When you’re knee deep in discarded wrapping paper on Christmas morning, and you’ve exhausted your repertoire of turkey leftover recipes by Boxing Day, you’ll wish you’d read our guide to a low carbon Christmas.
Every year, during the festive season, we produce a massive 230,000 tonnes of food waste, use up 227 miles of wrapping paper and buy 5.3 million artificial trees – and that doesn’t consider the energy and raw materials used to produce and create these festive goodies. Without being accused of being a Scrooge, we should all be doing our bit for the environment, so here are our ideas for a lower carbon Christmas.
Real Christmas trees from Crimbotrees
It takes PVC, aluminium and energy to produce an artificial tree, and eventually, it’ll go to landfill. Compare that with a real Christmas tree which actually produces oxygen as it grows, provides habitat and shelter to wildlife, and – if grown locally, as our trees here at Crimbotrees are – travels significantly fewer carbon miles to get to our homes. It’s a no-brainer really.
At the end of the season, your real tree can live on and become lovely (and naturally pine scented!) surface material for a woodland path, or used as compost. Most local authorities have a recycling facility for Christmas trees. Check your local council website for details.
Wrap up Warm
We spend much more time at home during the holidays so our energy bills take a real beating. Extend the shelf life of your festive jumper by lowering the thermostat a couple of degrees and wearing your festive jumper to keep warm!
Food, glorious food
Taking time to plan meals can save on food wastage at Christmas. And there’s even an app for that. Olio connects neighbours with each other and with local shops so surplus food and other items can be shared, not thrown away. Sign up and see who’s using Olio in your area.
Walking has so many health and environmental benefits, but we still tend to jump in the car without thinking – even for short trips. Get out walking this Christmas – and encourage the family to do the same. Sitting around in central heating during the holidays can take its toll on our bodies and dry out our skin. It’s rosy cheeks all round after a brisk walk, and it cuts the petrol consumption and carbon emissions.
Be mindful when shopping for gifts. Yes, that inflatable turkey is funny on Christmas morning but just like its real-life equivalent, no one fancies it after Christmas and guess where it ends up? The back of the drawer, or worse – landfill. Think about making your own gifts – edible or even drinkable gifts are always welcome – or give the gift of time by spending time with friends and family instead of exchanging gifts.