Eco-Christmas: How to lower your festive footprint
Christmas is a time of goodwill, but it’s also a time of excess, so it’s all the more important that we think about how to look after the world we live in. With these handy tips, you and the family can be eco-friendly without compromising on the festive fun.
Though there is something magical about presents piled under the tree, and wrapping up a perfectly presented gift complete with ribbons and glitter galore, the amount of paper we throw away every year is a slightly less attractive prospect. Make sure that you always recycle your wrapping paper if you need to get rid of it, or – better still – reuse the paper for next year’s stocking fillers. Instead of spending too much time on your mobile phone looking for deals and sign up offers, do something for the planet and take five minutes to cut around the torn edges. No one will notice, but you can be happy in the knowledge that you are saving our forests.
Speaking of trees, if you like a real pine and are worried about sustainable forestry, make sure you look out for the FSC-certification logo. If you want to guarantee it’s also pesticide-free and organic, you also need to check that it’s approved by the Soil Association. For those with a fake tree, just keep using it as long as possible, or if you are thinking of investing in an artificial one this year, check out Gumtree or Freecycle to see if you make a used tree last even longer. It’s also worth looking into growing your own tree if you have space, or renting a potted tree from a nursery so it can keep on growing past the festive season.
Meat farming creates hefty emissions, so to reduce your carbon footprint this Christmas you could try having a few veggie substitutes. Nut-roasts can pack just as much flavour as any bird when done right, or if you want to be more inventive there are now endless vegan recipes available online. If you can’t live without your turkey or your pigs in blankets, you can still buy organic, or simply trying swapping out the stuffing. Another easy fix is reducing waste: don’t let any of your precious Christmas dinner reach the bin. Turkey is great cold in sandwiches or slow-cooked in curry, and all your vegetables can be whipped up into a casserole or an omelette – even the dreaded sprouts.
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