidelines to sustainable farming and wildlife protection. If you’re buying real, buy a responsibly sourced tree and be clear on how you’re going to dispose of it once the season is over.
- Buying a potted tree is a great solution as you can reuse it each year.
- Furthermore, you can rent a tree! Various places let you care for the tree over the festive period and return it to be replanted for the following year!
- The Woodland Trust’s new “eco trees” made of recycled card that you can fold down and use year after year.
- Or you could simply avoid the fuss and dedicate a tree – it’ll offset some carbon emissions, too.
- Recycle your tree after Christmas. Six million trees brightened up Britain for Christmas last year, of which only 10% were recycled. The rest went into landfill, a wasted opportunity to create biomass that would have provided nutrients for depleted soil.
- Send an e-card! You can easily access an e-card and even better, you can make a charitable donation while you’re doing it. Take a look here how for how your e-greeting can make a difference.
- Woodland Trust have teamed up with recyclenow.com to allow people to recycle Christmas cards in participating retailers in January! Equally – try reduce and reuse: can you send an e-card instead? Can you recycle cards from last year? All of these help to reduce carbon emissions.
- Compost! Compost all your food peelings (and any leftover food) or get a wormery to help break down the vegetable food waste into rich soil nutrition.
- Recycle where possible or start from the source and use recyclable wrapping paper and reused decorations. Try to keep waste to a minimum by donating unwanted Christmas items.
- Go for a winter walk! Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of nature! Stomping through autumn leaves and walking between bare trees is a perfect way to blow away the cobwebs and will help with your physical and mental health in an often very busy festive period!
- Plastic plastic plastic! The festive season is notoriously bad for excessive plastic so try to be greener in your thinking! Do you need excessive gift wrap, crackers, single use napkins, single use takeaway mulled wine cups? There are so many places you can cut down this year. Try and change 1 thing for every day of Advent!
Sources: WWF, The Guardian