12 Dec 2011
The festive season is always fun for a variety of reasons – there are plenty of parties and events to go to and it provides a great excuse to catch up with old family and friends.
But while the festive season is a heap of fun, one negative side-effect that can come from it is the production of a lot of excess waste and resources.
Think about all of the wrapping paper, Christmas cards and decorations that end up getting thrown away, as well as all of the extra energy used at this time of year to keep our Christmas lights going and to ship gifts around the world.
Obviously we don’t want to stop taking part in our valued traditions though, but we can help make Christmas a little “greener” and more sustainable by making a conscious effort to cut down on what we consume at this time of year.
Here are some ideas:
Don’t Be Fake – If you haven’t got a Christmas tree already, then how about buying a real one instead of a fake one? When you throw a real tree away though, don’t throw it in the bin – chip it or burn it instead.
Cut down on Christmas Cards– A lot of people still send Christmas cards to all of their family and friends each year, but why not make use of technology instead? These day you can send eCards, Facebook messages, emails and much more to each of your loved ones and while they may not have a physical item, you can still share the same sentiment.
Use Less Power – During the festive people a lot of people decide to decorate their homes with Christmas lights which while they look great, they can also chew up a lot of power. The solution to this is to either use more energy-efficient lights, such as LED lights, and to make sure that the lights are turned off when not in use.
Think About What You Buy – When making your Christmas gift list, think about where your gifts have travelled from and what has been used to make them. If you can, try and opt for gifts that have been made from eco-friendly materials and that haven’t travelled far. This time of year is the perfect time to support local businesses, so head to local markets and shops and see what great gifts you can find there.
Recycle – After the presents have been unwrapped there tends to be a lot of wrapping paper and packaging leftover. Make sure that you recycle everything that you can, so that less waste ends up in our landfills.
Plan Your Meals – Another thing that gets wasted over the festive season is food. To make sure you don’t buy more food than you need, plan out the meals you want and don’t buy more than necessary. If you do end up with more food than needed though, then try using these as leftovers to help reduce your waste.