Whenever you ask someone, “What’s your favorite holiday?” a lot of people blurt out, “Christmas!” This is usually within reason. Everyone loves this glittery time of year based on spreading goodwill to all, baking cookies, and finding presents under the tree.
Nevertheless, buried under all this cheer is waste the size of Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree.
According to the National Environmental Education Foundation, the amount of waste in the United States increases by an estimated 25% between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And that’s just in the United States alone!
Many of us wonder how feasible it can be to achieve a zero-waste Christmas.
It’s true that it may be tricky but we’re not saying that you should turn your festivities upside down to save the environment. Instead, we can all make better choices toward a zero-waste Christmas by making modest changes to how we celebrate. This year, you could strive for a zero-waste Christmas, or close to it, by making smart decisions about holiday dinners, gift wrapping, presents, and even decorating the tree.
Make your own gift wrap
Did you know that a lot of present wrapping paper is plastic-coated? As a result, it cannot be recycled and ends up with a pile of waste in just a couple of days.
So, what are we supposed to do instead?
DIY your Christmas present wrapping, Although it might seem quite redundant, it could be a good activity for you and your kids to enjoy that is more environmentally friendly in the process.
Our ultimate eco-friendly,single-use plastic-free Christmas wrapping ideas include using fabric, rip sheets from used magazines or old comics, and making your own wrapping from simple aesthetic brown paper.
Stop buying Christmas cards
Ending the use of Christmas cards is another zero-waste Christmas hack. Many greeting cards, like gift wrap, contain some form of plastic coating on the paper, making them difficult to recycle.
Also, we might wind up spending a lot of money on Christmas cards that are only displayed for a few weeks before being thrown away.
So, why not make your own cards – or, even better, assign your children the task of creating the family’s Christmas cards for the year?
And cards do not have to be a fancy MET Gala invitation. It can be as simple as recycled paper or cardboard, decorated with glitter and sparkles to bring that special holiday cheer to any mailbox..
You are formally invited to the 2020 High Fashion Twitter Met Gala… pic.twitter.com/OIHlnqgnaU
— HF Twit Met Gala (@HFMetGala) April 5, 2020
Believe it or not, this simple activity is an excellent approach for individuals who will be spending Christmas together to reduce their overall Christmas present haul.
Set a budget, put everyone’s names in a hat, and divide the gift-giving duties within minutes!
You could even take it a step further and create a theme, like a single-use plastic-free gift to make a fantastic eco-festive option!
Plan a zero-waste Christmas dinner
Being a more responsible cook is especially important at Christmas, a notoriously extravagant time of year. We can all help the environment and run our homes more
efficiently by cutting back, cooking smarter, planning ahead, and rethinking some old traditions. Here are some quick tips:
- Plan what you’re going to cook and the ingredients (avoid buying more than you need).
- Shop from your local markets via walking, cycling or public transportation.
- Bring reusable bags.
- Compost food scraps in your garden.
- As per WRAP, setting the fridge temperature between 0-5C will help you preserve food longer and reduce food waste.
Real or fake tree? Zero-waste Christmas tree!
Real Christmas trees transport millions of people back to their childhoods, so many still head to their nearest tree farm and hack down an evergreen every year.
Even though plastic trees are (ideally) reused many times, purchasing a fresh, live tree each year is the greener alternative. Real trees, according to the Forestry Commission, use ten times fewer resources and five times less energy to create than synthetic trees.
Purchasing a real tree still requires careful thinking. To decrease carbon emissions from transportation, try to buy a tree from a local farm. Be on the for potted and “pot-grown trees!
Pot-grown trees are raised from seed to maturity in the same pot and then sold. This implies they’ll be more durable and will last for years. Keep it in its pot outside and re-pot it when it appears to have outgrown its container. Each December, bring it inside, decorate it, and repeat!
Avoid genuine trees with no roots as it won’t last until the twelfth night, and you’ll have to buy a new one every year.
But keep in mind that each one comes with a bunch of single-use plastic netting to help you carry it home. Overall, it’s a win for the environment and for your festive activities this year!
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Christmas Decorations. Featured Photo Credit: Rodion Kutsaiev.