How to be sustainable over the festive period
It’s nearly that time! I can’t quite believe how quickly this year has gone, and yet somehow it feels like 2020 has been the longest year in history. It seems as though so much has happened in these past 12 months and let’s face it, more bad than good. So I’m very much looking forward to some Christmas festivities to switch off, spend time with loved ones, and eat everything in sight.
Having said all that, one thing that I’m becoming more and more conscious of each year is the sheer amount of waste we accumulate over such a short period. Whether it be excessive portions of food that get pushed further and further to the back of the fridge until they are no longer edible; or the mountains of wrapping paper that end up getting stashed behind the sofa to make room for more presents (and more wrapping paper); it feels like we always amass a lot more than we need.
This year, I’m making it my goal to minimise waste wherever I can and I’ve found a number of resources that offer ways that we can all do just this. Sadly, most of us will be celebrating with a much smaller party this year due to Covid-19. Whilst this is of course depressing for many of us, let’s try to take advantage of this by reducing our waste where we can.
Here are some of my favourite tips I’ve come across:
Get creative with your wrapping paper
- If you’re like me, you love wrapping presents. Not only is it the first thing your loved one sees, it also looks lovely under the tree and the process can be fun too! This is especially true if you decide to get creative. This year, swap the standard roll from your local supermarket (which often ends up in landfill) and opt for reusable fabric wrapping paper or recyclable brown paper and yarn for a rustic look. You could even repurpose something you have lying around like an old scarf or gift bag and make it part of the gift.
Save your wrapping paper
- If you receive any gifts with standard non-recyclable wrapping paper open it carefully so that you can reuse it next year. Store it with your Christmas decorations so that when the time comes, you’ll remember to use it!
Make your own decorations
- Decorations can be so easy to make and most importantly, can be a great way to spend an afternoon with the family. Ditch the glitter and tinsel and instead try drying citrus in the oven to create beautiful garlands or use scraps of paper to make folded stars or snowflakes. Challenge yourself to find materials around the house and head to YouTube for inspiration.
- As much as we may try to avoid it, leftovers at Christmas are inevitable. Look for recipes you haven’t tried before and impress your loved ones with inventive dishes such as brussels sprout slaw or a Vegan Christmas Pie
- There’s a lot going on during the festive period, so it’s understandable that some of us get a little lazy with our recycling. One way to avoid this is to get organised. Set up a corner with clearly marked labels for separate bins- you could even decorate the labels if you’re feeling extra crafty. If you can, keep the bins separate enough so that it won’t be easy to mistake one for the other.
Here's to a very merry, sustainable Christmas!