With chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost nipping at your nose, your last concern is probably going to be whether the wrapping paper, containing your third pair of socks, can be recycled or not. But implementing a few minor changes to your Christmas, can benefit the environment immensely.
During the festive season, an additional 3 million tonnes of waste is generated by households in England, with a whopping 227,000 miles of wrapping paper binned, rather than recycled annually. The equivalent of 33 million trees makes it into the bin in the form of Christmas cards as well.
So, what can you do?
Here are our top 7 tips for a more sustainable festive season…
1. Most wrapping paper can be recycled unless it is shiny, metallic, or glittery. To check this, scrunch up the paper; if it stays in a ball shape, it should be recyclable.
2. The same goes for cards. Recycle or reuse cards by cutting them up as gift tags for next year.
3. Put money back into your area by shopping locally. Rather than giving even more money to larger corporations, buy a gift or voucher from your local shops.
4. Avoid next day delivery. Companies will send out delivery trucks that are not at maximum capacity to get your order out quickly. Plan ahead!
5. If you have ordered something, reuse the delivery boxes. Wrap one big box, rather than lots of little ones by putting stocking fillers inside! Fewer paper cuts and sticky tape mishaps for you!
6. Make something. We are not saying you have to be Picasso but cut up an old sweatshirt for the dog or print and frame your favourite photo of your parents. It is the thought that matters.
7. Regift your unloved items to a better home. Remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
The practice of becoming more sustainable need not stop with this Christmas or New Year’s. Simply trying to be more conscientious with purchases and the waste you create, will have a massively positive impact on the ever-worsening environment.