You know it’s the holiday season when high streets and houses alike become covered with twinkling lights, and the temperature difference between shops and outside is at least 20C. However, more and more of us are becoming aware of how those light displays, overheating and wastefulness is impacting the world around us.
So, even if you just can’t bear to part with your Christmas tree lights, why not take a few of these ideas and have yourself a greener Christmas.
1. Buy a real, potted Christmas tree that you can use year after year – though make sure it only spends a few days inside to maximise its life.
2. Try to get everyone to unwrap their presents carefully, so you can de-sticky tape and save the paper for next year.
3. Hunt for pinecones, brush any dirt off, and then use as table decorations, tree decorations and wreath making. If you like, use eco spraypaint in a silver or gold for a glitzier look.
4. Fill wooden bowls with organic whole nuts as an attractive, edible centrepiece.
5. Start saving your newspapers and use these to wrap presents – the paper can be recycled afterwards.
6. Swap tinsel for popcorn garlands – you can put these outside afterwards for the birds.
7. Upcycle old scraps of cloth or worn clothes by sewing them into heart or star-shaped tree decorations. Stuff with an eco friendly toy stuffing, or rice for a chunkier shape.
8. Use scraps of old wrapping paper or newspaper to create paper chains to adorn your tree.
9. Instead of using sticky tape to fix your wrapping, go vintage and use second hand ribbon or string to secure.
Wilkin & Sons LTD Tiptree Organic Christmas Pudding
10. Bake gingerbread men with organic ingredients, and use to decorate your tree in place of commercially-wrapped candy canes.
11. Buy or sew a reusable cloth advent calendar, and fill with sweets wrapped in recyclable baking parchment or in small, reusable tins to cut down on waste.
12. Burn eco candles instead of using your usual decorative indoor fairy lights – many companies even do gorgeous Christmas scents.
13. Make an organic dried fruit wreath in place of your usual, treated foliage one, or use the fruit as a centrepiece on cheap dining sets.
14. Buy cards made with recycled paper avoiding any designs with glitter on so they can be recycled in turn. Better still; make your own using recycled card and eco paint!
15. Use recycled paper to make snowflakes to stick on your windows. These can be kept and used again year after year.
How are you making this Christmas greener?