Tips for a Greener Christmas

Posted on 5th December 2018 by Ryan Sloan

Christmas is just around the corner which means we’re starting to get out our Christmas decorations and buy food for our Christmas dinner. Christmas can be one of the most expensive (and wasteful) times of year. If you are worried about spending too much (and would like to reduce your impact on the environment), then here are a few tips which might help!

 

Be more energy efficient

In order to save energy and money on your electricity bill this Christmas, why not use solar powered lights for outside as they will charge during the day and not cost you a penny.

If you’re using regular lights, get a timer switch so they’re only on when you want them. Timer switches will ensure that the lights outside turn off at a time of your choosing, avoiding unnecessary costs.

Another useful thing to remember is that LED lights use up to 90% less energy than standard lights so it’s worth using these for decorations and in your home! Something else to remember is to wrap up with jumpers and blankets before turning your heating up!

 

Save food

Before going shopping, remember to plan thoroughly, including things like how many people you will be cooking for (whether you’re hosting a party or just cooking for the family), and write a list of exactly what you need to buy so that you don’t end up buying too much food and throwing it away once it goes out of date.

Remember to also buy your meat from your local butchers. This reduces food miles and helps the local economy. The quality of the meat will also be much better.

You should also plan your cooking, so you never have only one thing in the oven at a time. This will save energy and save your electricity bill going through the roof, but be sure to leave enough room for the heat to circulate.

 

Reuse and recycle

If you are planning on replacing anything for Christmas, such as a TV or laptop, then be sure to give the old one to charity where it can be of use rather than throwing it away or keeping it in a cupboard collecting dust for who knows how long.

Sometimes, once the presents have been opened and you’re cleaning the mess that has undoubtedly been left, it is easier to just throw everything in the bin and call it a day, but if you take the time to organise your rubbish, sometimes you can find something that can be reused for another purpose e.g. aluminium cans and tins, or jars can be used to store small plants, bottles can be used as fancy looking candle holders, and gift bags can be saved until next year. 

 

Save money and have fun!

There are ways to make the lead up to Christmas easier on the wallet and the environment, and more fun at the same time. A few examples are:

  • Instead of buying wrapping paper that will probably be thrown away, spend an evening making your own wrapping paper from old magazines personalised for the recipient of the gift. For example, for a film buff you could use pages of a movie magazine like Empire, or for a child you could use pages from old comic books etc.
  • Instead of buying Christmas crackers, you could recruit the kids, get instructions from the internet and create your own with whatever you want to put inside so you don’t waste money buying crackers that contain items of absolutely no use and which will be thrown away.
  • Another activity the kids might like is going about the garden or a local park and finding items to make decorations out of. After Christmas, these, along with things like egg boxes, scrunched up newspapers, tea bags and vegetable peelings can all be composted.
  • You can also find lots of things around the house to make decorations from e.g. old light bulbs can be painted to make great baubles. You just have to get creative!
  • A great gift idea is, instead of buying someone a single movie, video game or album that they might end up throwing away or just sticking in a cupboard, you could get them a subscription such as Netflix or Spotify which they can revisit time and time again. Or instead of buying gifts for the sake of it that will just clutter up people’s homes, why not buy them an experience like a sports game, concert, meal or spa day.

So, these are some things to consider in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Hopefully these tips can be of some help. I hope you have a great Christmas.

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