How to reduce waste this Christmas
Christmas gifts are the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season. Some people enjoy shopping for gifts, while others cherish watching their loved ones open them. Unfortunately, Christmas gifts can also lead to a lot of waste – between plastic packaging and wrapping paper.
The GWP Group found that an extra 30% of waste is made at Christmas, compared to the rest of the year. We are currently living in a climate emergency. It has never been more important to reduce your carbon footprint through small or big lifestyle changes. Here are a few changes you can make this Christmas reduce the waste you produce.
Reuse gift bags
Instead of ripping open your gift bags this year, try to save them. Carefully unwrap your present and keep the gift bag for next year’s gift wrapping. You can reuse gift bags and avoid buying new ones each year.
Get creative with wrapping paper
You can also save wrapping paper and cards. Just cut out the parts that have been ripped or damaged with writing and cello tape. You could reuse old Christmas cards as decorations next year. Or you could make coasters, bookmarks and scrapbooks from your old cards. You could even create Christmas crackers from old wrapping paper and hide little chocolates inside them. No one uses the little toys inside crackers anyway.
Use natural decorations
Use nature for inspiration this year and make the most out of natural decorations. You could collect holly and pinecones to decorate your home. Make a garland from holly and mistletoe to hang around your kitchen and catch a Christmas kiss. Or, spray paint a few pine cones and place them around a pillar candle in a glass jar. When Christmas is over, the natural decorations will decompose naturally – instead of sitting in a landfill for hundreds of years.
Start a secret Santa
You could start a secret Santa in your family to save money and reduce waste. Fill a bowl with everyone’s names and ask each family member to pick a name at random. Everyone will buy one present for their name – instead of lots of presents for each family member. Set a spending limit that everyone is comfortable with and try to find a happy middle ground. You could even attach a Christmas Wishlist to each name, so everyone gets something they want.
Switch things up this year, and make your Christmas more environmentally friendly