5 TIPS FOR A SUSTIANABLE CHRISTMAS
Christmas is a time of giving, indulgence and frivolity. It’s the time of year when we treat ourselves and the ones we love, forgoing the usual restrictions of everyday life in order to enjoy ourselves. However, this season of excess can have a not-so-cheery effect on the planet. Instead of dreaming of a white Christmas, this year we are dreaming of a green one. We have researched 10 different ways you can still have the festive season of your dreams whilst making sure that your festivities don’t have an adverse effect on the planet.
- A tree is for life, not just for Christmas
Most people choose a Christmas tree based on whether it will fit in their living room, or whether they can deal with the hoovering that comes with having a real tree. However have you ever thought about the carbon footprint of your tree? The Carbon Trust “found the typical carbon footprint of an artificial tree was roughly 40kg [88lb] of CO2” whereas “As long as you dispose of a real tree responsibly, the footprint is pretty small because it absorbs a lot of CO2 in its growth. We estimate it at 3.5kg [8lb]. So, 10 to 12 times less than an artificial tree.” “If you have an artificial tree and keep it for over 10 years, its footprint will actually be smaller.” However the most sustainable option is a real, pot grown tree. This allows you to reuse the real tree each year, and let it continue to grow in the garden when the festive season ends.
- Turn your turkey green
“It has been estimated that the traditional meal creates 20kg (44lb) of CO2 emissions – 60 per cent of which is created by the turkey.” In order to significantly reduce this number, eliminating the meat from your meal would lower the carbon footprint of your dinner. Vegan doesn’t have to be boring, Brands like Vivera, Oomph and Linda McCartney offer great meat-free ‘meat’ options, or chefs like Jamie Oliver have a whole dedicated section on their websites that bring you the tastiest vegan Christmas treat ideas.
- Wrap it up
Wrapping your gifts in beautiful wrapping paper, adorned with metres of shiny ribbon may make them look delightfully festive; however, this wrapping does not stay intact for long. After a few hours on Christmas day, your wrapping paper will find its way into the bin, and on the way to landfill before you know it. In a bid to try and be less wasteful, why not mix up your wrapping by using old newspaper, saving wrapping paper from previous years, or using reusable wrapping solutions such as cotton drawstring bags.
- Sustainable Gifting
In 2019, it seems quantity over quality is how we show our love. This year, instead of buying 10 gifts that people may only use once, really invest in one sustainably sourced gift that your friends and family can love and appreciate for years to come. Generally , independent stores with sustainable values are much better for the planet than large high-street stores who merely greenwash in order to make themselves appear more sustainable. Here are some of our favourite sustainable gift ideas:
- Beeswax Wraps – Eliminate the need for cling film and keep your food fresh with these pretty wraps.
- Veja Trainers – These trainers by sustainable brand Veja are Environmentally friendly sneakers, made with raw materials sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture, without chemicals or polluting processes.
- Bamboo cutlery set – This one from SUSTAINABLE has everything you need to eliminate single-use plastic when on the go
- Festive frock – this gorgeous dress from sustainable fashion company Reformation is guaranteed to bring a big smile to someone’s face this Christmas.
- Eco-friendly Activities
A festive activity gets everyone in the mood for the festive season. Why not make your Christmas even more eco-friendly by visiting an eco-friendly Christmas market? In London there’s quite a few to pick from including Winter Wild Conscious Christmas Fair in Hammersmith on 7 December, the Sustainable Christmas Market which will be holding zero-waste workshops in Clapton on 1 December and the Zero Waste Christmas Market on 7 December on Brick Lane.
For more eco-friendly Christmas tips, check out our Instagram @bagsofethics.
 The Carbon Trust