At Stroodles HQ we are already getting very excited about Christmas. This year we feel like Christmas has come around so quickly, and with Christmas being just around the corner, we are getting into the festive spirit, with Christmas preparations and shopping already in full swing. While Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year, it can also unfortunately be the season of waste. Did you know that in the UK alone, we produce 30% more waste than usual over the festive period!? The numbers are absolutely staggering - 1 billion Christmas cards are sent, 227,000 miles of wrapping paper are used, 6 million Christmas trees are thrown away and 17.2 million brussels sprouts wasted! In fact, in just over three days of festivities, the average Brit creates the same level of carbon emissions as they would on a flight from London to Los Angeles! How shocking is that!
However, with a little expert know-how from myself, Mr. Stroodles, this year you can host an eco-friendly Christmas without having to feel like you have to hold back on the festive magic! At Stroodles we believe that Christmas doesn't have to be a burden on the planet. From the tree you buy to the food you eat over the Christmas period, I’m going to tell you how you can make a huge difference this December. In this blog post I'm going to share some great ideas and top tips to help you celebrate the season properly, while also caring for our beautiful planet. So, read on if you’re keen to have a sustainable Christmas this year!
1. Rent a Christmas tree.
Real Christmas trees are much, much more sustainable than artificial alternatives. However, this year why not go one step even further by renting a tree with roots on from a British farm? Love a Christmas tree offers real Christmas trees delivered to your door from their family farm from only £20. This allows you to decorate and care for the tree during the festive period, then they'll pick it up from you in January, and replant it for next year!
2. Buy your food from the right place.
Why not show your support for some brilliant ethical small-scale or local producers this year? Swillington Organic Farm, Coombe Farm Organic, Cross Lanes Organic Farm and Springfield Poultry are all good options for sourcing your meat, and Farmdrop, Abel & Cole and Riverford are great places to source all other festive ingredients!
3. Buy certified 'green' or plastic-free gifts
Third party certification is definitely the best way to determine if a product is environmentally-friendly or not. Look out for respected eco logos, such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Energy Star and Sustainably Sourced Palm Oil.
Other than gifting the gift of Stroodles Pasta Straws this Christmas (of course!), we’d recommend having a look at online eco-friendly stores such as The Plastic Free Shop, The Ethical Superstore or Wearth London for inspiration - all have some fab Christmas gifts!
4. Choose the right wrapping paper!
On average, Brits use around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper over the festive period.
Opt for recycled wrapping paper, brown paper or tissue paper. Switching to eco-friendly paper will help minimise the high levels of waste produced at this time of year. Also it's important to know that sticky tape, ribbons and paper covered in glitter can't be recycled, so definitely stay away from those types if you can!
5. Buy the right crackers
Replace single-use crackers with reusable ones, or keep an eye out for recyclable and plastic free crackers! Coop just launched a recyclable range or better still, why not create your own crackers for a personalised touch to your Christmas this year?
6. Use handcrafted decorations
Decorations made from recycled wood, fabric and glass make great alternatives to plastic options that are non-recyclable. When choosing decorations, I recommend going for classic designs that will be loved for many years to come. If buying new decorations for your home, opt for handmade decorations using wool, wood, rattan, recycled glass, hemp and jute.
7. Switch to LED Christmas lights
LEDs are much more environmentally-friendly than traditional Christmas lights because they use up to 80% less energy. Switch to solar-powered lights outdoors, and put both sets on a timer. You'll not only make environmental savings but your energy bills will be reduced too - thank me later!
8. Send Christmas e-cards
Every year a staggering 1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away by UK households each year. Why not stop this figure from escalating by sending Christmas e-cards this year, OR a zero waste alternative is plantable Christmas cards. When the biodegradable paper is planted in a pot of soil, the seeds will grow and eventually the paper will decompose! Problem solved.
9. Re-wear your Christmas jumper
Environmental charity Hubbub warns that up to 95% of Christmas jumpers are made using plastic.. The most common plastic fibre used is acrylic, which was found in three quarters of the jumpers tested.
Why not either swap, buy second-hand or re-wear Christmas jumpers this year? Remember a Christmas jumper is for life, not just for Christmas!
10. Remember to take reusable bags Christmas shopping with you
While the 5p plastic bag tax has encouraged many of us to keep a reusable bag to hand, making sure you're prepared when it comes to Christmas shopping will reduce your plastic consumption.
11. Why not opt for soy candles this year?
Whether you enjoy candles as part of advent, or simply to make your house feel cosier in the cold December months, candles are certainly a big part of the festive season. However, it's definitely worth thinking about their impact on pollution levels. Rather than paraffin based candles, we'd recommend switching to those made from soy or beeswax - not a big change to make at all, and much better for the environment!
12. Replace your advent calendar with a reusable one!
For many people, advent calendars make up a huge part of the build up to Christmas - and I completely understand why! Being more eco-conscious doesn't mean having to sacrifice this tradition, it just means rather than buying an advent calendar, why not consider making your own? Simply invest in a reusable calendar and fill it with your choice of chocolate or sweet treats.
13. Have a go at making your own Christmas wreath.
Why not ditch the plastic wreath this year in exchange for the real thing! Homemade Christmas wreaths are not only cheaper, but are much, much better for the environment.
14. Whatever your drink of choice, opt for organic!
Opting for organic alcohol not only reduces the impact of fertilisers and pesticides on the environment, but also leaves drinkers with less of a hangover than non-organic options. Come on, who wouldn’t want that!!?
The festive season is the perfect time to relax, eat delicious food and enjoy quality time with family and friends, but unfortunately statistics tell us that this time of the year contributes to A LOT of unnecessary waste and pollution, which has a negative impact on our beautiful planet. However, the great news is that it doesn’t have to, if you follow some of my top Sustainable Christmas tips above! At a time where we might all tend to create a little more waste than usual, I hope that these 14 tips will help you be more sustainable this December, and give a gift to the planet this Christmas.
Merry Christmas from myself, Mr, Stroodles, and all of us at Stroodles HQ!
May all your Christmasses be merry and bright (and sustainable!)