Christmas is prime time for capitalism and excess spending. People rush to the shops during the festive period to buy for those they love and care for, and, for themselves. Most shops are truly obliterated during this period, straining to meet the demand of millions of people and their mad dashes to their businesses.
Of course, with this demand comes a heavy toll; mainly the leftovers of wasted food, plastic packaging and discarded glass bottles from wines and other alcohol. It can be easy to shrug this all of with a ‘it doesn’t matter, it’s Christmas’, but problems don’t get solved that way in the real world.
Consequently, here are some ways to be more environmentally friendly this Christmas.
Real Christmas Trees
You might think that plastic trees cause no harm, and when they’re sitting in your living room, they generally aren’t! That said, plastic trees, while cheaper than their real counterparts, are not recyclable. Moreover, they’re made from steel and plastic, which generate emissions in their production. Of course, the same can’t be said for the real trees!
Like other trees, real Christmas trees still produce oxygen and have a plethora of environmental benefits that make them a far better option than an artificial tree. After all, everyone knows trees are a good thing for the environment! That said, if you want to use an artificial tree, you’d need to reuse it for at least ten years to keep its environmental impact lower than a real tree, according to a BBC report. In light of this, it’s best to just go for a real one!
Mindful Gift Giving
Not every gift needs endless reems of wrapping paper. Remember, even though wrapping presents is the traditional Christmas method for gift giving, there are alternatives available that are just as festive, such as stockings and gift boxes. Not every item needs to be surrounded by bulky paper, so consider cutting down here and there to be more environmentally friendly!
For example, gift boxes from Cardfactory are festive, fun and completely reusable, meaning you needn’t dispose of them ever. Purchase a few of these for Christmas, and you can use them annually to temporarily store gifts! Of course, this will ultimately save you time and even money in the long run; just pop up your gifts inside, and avoid getting out all the sellotape, scissors and wrapping paper!
Eliminating Excess Food
When Christmas rolls around, it can be tempting to buy everything in mass. The spending tallies up high over the festive period, and often all you’re left with at the end is a great deal of chaotic mess and overly full stomach. Therefore, if you spend more wisely, you’ll also be cutting down on your waste and benefitting the environment in the process.
For example, more food means more plastic packaging. If you’re buying more than you need, chances are you’re not being as environmentally conscious as you would be if you were only using just enough. Think about what will realistically be eaten; do you really need enough food to feed a small army? If the answer is no, cut spending here and help the environment instead.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.