Tables heaving with plates of meals, stacks of presents spilling out from underneath a tree smothered in tinsel and baubles, and rolls of lights beaming into outer house… This could look like the epitome of the festive season, however is Christmas actually not about greater than what we devour? Christmas has turn into synonymous with over-indulgence – over-eating, ingesting and spending. We really feel compelled to make one of the best of the affords which might be always thrown at us- even when we don’t want, need and even just like the merchandise that we’re shopping for. What’s extra, annually there may be strain to enhance upon the earlier one – by shopping for and spending extra. But how a lot want for that is there? Shouldn’t we cease to contemplate how a lot waste we’re producing – all the surplus meals, packaging, and devices we’re churning out for this festive season? At such a wasteful time of 12 months even making small adjustments could make a distinction to our influence on the atmosphere.
When shopping for a new smartphone will we think about the a whole bunch of thousand staff at factories who work time beyond regulation to churn out devices and trinkets presently of 12 months? Do we think about what occurs to all of the packaging, or all of the meals we throw away after a Christmas day roast? Is this sort of gift-giving actually all so good? Could we as a substitute make investments our time and skills to make a higher Christmas for all?
1. Plan forward
The key to each a extra ecological and economical Christmas lies within the planning. Good intentions are sometimes thrown to the wind within the last-minute panic to get every little thing achieved. If you realize precisely what you wish to purchase and the place from, you possibly can just about end your Christmas purchasing in a single go, concurrently avoiding these hideously costly supply charges (plus the stress of seeing in the event that they arrive in time) and the extreme packing containers and packaging that include it.
Equally, if you happen to pressure your self to determine what you’ll cook dinner and when you’ll eat, you possibly can truly purchase the fitting amount of meals, clear freezer and fridge house so that you’ve got room for extras, and make use of the massive abundance of nice leftover recipes like these on BBC Good Food. Not solely are you lowering your meals wastage but additionally stopping the pricey impulse buys.
2. Spend much less, give higher
According to the Centre for Retail Research, round £79 billion was spent within the UK between mid November and the tip of December final 12 months, and significantly as a scholar it’s very simple to really feel a mounting panic on the quantity of cash disappearing out of your checking account within the method to Christmas. However, by spending and shopping for much less you can’t solely get monetary savings but additionally cut back the quantity we’re losing. When it involves presents much less actually is extra. Our society makes us really feel it’s essential to spend money and time in retailers so as to specific our gratitude for one another. however is there actually any level in giving items for their very own sake and in receiving one more ineffective trinket? Gifting concepts like Secret Santa imply you possibly can afford to purchase fewer, however extra significant, items.
Another nice strategy to cut back waste is by gifting experiences somewhat than gadgets, particularly right here in London the place there’s a lot to do and infrequently a lot cash required to do it. Tickets to a live performance, a soccer match or the theatre are in any case a lot extra memorable than a generic present field.
three. Upgrade your playing cards
Our habits in less-considered areas additionally want to alter when you think about that, based on A Sustainable Life, an internet information to sustainable dwelling, an astonishing one billion Christmas playing cards find yourself within the bin. If sending playing cards is necessary to you why not go paperless? There are a enormous quantity of reasonably priced choices for sending e-cards: corporations like Greenvelope are targeted on sustainability; Ojolie can help you ship limitless playing cards for a £12 yearly membership; Paperless Post permits picture customisation. Even higher, you possibly can donate to charity on the identical time. Large charities together with Barnados, Oxfam and Macmillan supply good e-card companies as effectively. It’s additionally value contemplating the way you dispose of any playing cards you obtain. Recycling these could make you’re feeling higher, however particularly since China’s ban import of waste for recycling (see Sustainability part in Felix 1706) they could nonetheless find yourself going to landfill or incineration. Instead, why not reuse them as present tags or make into ornaments or wreaths?
four. Be artistic with wrapping
Accepting that there will likely be some bodily presents to provide, give them is a complete dilemma in itself. In the UK alone 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is used every Christmas – that’s sufficient to go across the Earth 9 instances!
Following the outdated mantra of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ the best choice but once more is to wrap fewer presents. Often items come already in a field or festive packaging, so resist the temptation to place wrapping paper on high of that. Awkwardly formed items may very well look higher unwrapped and think about how a lot time can save simply by protecting them with a scarf or blanket. If you do wish to do some precise wrapping you can spend money on some reusable material such because the reindeer print produced by Happy Wrap. This truly seems actually festive and the upper worth is justified by the actual fact it is going to final. This could possibly be a actually good possibility for giving items to shut household as you possibly can reclaim it afterwards! If you need a extra classical wrapping methodology you can think about using newspaper or brown paper – each very low cost supplies – and add festive twine like those provided from eco-craft to make it look prettier and biodegradable tape to make it recyclable. Alternatively, if you happen to’re not such a professional at wrapping and may’t produce a creative masterpiece you can go for some recycled wrapping paper. Rewrapped has some good Christmas designs to select from or if you happen to’re completely happy to spend extra Oxfam has some fairly handmade paper. As lengthy as you’re cautious you possibly can reuse these wrapping papers as effectively – any crumples shouldn’t be past the flattening capabilities of an iron. As a final resort checking that it’s recyclable – paper with glitter on it or that gained’t maintain its form when scrunched is certainly not recyclable – is best than nothing.
These concepts are simply a place to begin to a lot extra, however Christmas is the one time the place embracing even a few small adjustments can cut back a lot waste. Lets resist the temptation to neglect concerning the atmosphere over the festive interval, and as we give presents to our family and friends, attempt to give this current to our planet too.