12 ways to spend a greener Christmas in 2021
Christmas may be the most magical time of year, but the season can come at a catastrophic ecological cost, with associated waste and overconsumption.
Angela Terry, environmental specialist and founder of the One Home consumer climate action center, believes Christmas is one of the most wasteful times on the calendar.
She said News week: “Americans throw away 25% more garbage during Thanksgiving through New Years than at any other time of year. Last year, they spent an average of $ 998 on gifts and other expenses during the festivities.
“That’s a huge amount. Indeed, the 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the United States could fill a 10-story football field. Since we are living in a climate emergency, it is not very cheerful at all. “
A consumer survey conducted in November by consumer analytics agency Hall & Partners suggests that nearly one in five buyers (18%) will actively curb excess and spend.
Branka Orosnjak, the company’s European managing partner, said: “They want to avoid expensive gift purchases, seeing them as unnecessary, too forgiving and going against their desire to live more sustainably. “
Here are some easy ways to make your White Christmas a little greener.
1. Recirculate your technology
James Seear, co-founder of tech reseller Spring, suggests that passing on a much-loved device on Christmas can make a big difference.
“Technological devices are popular gifts for children and adults at Christmas,” he said. “It’s important that we break the cycle of always buying new and not recirculating the old.
“Consider saving money and doing your part for the environment by purchasing a recirculated tablet or phone as a gift for a loved one this year. Better yet, put old devices back into circulation after Christmas so that they return to the circular economy and not go to landfill. “
2. Avoid Plastic Advent Calendars
As Christmas approaches, avoiding a traditional Advent calendar filled with plastic is a great place to start going greener.
Scott Hawthorne of Skips and Bins Waste Collectors said: “The results show that waste increases by 30% during the season and that the harmful materials used to create your morning candy are at the forefront of the waste.”
3. The packaging features recyclable products
Choose recyclable wrapping paper tape for the current packaging.
Lauren Churcher, of “planet-friendly packaging” supplier Priory Direct said, “Pure paper wrapping paper can be recycled, but plastic tape stuck on it can damage the recyclability of the wrapping paper. itself and contaminate all other recycled paper.
“It is very unlikely that you will see friends and family carefully removing the plastic tape from the wrapping paper on Christmas morning, so it is best to choose paper tape as well as plastic wrapping paper. pure paper to ensure that your gift wrap can be recycled easily and fully. “
4. Choose a secret and enduring Santa Claus
An enduring secret Santa is all about asking people to bring something from home as a gift rather than buying something.
James Lever, managing director of online cord supplier Rope Source, said: “This might be something you don’t use anymore, but you know your giveaway would love. There’s also a twisted version where everyone brings a gift from the house and people take turns choosing and trading the one they would like from the pile. “
5. Be aware of food waste this Christmas
Being properly prepared to feed the family this holiday season can pay financial dividends, according to environmental scientist Angela Terry.
“When it comes to food, don’t shop on impulse,” she urged.
“Write lists based on your recipes and try to buy exactly what you need. Also, be sure to read a few recipes for Christmas leftovers ahead of time, so you won’t be tempted to just throw them in the trash. “
6. Use a charity search engine when looking for freebies
Although Google is the most popular search engine, there are alternatives, such as SearchScene, which donates 95% of its profits to charity.
SearchScene earns money from ads and donates 95 percent of its profits to large environmental and humanitarian charities, according to the site.
“Search the web using SearchScene and help plant trees,” said co-founder Neil Williams, “compensate your CO2 emissions, provide clean drinking water and warm blankets for less fortunate children, and help save wildlife habitats and endangered species. “
7. Be more economical
More careful management of your resources can result in a greener, more enjoyable Christmas.
Experts at Norwegian sustainable resale platform Tise plead: “Ephemeral gifts give a touch of sentimentality to the Christmas season and offer the perfect sustainable solution for environmentally conscious people who want to exchange physical items.” , said a spokesperson.
Ask loved ones for inspiration lists and, when saving, be sure to carefully inspect items, consider recycling unique pieces, and tap into your creativity, for the perfect, personal occasion gift. “
8. Rent your Christmas outfit
Sequined formal wear is a particularly popular item during the holiday season, despite the fact that sequins are harmful to the planet, especially when worn infrequently.
Isabella West, founder of the Hirestreet fashion rental platform, said: “In the coming weeks alone, women will be shopping for over 30 million sequined garments that they will wear for a night out – two million of these. items are destined for imminent landfill – where they will remain forever, unable to biodegrade. “
9. Rely on charity shops this Christmas
Charity stores offer a more ethical and frugal solution to party shopping.
Allison Swaine-Hughes, Director of Retail Sales at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Our street stores and online stores are full of countless unique treasures for you to discover, to make your Christmas shopping more meaningful this year. “
10. Buy locally
Using local butchers and grocery stores rather than supermarkets can make a big difference this Christmas.
They generally use less packaging, but can be more expensive.
11. Make gifts by hand
Making holiday gifts yourself can make a great impression, lower the cost of Christmas, and lower the holiday’s environmental footprint.
A spokesperson for the buying and selling platform Preloved insists: “Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a handmade gift, why not learn a new skill and knit a sweater, paint a picture or make earrings for a loved one this Christmas. With plenty of tutorials on YouTube and a huge range of crafts on Preloved, there will be something for everyone. “
12. Plant a Christmas tree
Planting a tree instead of buying a traditional spruce can help save the environment.
Ian Hambleton, co-founder of the climate action platform Ecologi, said: “This holiday season, instead of buying a real Christmas tree, why not plant one instead. Give the gift of sustainable climate action. Ecologi Gifting allows you to buy your loved ones Christmas Trees (forests of 100, 250 or 500 trees) or make someone positive climate for Christmas with a subscription. “