I don’ know about you but in hour house, the waste we produce around Christmas is just insane. There’s wrapping paper, boxes and all the plastic that comes with toys and groceries and after just 3 days of festivities my bins are overflowing and I’m left in a kerfuffle about how on earth to tackle it all.
Looking at recent research by online label maker Seareach, I am not alone. 39% of customers are overwhelmed by the amount of packaging when they shop and 24% of customers struggle to figure out what they can and can’t recycle. So what can you do about it?
Of course, you could go on and complain about the amount of waste like I do every single year but this year, I am determined to make some changes and I thought I’d share some of them with you in case you also want to reduce waste this Christmas.
Ways to reduce waste this Christmas
Get a real Christmas tree
If you’ve just moved into your first own apartment or home and don’t own a fake Christmas tree, don’t get one. Real Christmas trees are so much better for the environment and those that are planted in tubs will last you for years as you can just pop them outside in the garden for the rest of the year. Plus they smell so much much nicer!
Make your own decorations
Don’t spend a fortune on wreaths and Christmas decorations that are meant to look like you’ve brought the outside in. Go for the real deal. Head outside, collect some branches of fir and holly or pick up some pine cones and for your very own masterpiece. Getting your craft on is so much fun and a great activity for all the family.
Buy food loose
One of the main events of Christmas, heck, probably one of the main events of the year is Christmas dinner. It’s the one meal that we’re all looking forward too because it combines all of our favourite things in just one meal. But it’s also the one meal that fills our bins to the rim because most components of it are unnecessarily wrapped in layers upon layers of plastic when we buy them. Try to think ahead when shopping for your ingredients: Bring your own reusable bags and containers and buy loose vegetables and fruits at your local green grocer’s.
Homemade for the win
Another great way to avoid excessive packaging is simply making nibbles yourself. It’s so quick and easy to rustle up your own dips, mince pies, chutneys, cheese twists, crudités and cheese platters and you#ll really blow away your guests when you’re telling them that everything is homemade.
Don’t let leftovers go to waste
I don’t know a single family that doesn’t have leftovers after Christmas dinner but according to research over 4 million Christmas dinners go to waste every single year when they could be frozen for future meals or used in curries, soups or sandwiches. There are thousands of recipes on Pinterest, with this Leftover Turkey Curry or Christmas Macaroni being my favourites, so why not check them out instead of wasting perfectly fine food?
Kids toys always come with tons of packaging and are rarely played with for longer than a year or two, so shopping for secondhand items can be a great way to reduce waste this Christmas and save some extra cash in the run-up to the big day. Another advantage of secondhand toys is that kids can instantly start playing with them as they usually come assembled. So kick back and relax with some great secondhand purchases that keep on giving.
Wrap it up
Wrapping paper and gift bags are another massive issue when it comes to waste at Christmas. A lot of the shiny designs we’ve come to love are plastic-based and really hard to recycle and the same goes for anything with foil or glitter. Brown paper or newspaper combined with twine or colourful ribbons can be a beautiful alternative that’s a traditional touch to your celebrations.
Ditch the tinsel
A relict of the past or a must-have on the Christmas tree? Opinions on tinsel are as varied as the types of tinsel you can pick up in stores these days but one thing is for sure, tinsel is bad for the environment and really difficult to recycle. Raffia made from natural materials is a great option if you don’t want to miss out on tinsel but reusable bows or miniature paperchains can look just as pretty on your tree.
You see, there are dozens of ways to reduce waste this Christmas. You just have to make a conscious decision for your family and stick to it.
What are you doing to reduce waste this Christmas?