As the festive season approaches we've been chatting with our friends at The Know Media about how to reduce our waste during this time.
Lots of us have the ambition to cut back on waste, but how do we actually do it? It can be especially hard to cut back during a season which revolves around gift-giving and cooking lots of good food! In fact, the UK/EU is estimated to be 30% more wasteful during the festive period.
But thankfully, keeping the celebrations cheerful and sustainable really isn’t as hard as it may seem. With the help of The Know Media , we've come up with five some simple, actionable tips that we wanted to share with you!
1. Opt for eco-friendly wrapping paper.
Many of us make the mistake of thinking that any wrapping paper can be recycled, but this isn’t the case. Any foil-lined or glitter-covered paper has to be chucked in the bin - and we throw away an estimated 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each Christmas!
Choosing something simple, like brown paper, is an easy sustainable swap. Just don’t forget to take off the sticky tapes and tags before you put it in the recycling! And if you want to splash out, plantable seed papers and reusable fabric wraps are also fantastic green alternatives.
2. Cut down on Christmas dinner waste.
There’s so much joy in sitting down with family and friends to tuck in to Christmas dinner (in fact, we both agreed and think it’s one of the best bits of the season).
But there’s also a lot of potential waste, so here are some quick tips that’ll benefit the planet and your pocket!
- Consider food miles and plastic packaging when doing your Christmas dinner shop. Buying from your local butcher is a great way to get locally-sourced meat and support local businesses. When it comes to veg, buy it loose in brown paper bags. Many supermarkets offer wonky veg at discount prices, which stops good food going to landfill and saves you money at the same time.
- Plan what you’re going to eat beforehand, and only buy as much fresh food as you need. And whilst it can be tempting to serve up all the traditional trimmings, if you know that the brussel sprouts are going to be left untouched, it’s best to opt for something else instead.
- Use your leftovers - whether that means eating them as they are on Boxing Day, or incorporating them into a new recipe!
3. Choose your beauty brands wisely.
Getting ready for Christmas parties and News Year’s Eve celebrations is undoubtedly one of the most fun things about the season.
But if we’re desperately trying to find the perfect new outfit for every event, it can quickly push us into over-consumption. This year, why not borrow an outfit from a friend, rent an outfit or re-wear your favourite dress?
It’s also crucial to choose wisely when it comes to our skincare products. Opting for a brand with proven ethical credentials is a great way to look after our skin and the planet at the same time. For example, all of our products are cruelty-free and vegan, whilst also being UK-made and coming in 100% recyclable and refillable packaging. Use code: THEKNOWUC20 for 20% off!
Making sustainable beauty and outfit choices ensures that you’ll look your best, whilst feeling good about breaking the cycle of waste that’s so prevalent in the beauty and fashion industries.
4. Consider your Christmas tree.
To get a real tree or not to get a real tree? That is the question - or at least it is every year in most homes! Ultimately, what’s best for the planet depends on your circumstances.
If you’ve had an artificial tree for a while, it makes sense to keep a hold of it. Research shows that fake trees used over roughly 10 years are better for the environment.
But if you always opt for a real tree, research suggests that this is the more sustainable choice. Provided that you dispose of it well - i.e. making sure it’s recycled or re-planted - a real tree has a lower carbon footprint than an artificial one. Bonus points if you can find a tree that’s locally sourced and grown.
Or why not switch things up this year and rent a tree? Your local garden centre may have a rental option, or tree delivery services such as Green Elf Trees offer rentable pot-grown trees that they collect and replant for you.
5. Have fun with it!
We love the festive period and a more planet-conscious approach should be fun at the same time. This is about reappraising the traditions we love and seeing if we can update them with a sustainable lens. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the thought of extra bits to do, why not use it to consider what we actually need to have a memorable time, and do those things in the kindest way possible.
Let us know if you will try any of these tips out!
For an eternity of updated good news and tips and guides like this, make sure to subscribe to our good friends The Know Media: