We can all agree that Christmas is the most expensive time of the year. It’s a common misconception that a low or zero waste lifestyle is costly, unrealistic and inconvenient, but read on to discover how these simple tips will give you your most environmentally friendly Christmas yet (whilst also saving a few pennies along the way).
Let’s be honest, we all leave our wrapping until Christmas Eve, so what’s the point in buying fancy paper which will spend no longer than 12 hours serving its purpose before its ripped off and discarded?
Wrapping your presents in magazines and newspapers will give your presents a unique look and a modern update if you use brightly coloured pages. Wrapping hack: use a supermarket magazine’s Christmas issue, which is usually available for free, if you want to stick with the festive theme.
Alternatively, why not pop into a charity shop during your Christmas shopping in search of blankets or old patterned materials that you could use instead?
They’re sweet, traditional, and everyone’s Nan seems to love stringing them up above the fireplace like a hunting trophy. But honestly, once the festivities are over and the decorations come down, the majority of us don’t tend to hang on to them.
E-Cards would be the obvious choice, but if you truly can’t ditch the tradition, Etsy seller RubyandBoShop offers handmade, compostable Christmas cards that are embedded with wildflower seeds that grow when planted and watered.
Ah, the best part of the whole day. The main event. The moment you’ve been waiting all year for – Christmas dinner. Sadly, everything you need for this absolute banquet comes wrapped in plastic supermarket packaging that seems to weigh more than the actual turkey. This year, support a local business and try out the stalls at Kingston Market, which trades from 10 am – 5 pm, seven days a week. You’ll be surprised at the number of vegetables on offer, and if you bring your reusable produce bags (I’d recommend these), you’ll come away feeling very smug at what an eco-friendly bargain queen you are.
The standard Boxing Day Leftovers Sandwich is the underdog of the Christmas period, and a well-known cure for the excessive mulled wine and Baileys consumption that took place the day before. Once you’ve risen from the obligatory post-dinner nap and dragged yourself to the kitchen, store your leftovers in these natural beeswax food wraps that mould into shape with the heat from your palms and are completely biodegradable. Seriously, ditching the clingfilm will not only better the planet, but do your pocket some favour in the long run too.
Unfortunately, a lot of common Christmas decorations such as fairy lights use batteries. They’re only tiny but extremely harmful to the environment, releasing toxic chemicals into the environment around them and polluting the air. Candles do a better job at creating an unbeatable homely atmosphere, and also make great presents too. Just be sure to avoid candles made from paraffin, which releases carcinogens when burned. Opt for a candle made from 100% natural rapeseed wax with a cotton wick like this one from The Very Good Candle Company, or this vegan-friendly one made using soy wax from Helm London.
These tips can be used not only during the festive season but way beyond, so why not continue your zero waste journey right through the year? The plastic reduction is for life, not just for Christmas.