There has been much discussion about things we can all do to help the planet, recently, so we thought to share 6 tips for an eco-friendly Christmas. The Christmas holidays are just around the corner and, here at ABC Day Nursery, we’re all in the festive spirit. As households up and down the country prepare for the joyous occasion and celebrate with friends and family, it’s important to remember the ever-increasing impact this has on our planet.
Consumerism at Christmas has tenfold the impact on the environment than at any other time of year. But, there are certain ways you can reduce your family’s footprint for an eco-friendlier Christmas. We’ve put together just six ways you can do your bit for the planet this December.
Responsible Tree Selection
Artificial trees that are used year after year are a fantastic option for those conscious of the planet. Those who prefer to invest in a real tree can ensure it has been grown sustainably by looking out for the FSC-certification. In addition, look for one that has been approved by the Soil Association for a guilt-free Christmas. Buy a potted variation and replant in the garden in preparation for a bigger and better tree that doesn’t cost a penny next year. If that isn’t an option due to space restrictions, many councils offer a tree recycling service. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the process and ensure it makes it onto your January ‘to-do’ list.
Families could encourage children to make their own Christmas gifts for family members and friends. This will encourage their creativity, save money and reduce the crippling consumerist demand. Plus, the recipient is likely to appreciate the unique, thoughtful nature of the gift much more than anything you could find on the high street. Homemade baked treats will always be well-received as most diets are put on hold over the festive period. There are an array of ‘green’ gifts that anyone who is environmentally-conscious is sure to appreciate. Check out the popular bee saver kits or look into the various animals-in-need adoption packages. At our nursery in Exmouth, we always set up Christmas craft activities. Your child could make one of their creations at our nursery a present for someone!
For many, Christmas is more about the fine food and drink than anything else. However, being able to catch up with distant relatives and old family friends always a close second. Consider how you will source the inevitable feasts and treats coming your way. Perhaps you could opt for independent food retailers, organic and free-range variations and locally-sourced produce, wherever possible. You may find yourself over-catering but refrain from binning any leftovers that can be transformed into a delicious dish. Turkey pie and bubble and squeak are a fantastic option for extending the life of your festive foods. Who knew Brussel sprouts tasted so good in a curry?
Wrapping paper may look nice under the tree, but the detrimental effect the demand for so much paper has on our eco-system doesn’t bear thinking about. If you have any old newspapers and magazines lying about, then they serve the same purpose and add a retro twist to the pile under your tree. Alternatively, perhaps you could use a scarfs to wrap up gifts for your nearest and dearest. We are all guilty of having a few extra scarfs lying around and once you’ve mastered the various ways of folding the finished product looks fantastic!
Christmas cards are a burden we all put off for as long as possible, so why not just put it off for the foreseeable? Instead, send an E-card, where creative images, graphics and even personalised videos featuring your family offer a thoughtful touch. This will this lighten the financial strain of Christmas by saving you a fortune in stamps and even more in time. It will also contribute to reducing the 1.5 billion Christmas cards that, according to researchers at Imperial College, are thrown away every year.
We all look forward to watching the Christmas TV specials over the festive period. However, that’s no excuse for curling up in front of the telly for hours upon end over the holidays. The average person will spend 30 hours in front of the box over the Christmas holidays. Instead, why not make the most of the precious time you have together with wintry walks, board games and other all-inclusive activities. With most work now involving a screen of some form or another, your eyes will appreciate a break.
We hope it has inspired you to make some greener decisions this December and think about how your individual choices can affect the planet. Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to see the Christmas activities we will enjoy over the coming weeks.