Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year but it’s not the most environmentally friendly. After all, the holiday has a heavy focus on consuming. Whether it’s gifted, cards, decorations, food or drink, they all have an impact on the planet.
Having an eco-friendly Christmas is not about reducing the amount of fun you can have, it’s just being more mindful of the things you buy and your actions during the holiday period. A time which results in huge amounts of waste.
Whilst the world governments and large corporations are largely complicit for the destruction of our planet, we can also significantly help by making eco-friendly changes in our own lives. So, start next year as you mean to go on with these 8 eco-friendly tips for Christmas.
1. Gifts That Last
2019 was the year of the Climate Strikes in which the world started to accept and stand up against the negative impacts our modern living is having on our planet. It was the year in which we let our world leaders and large corporations know that we care.
When we buy Christmas gifts with an eco-conscious mind we should always seek to buy gifts that are useful and that last. So much of the trillions of gifts that get bought this year will be manufactured in Asia, made with plastic, shipped halfway across the world and then thrown in the cupboard never to be seen again. This type of wasteful gift-giving takes a huge toll on the environment.
Instead, why not buy your friends and family something special that will be used and most importantly, stand the test of time? Some ideas include a potted indoor plant, wooden chopping board, vegan leather wallet or a bamboo throw.
2. Ditch Wrapping Paper
How much waste paper is sat around your house in the form of magazines or newspapers? All can be repurposed to create great wrapping paper. Each year, the UK uses 227,000 miles of new wrapping paper and over 83km2 goes straight into our bins.
Help stop this madness! Use whatever paper you can find. Whilst wrapping paper with cute little pictures of reindeer on it looks great, it is completely unnecessary and takes a huge toll on our forests and resources all across the world. Get creative with your wrapping paper by repurposing old materials you have in the house.
3. Shop Locally
No doubt you have already completed all your shopping for this Christmas but the same logic should apply for New Year’s Eve too. Try support your local and independent shops as much as possible and show them some love this Christmas.
Not only does shopping locally improve the local economy in your area but it also helps build your community and it has far less impact on the environment. So, get down to your local grocer, bakery and other food stores this holiday.
4. Eat Whole Foods
One of the simplest and most effective ways we can help reduce our negative impact on the environment is to eat more plant-based whole foods. We are all guilty of getting carried away with the huge number of new vegan fast foods that are now available all across the country but these foods usually contain highly processed soy and palm oil. Both of which are detrimental to our rainforests.
Try to keep 80% of your food this holiday to strictly plant-based whole foods. It’s better for the environment, your health and the animals.
5. Minimize Waste
An extra 30% of rubbish is created over the Christmas and New Year holiday in the UK alone. That’s an additional 3 million tons of rubbish going to landfill. Part of this will be a staggering 53 million platefuls of wasted food. We all like to feast and get merry but it’s worth considering if you really need to make and consume so much food this Christmas.
Another startling fact in the UK is that we throw away around 500 tons of Christmas lights each year. Hold on to any decorations you have bought, reuse and recycle wherever possible.
6. Travel Greener
Are you planning to travel over the holidays? Instead of loading up the car this year why not opt to take the train or bus? The extra traffic on the roads over the holiday period is becoming worse each and every year in the UK creating a huge spike in the C02 emissions from vehicles.
Many short or longer journeys can be travelled in an alternative mode of transport or even walking. Walk where possible, especially if you’re just going around the corner to your friend’s house. If you are going to other ends of the country, take the train. If you are going abroad, look at the options to offset your C02 emissions. There is always a more eco-friendly way to travel.
7. Eco-Friendly Outfits
Think about your outfit this year, do you need to buy something new? Do you need to buy a dress covered in sequins that are made from PVC and unable to biodegrade? Opt for materials that are eco-friendly, sustainable, that are durable and still stylish.
When it comes to eco-conscious fashion, not buying something is more effective than buying something eco-friendly. Really ask yourself whether you need a new outfit for New Year’s Eve. Try creating something new out of something old, phone up some friends or just re-wear soemthing you already own.
8. Drink Organic
As well as making sure your wine and beer are vegan this year, it helps to buy organic wines that come from a sustainable source too. In the UK, organic wines are now very popular, easy to find and inexpensive. You can also now get organic whiskey, port, brandy and gin too.
Buy organic drinks? Organic wines for example are free of residual traces of vineyard additives such as pesticides and herbicides. Organic wines also have less sugar on average and don’t contain potentially harmful cellar additives such as flavouring agents or caramel colouring. All of which affect the taste and quality as well as your health in the long run.
Enjoy your Festive Season.
Everyone at Dolma Fragrances would like to wish you, family and friends a fantastic holiday and New Year. All the best!