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My 15 top tips to an eco-friendly Christmas

Following this year's COP26, we are all aware of just how important it is to live more sustainably.  Holidays, such as Christmas, can just mean waste and over consumption so it is more important that ever to have sustainability at the back of our minds this Christmas. With this in mind, here are 15 simple ways to be more eco-friendly this Christmas, starting with Christmas Trees!

1) Rent a real tree! Businesses such as Rental Claus in the Cotswolds replants your Christmas tree and then rents it back to you every Christmas.  When it gets to 7ft tall, they retire it by replanting it back in the forest.

2) Locally grown trees are the best option over artificial trees if you can get one as they have a significantly lower carbon footprint. However, just ensure it doesn’t end up in landfill. Compost it, pay your local council to collect it or some charities will also collect and recycle them on your behalf for a small fee.  Some conservation groups also ask for them in January so that they can use them to help flood defences on the coast.

3) If you’re buying artificial, you would need to use for at least 10 years in order for its environmental impact to equal that of a real tree that is disposed off responsibly. My advice is to buy well or buy second hand.

4) Switch to LED lights. They use up to 80% less energy than the traditional twinkling lights.  That’s £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2 just over the 12 days of Christmas (figures courtesy of www.countryliving.com)

5) With the rise of the internet we no longer send Christmas Cards like we used to but if you are still sending them then send sustainably. Make sure the cards are from an FSC certified forest, are plastic-free or alternatively go for a seed paper card, like this one below from www.cleanandgreennaturalsoap.co.uk which you can then plant after Christmas and enjoy its produce months later!

6) Christmas Jumper day is coming up on Friday 10th December this year. Instead of buying a new jumper that you may only wear a handful of times consider buying preloved.  I have recently joined a Facebook page called The Big Chrimbo Jumper Swap, which encourages its members to swap Christmas jumpers or sell for a small charge.

7) Another great idea for Christmas Jumper Day is to make your own and it’s much easier than you would first think! Simply purchase a patch kit, like the ones from Little Beacon Textiles, and start creating your own with a jumper you already have!

8) Lots of shops have eventually cottoned on to the fact that many of us don’t like or enjoy all the single use plastic tat that comes in crackers.  Replace single use plastic crackers with plastic-free crackers or reusable fabric based crackers.

9) Get a reusable calendar that you can fill with small gifts and chocolates that you know you’re family will love and enjoy. Our range of Reusable Advent Calendars are plastic-free, made from natural resources, reusable year after year and once use is completely exhausted they are compostable.

10) Avoid wrapping paper that contains plastic in the form of glitter and foil as it will not be recyclable. Instead go for wrapping paper that is recyclable or compostable, like our range of recycled gift wrap from Re-Wrapped, use reusable fabric wraps or use old newspapers.

11) But if you are doing your shop at a supermarket then order it for delivery. Having one vehicle on the road delivering multiple orders rather than multiple vehicles on the road getting their own shopping will help reduce emissions.

12) List any food leftovers on Olio, a platform specifically designed to give away food & other household items to people in their local area, all for free.

13) Having friends and family round? Then ditch the disposable party ware and hire it instead! The Party Kit Network hire our plates, cups, bowls, cutlery, jugs, decorations, table linen and more!

14) Shop plastic-free. When it comes to buying gifts, décor and foods keep them plastic-free and sustainable.

15) Buy local. When you by local, more of your money stays in the local economy.

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