How to have a sustainable Christmas

Whether it be over-indulging on the turkey, having a few too many Proseccos, or even going overboard with the gift-giving, there’s no doubt that Christmas can be a time of excess. But perhaps the most overlooked aspect of the holiday in all its extravagance is the amount of pollution it produces. Increasingly over the years, Christmas has become a consumer-driven frenzy of present buying, sale purchasing and darn right waste! Amongst the wrapping paper and all-round glitter-covered decorative galore, it is important to remain environmentally aware this festive season. This article will explore the various, and not to mention extremely innovative, ways in which we can change our Christmas habits for the better while still maintaining that all-important Christmas Spirit.

 

  • Be a conscientious consumer:

When it comes to buying presents, ease off the easy to over-do Amazon purchasing. Don’t start clicking incessantly online, accumulating gift ideas in your basket that are lifeless, un-thought out and generally examples of the latest consumerist crap. Instead, purchase thoughtfully and buy presents that you know will be of use. And no that doesn’t mean you have to suck the fun out of Christmas by only making gifts of socks and fresh undies. Give something worth giving and not something you know will just be thrown away come the New Year.

 

  • Re-gift the already gifted:

We are all guilty of never using that 100th bottle of hand lotion received last Christmas. Instead of leaving it deeply buried in the back of your wardrobe along with the other unused gifts, why not re-gift it? Give it to someone who you know will appreciate it. This way you are not wasting the unwanted but instead finding a new home. Just make sure you don’t return recycled gifts to the original purchaser, and in the instance of beauty gifts, food and fragrances, definitely make sure they are in date! No one wants a box of festive chocolates dating back to 2014.

 

  • Reduce the Waste:

Whether it be plastic wrapping paper, Christmas crackers or, (and I’m very sad about this one because I love it so much) glitter, Christmas can be one of the most environmentally un-friendly events of the year. Whilst exclusively eco-friendly products like biodegradable glitter can be slightly on the pricier side, why not avoid the stuff completely and economize? Simple brown wrapping paper is a good alternative and it can add a really stylish finish to your presents this gift-giving season.

 

  • Be a creative Gift Giver:

Instead of adding the bottomless pit of consumerism, you could go back to basics and try creating something for loved ones this Christmas. That means it is officially time to get your knitting needles out and make Granny a much-need wintery scarf. It may not be a Highstreet’s finest, but a gift made with love and care will go down a treat!

 

  • Decorate the Old Fashioned Way:

Back before we had fibrotic lights and other electrical means of harming our planet, people had to rely on their creativity when envisioning a magical. Think hand-made paper chains and hand-made snowflakes instead of tacky plastic tinsel. Or you could even go American-style with some cranberry and popcorn garlands. Not only will this make your student halls and flat look super cute and quaint, but you could even make an afternoon out of it and have a cozy Christmas craft session with the flat mates. The festive season doesn’t just have to be about the material side of things. Instead, create new ‘old’ traditions like this.

 

Having a sustainable Christmas doesn’t stop here. It’s not just about an eco-friendly run down to the 25th that matters, the fall-out to the festive season can be just as valuable to all you conscientious individuals. Start thinking ahead to presents of Christmas-yet-to come, by recycling the gift wrappings of Christmas-present. Come Christmas morning, be sure not to tear open the wrapping paper like an over-excited five-year-old, but take your time and unwrap carefully. This way you can save your prettiest of paper for next year. Recycle old Christmas cards too by using the blank side as shopping lists or even simple scraps. A sustainably sourced holiday season knows no bounds with these tips. Happy eco-friendly Christmas to all, and best of luck on your Green festivities this December.

 

Image: hudsoncrafted via Pixabay

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The Student Newspaper 2016