Does anyone else love Christmas but hate all the waste that goes with it? If so, this is the blog for you! We have some top tips to help you avoid a rubbish Christmas. Not only can you help tackle the climate crisis by reducing your waste, you can save some much-needed cash too.
We all want to deck the halls in the festive period, but how about making upcycled Christmas decorations this year instead of buying new? These can be made from materials found all around the home. Don’t be afraid to look for ideas – there are hundreds out there! They also make excellent gifts.
For example, these bottle top snowmen make a great addition to any tree. You could combine them with these plastic bottle snowflakes too. If you’re looking for ribbons to attach decorations, you can use the ribbons on clothing for hanging them up that normally we cut off and throw away.
If you don’t fancy making decorations, check out charity shops and exchange schemes like Gumtree and Freecycle – they’re a hidden treasure trove of Christmas decorations calling out to be reused. Don’t forget your local Facebook sharing groups too!
A really easy option is little Christmas trees made from old books – ones that everyone has read first of course.
Although an artificial tree can be used time and time again, it has to be used for 20 years before it becomes more environmentally friendly than a real one. Yet, cutting down millions of trees each year for them to be used for a matter of days is still extremely wasteful. So which is best?
How about avoiding this predicament altogether? Try something completely different and make a Christmas tree out of stuff you already have. Check out some of these alternative upcycled Christmas trees designs for inspiration.
A lot of people would say Christmas dinner is their favourite part of the festive season, and we would be loathe to disagree! The key to a good Christmas dinner is planning – that applies to beforehand as well as on the day. While you’re timing what goes in the oven when, make sure you’re planning ahead exactly how much food you need to buy to avoid buying too much.
When you do inevitably end up with food leftover, that just makes for even more possibilities. A big pot of warming soup to get you through the cold days, for example. We all love to eat at Christmas time, but follow some simple food waste tips to avoid throwing any away unnecessarily.
Sending electronic cards is a fantastic way to cut your waste at Christmas, and they are much more personal than shop-bought cards. You could use a family portrait, a silly pet pose, a wintery scene – the possibilities are endless! If you’re really keen, why not send a festive video message?
Inevitably you will still receive cards, so why not make some upcycled Christmas card bunting to add a bit of festive cheer and sparkle around the house? It’s a great way to reuse Christmas cards again and again.
Why not buy your family and friends something they can do rather than just another thing this year? It could be anything from an unforgettable outdoor experience, to an indulgent pamper day, to a meal voucher at their favourite restaurant. These gifts come without masses of packaging.
There are also lots of marketplace sites, such as Gumtree, Freecycle, eBay, and Facebook, where you could find someone the perfect pre-loved gift like jumpers, kitchen ware and gadgets. Not only is this likely a cheaper option, it reuses perfectly good items again rather than throwing them away.
You can jazz up your gifts this year by wrapping them in old newspapers, magazines, and comic books. It’s really effective, plus the paper can be recycled afterward unlike much conventional wrapping. Toilet and kitchen rolls make great little boxes that you can personalise for small gifts. Use ribbons and bits of paper from old gifts to decorate!
You could also fully embrace reuse and use one gift to wrap another. For example you could wrap a gift in a scarf, which is also a gift in itself! Furoshiki is the old Japanese tradition of wrapping presents in cloth which is used again and again.
These are just a few top tips for a waste-free Christmas, but there are so many more out there. Christmas is an amazing time to get creative and crafty, so keep searching for more tips – or even come up with your own! What are you going to try? Let us know on social media, and send us a photo of your handiwork in action!