Tips for a sustainable Christmas
Christmas Tree Recycling
Once the festivities are over, don’t leave your beloved tree to wither on the wayside, recycle it! Most London borough councils will collect trees if you leave them next to your garden refuse bins, though they ask that much larger trees are cut into smaller pieces. Get in touch with your local council to find out the best way to recycle your Christmas tree.
There are several ways to cut down the carbon footprint of your Christmas decorations. Get creative and make your own using recycled materials, or materials collected from nature such as pinecones, holly leaves and mistletoe. And brighten the place up with some solar powered fairy lights.
Christmas would not be Christmas if it didn’t leave you’re living room floor littered with torn and crumpled wrappings, but whichever way you look at it, that’s a lot of waste! Try using recycled materials to wrap your presents this year: aluminum foil decorated with red ribbon; water colour painted newspaper, or recycled parcel wrap.
The range of charity fundraising Christmas cards out there is now so vast there’s really no excuse to send out your Christmas greetings without giving a little something back. You can find a huge selection online from websites such as www.charitychristmascards.com Or alternatively many charity shops including Cancer Research, Oxfam and Marie Curie stock selections, and just to make Christmas that bit greener.
Don’t let your sustainable Christmas table stop at food, get yourself some eco- crackers.
When sourcing your Christmas meat, be it turkey, goose or ham, make sure you’re using a butcher with a strong sustainable ethos. You should be looking for outdoor reared animals, from local farms. The London based “Ginger Pig” is a good example of a buthcer providing top quality meats, at prices that don’t break the bank.
Even at Christmas it’s important to remember the negative impact the consumption of meat has on our planet. If yours will be a carnivorous Christmas this year make sure it consists of one piece of good quality meat accompanied by delicious seasonal vegetarian sides, like roasted root vegetables, chestnut and apple stuffing, and sautéed Brussels sprouts.
If you’re throwing a party this festive season keep the environmental impact to a minimum by sending out e-invites rather than paper, using caterers and suppliers with a clear focus on sustainability, creating menus using seasonal, locally sourced food and drink and avoiding disposable plastic crockery by hiring out the extras that you need for the occasion.
The selection of eco-gifts on the markets is ever growing. Have a look online for some inspirational ideas such as a “grow your own mushroom kit” or an award winning, zero electricity use espresso machine.