12 ways to have a greener Christmas in 2021

Christmas may be the most magical time of year, but the season can come at a catastrophic ecological cost, with associated waste and overconsumption.

Angela Terry, environmental scientist and founder of consumer climate action center One Home, thinks Christmas is one of the most unnecessary times on the calendar.

She said Newsweek“Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Years period than at any other time of the year. Last year, they spent an average of $998 on gifts and other expenses during the festivities. .

“It’s a lot of things. Indeed, the 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the United States could fill a 10-story football field. While we are living in a climate emergency, it is not very happy at all.”

A consumer survey conducted in November by consumer insights agency Hall & Partners suggests nearly one in five shoppers (18%) will actively cut back on overindulging and spending.

Branka Orosnjak, the firm’s European managing partner, said: “They want to avoid buying expensive gifts, seeing them as unnecessary, overindulgent and going against their desire to live more sustainably.”

Here are some easy ways to make your white Christmas a little greener.

1. Recirculate your technology

Passing on a much-loved device over Christmas can make a big difference to the environment
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James Seear, co-founder of tech retailer Spring, suggests passing along a much-loved device over Christmas can make a big difference.

“Technology devices are popular gifts for children and adults at Christmas,” he said. “It’s important that we break the cycle of always buying new and not putting the old back into circulation.

“Consider saving money and doing your bit for the environment by buying a recycled tablet or phone as a gift for a loved one this year. Better yet, recycle old devices after Christmas so they go back into circular economy and not to landfill.”

2. Avoid Plastic Advent Calendars

Advent Calendars
Avoiding traditional plastic-filled advent calendars is a great way to start going greener.
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As Christmas approaches, avoiding a traditional plastic-filled advent calendar is a great way to start going greener.

Scott Hawthorne of Skips and Bins litter collectors said: “Results show that litter increases by 30% over the season and the harmful materials used to create your morning candies are at the top of the litter list.”

3. The packaging features recyclable products

Choose recyclable wrapping paper tape for the actual packaging.

Lauren Churcher, of ‘planet-friendly packaging’ supplier Priory Direct, said: ‘Pure paper wrapping paper can be recycled, but plastic tape stuck on it can harm the recyclability of wrapping paper. packaging itself and contaminate all other recycled paper.

“You’re very unlikely to see your friends and family painstakingly removing plastic tape from wrapping paper on Christmas morning, so it’s best to choose paper tape as well as wrapping paper. pure paper to ensure that your gift wrapping can be easily and fully recycled.”

4. Choose a Lasting Secret Santa

Secret Santa
A sustainable Secret Santa is asking people to bring something from home as a gift rather than buying something
Rimma_Bondarenko/Getty Images

A sustainable Secret Santa involves asking people to bring something from home as a gift rather than buying something.

James Lever, managing director of online lanyard supplier Rope Source, said: “This might be something you don’t use anymore, but you know your gift would love. There’s also a twisted version where everyone brings a house gift and people take turns picking and swapping the one they’d like from the pile.”

5. Be aware of food waste this Christmas

Fight food waste
Tessa Clarke of neighborhood sharing app OLIO, shares the five S’s that can help be more positive for the planet while saving money
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Being properly prepared to feed the family this holiday season can pay financial dividends, says environmental scientist Angela Terry.

“When it comes to food, don’t shop on impulse,” she urged.

“Write lists based on your recipes and try to buy only what you need. Also, be sure to read up on some Christmas leftover recipes ahead of time, so you’re not tempted to put them away. trash can.”

6. Use a charity search engine when looking for gifts

Although Google is the most popular search engine, there are alternatives, such as SearchScene, which donates 95% of its profits to charity.

SearchScene makes money from ads and donates 95% of its profits to major environmental and humanitarian charities, according to the site.

“Search the web using SearchScene and help plant trees,” said co-founder Neil Williams, “offset your CO2 emissions, provide clean water and warm blankets to less fortunate children, and help save wildlife habitats and endangered species.

7. Be more frugal

thrifty
Managing your resources more carefully can mean a greener and even more enjoyable Christmas
Iamstocker/Getty Images

Managing your resources more carefully can mean a greener and more enjoyable Christmas.

Experts from Norway’s sustainable resale platform Tise explain: “Second-hand gifts bring a touch of sentimentality to the Christmas season and offer the perfect sustainable solution for environmentally conscious people who want to exchange items. physically,” a spokesperson said.

“Ask loved ones for inspirational lists and when saving, be sure to inspect items carefully, consider recycling one-of-a-kind pieces and tap into your creativity for the perfect, personal occasion gift. .”

8. Rent your Christmas outfit

Christmas outfit
Sequin second-hand clothes are an especially popular item during the holiday season, despite the fact that sequins are bad for the planet, especially when worn infrequently.
gpointstudio/Getty Images

Sequin formal wear is an especially popular item during the holiday season, despite the fact that sequins are bad for the planet, especially when worn infrequently.

Isabella West, founder of fashion rental platform Hirestreet, said: “In the next few weeks alone, women will buy over 30 million pieces of sequined clothing to wear for a night out – two million of these items are to the impending landfill—where they will remain forever—unable to biodegrade.”

9. Trust charity shops this Christmas

Charity shops
Harity stores offer a more ethical and frugal solution to festive shopping
ArminStautBerlin/Getty Images

Charity shops offer a more ethical and frugal solution to festive shopping.

Allison Swaine-Hughes, Director of Retail at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Our high street and online stores are full of countless unique treasures waiting to be discovered, to make your Christmas shopping more enjoyable. sincere this year.”

10. Buy locally

The greengrocer hands a bag to the customer.
Stock image: Shopping at a greengrocer can make a big difference, if you can afford it.
iStock

Using local butchers and grocers instead of supermarkets can make a big difference this Christmas.

They generally use less packaging, but can be more expensive.

11. Make handmade gifts

Make gifts
Making festive gifts yourself can create a good impression, reduce the cost of Christmas and reduce the environmental footprint of the holiday
Vadym Petrochenko/Getty Images

Making festive gifts yourself can create a good impression, reduce the cost of Christmas, and reduce the environmental footprint of the holiday.

A spokesperson for buying and selling platform Preloved insists: “Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a handmade gift, why not learn a new skill and knit a sweater, paint a picture or make earrings for a loved one this Christmas. With plenty of tutorials on YouTube and a huge range of crafts on Preloved, there’s something for everyone.”

12. Plant a Christmas tree

Plant a Christmas tree
Planting a tree instead of buying a traditional spruce can help save the environment this Christmas
romrodinka/Getty Images

Planting a tree instead of buying a traditional spruce can help save the environment.

Ian Hambleton, co-founder of climate action platform Ecologi, said: “In this festive season, instead of buying a real Christmas tree, why not plant one instead. Deliver sustainable climate action. Trees (forests of 100, 250 or 500 trees) or make someone Climate Positive for Christmas with a subscription.”

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