Sustainable Christmas - Decorations and all the trimmingsPublished: 19/12/2022
The festive season is a time for friends, families and celebration, but many of us are looking for ways to make this time more sustainable.
From the things that we eat and wear, to the places we shop and the gifts we give, there are so many ways we can have a festive season that won’t cost the planet.
So, this year our Climate Officer has shared their plans and ideas for simple sustainable alternatives this Christmas.
Most of us love decorating our homes for the festive season, as Christmas decor brings extra joy and comfort to our homes.
However, the majority of decorations are made of plastic and are of poor reusable quality.
Check out the list below for some sustainable Christmas decoration ideas.
Use what you have already
They say the best Christmas decorations are family heirlooms that emerge year after year - making them instantly sustainable. As a family we have a few that have been purchased over the years from special places we have been to - which normally ends up in an argument over who puts them up!
- Good old-fashioned snowflakes. Not only does it use up old magazines, newspapers or wrapping paper that you have lying around, but it also keeps the kids entertained - bonus!
- If you can resist eating them, Gingerbread people, baubles and even robins are another good idea - make up a batch of gingerbread, cut out the shapes you want and decorate them, any leftovers can be made into biscuits to eat now.
- Wait for the endless rain to pass and take a winter walk and collect some natural materials such as pinecones. These can be turned into elves, foxes or even penguins. Check out this list and be inspired.
- If you have an old pair of jeans or a t-shirt that you can longer wear, then why not make some ornaments out of the fabric. Tips on how to do this can be found here.
- Have a go at making your own dried citrus garland, a zero waste Christmas decoration that will make your house smell super festive. You could pop them in the oven when it is cooling down after a meal to save on energy.
The debate over which is better for the planet 'rages' each year.
If you have an artificial one, then I would stick with it, look after it and keep it going for as long as you can.
For a real tree, I would say one with roots is the best option, as you can plant it outside after the event and reuse again next year. There are even places now that rent trees for Christmas, and you can return it to them to look after for the next year.
Or you can get it recycled with Pilgrims Hospices as part of their special fundraising campaign, which raised over £42,700 last year for critical end of life care. You can book your slot and find out more on their website.
Up to 500 tonnes of fairy lights are thrown away each year, so how can you light up Christmas and make less waste?
LED light are much more environmentally friendly than traditional twinkly lights, because they use up to 80% less energy. If every UK household swapped a string of incandescent lights for its LED equivalent, we could save more than £11 million on our energy bills and 29,000 tonnes of CO2 - just over the 12 days of Christmas.
You could even switch to solar-powered lights outdoors, and put them on a set timer, making environmental and energy savings.