10 Tips to a Greener Christmas
Christmas is a delightful time of year to spend time with friends and family, however it is also a time for abundance of food and packaging, and consequently waste. This Christmas try to do your part, by not celebrating this season at the expense of the environment. Here are some tips to help you …
1. Switch off all Christmas lights: Christmas tree lights left on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas produce enough CO2 to inflate 12 balloons, so turn them off when they are not needed before leaving the house or heading to bed. There are also a number of automatic timers which you can programme to switch off your lights at a certain time.
2. Make your shopping sprees plastic-free: For your Christmas shopping, use cotton eco-shoppers or take old plastic bags and reuse them. It’s always a good idea to keep a number of cotton bags in the car or your handbag, briefcase or rucksack as you know they will always come in handy.
3. Defrost your freezer before Christmas. It will work more efficiently and create more space to store leftover food, so that it doesn't go to waste.
4. Send out e-Cards this Christmas: Why not email all your cards this Christmas? It’s quicker, easier and cheaper, and you will surely be reducing your landfill waste.
5. Presents with a difference: Support local enterprises and minimise your carbon footprint by buying presents from local producers. Importing presents from abroad requires a great deal of fuel which pollutes the air.
6. Christmas trees It is a myth that artificial trees are greener. Real trees are the more eco-friendly choice, as long as you consider where and how they have been grown. You should choose a tree with roots so that it can be replanted in your garden or given to the local council.
7. Plan ahead and reduce waste at your Christmas lunches – confirm the number of guests you will be having over for your Christmas get-together to minimise food going to waste. Try your best to use fresh organic products from local stores or farmers’ markets which will surely make your dishes more appetising and you’ll be doing your part to promote local produce.
8. Reduce your use of plastic dishes and cutlery. Instead, go for the real deal and show off all the fancy cutlery, wine glasses and fabric napkins you’ve been hiding away, unused in your cupboards.
9. Recycle – Don’t let all the Christmas madness spoil the positive recycling behaviour you’ve instilled in yourself or your children over the past year. After your Christmas lunch or dinner compost your food waste and recycle any other waste appropriately.
10. Candles Paraffin candles are made from petroleum residue and are no good for your health or for the environment. Candles made from soy, beeswax or natural vegetable-based wax are more eco-friendly because they biodegrade and are smoke-free.