With how it brings families together, makes everyone more joyful, and spreads fun, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But despite this, it is also the most wasteful period. There’s no other period in the annual calendar that results in as much waste and trash as Christmas does.
When you investigate it further, it’s clear to see why. Millions of gifts and commodities are being bought as presents, all coming with their single-use packaging. These gifts are also being wrapped with miles of hard-to-recycle wrapping paper, not to mention all the Christmas crackers that are going to be popped filled with little trinkets and tat that will end up in the bin a few days later.
Christmas is excessive – that’s the very nature of it these days, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t be sustainable during the festive period. Here are a few ways to have an eco-friendly Christmas.
Invest in a Reusable Advent Calendar
Every year, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of disposable advent calendars are bought each year, filled with cheap chocolate or rubbish little gifts. Once they’re all opened, these calendars are then thrown away and contribute massively to landfill.
A great way to engage with advent in a more sustainable way is to invest in wooden advent calendars that can be used year after year. With this you can then buy your own personalized treats and small items to hide behind each door. This can make advent far more special and unique and far less environmentally damaging, as once it’s over you can simply store this in an attic or cupboard until next year.
Use Cardboard or Paper Wrapping Paper
What a lot of people may find shocking is that the main types of wrapping paper that people used to conceal gifts isn’t actually recyclable. This means that a huge volume of gift wrap ends up in landfill, which is awful.
To combat this, the easy solution is to buy paper or cardboard material gift wrap, as this can be easily recycled and reused. This is because cardboard products such as these are a lot easier for a cardboard recycling baler to process.
A nice bonus with paper wrapping is that it actually looks pretty nice and could be used to create a more mysterious and traditional looking Christmas, which should make it one that lasts in the memory.
Ditch the Christmas Crackers
This could be a more radical suggestion, simply because Christmas crackers have become an essential part of Christmas for the household, but they really are one of the most environmentally damaging aspects of Christmas.
The reason for this is because the contents of these crackers are usually mass-produced, single use plastic products that are almost certainly going to be thrown away within a day, contributing to landfill.
A good alternative is to create your own Christmas crackers with toilet roll. This could be a good idea as they make the crackers more personal and also allows you to fill them with whatever you want.