You can make lots of simple changes to ensure that you don't sacrifie the environment during your seasonal festivities.
Buy a real tree!
To make sure your tree is UK grown, buy from a retailer registered with the British Christmas Tree Growers Association. If you want a tree that is certified organic, check to see that it has been approved by the Soil Association.
Whilst they’re growing, trees provide a habitat for wildlife too – some of which end up indoors. According to Safer Brand, an organic gardening and pest control company, there could be up to 25,000 insects and arachnids crawling around a Christmas tree. Aphids, spiders, mites, bark beetles and even praying mantises all could be your new house guests. But don’t worry the warmth, low humidity and lack of food in your house will usually kill the bugs in a short time anyway.
Even with the consideration of how your tree is grown, researchers still think you’ll need to use a fake tree for between 4 and 20 years to have a lesser environmental impact than an real tree – not much use for students. Plus at the end of use you can compost a real Christmas tree, as it’s incredibly hard to separate all the fir, and plastic from the metal frame of a fake Christmas tree.
Most councils offer real tree recycling too so check your local authority for more information, or have it recycled for charity
Make sure they’re LED, the save you money! Most lights out there are LED but it's always good to check. Not only will the energy use reduction (up to 95%) save you money, it means there’s less demand for energy. Other benefits include that the bulbs last so much longer with most lights lasting up to 100,000 hours – that’s a long Christmas. Not only that, if one of the bulbs does break the rest will still work so you won’t need to hunt for the broken bulb.
If you’re looking to replace old sets, be wary – you can’t put waste electronics in your normal bins. Take it to the local tip, they will be properly disposed of there.
Lighting 250 tradition bulbs could cost up to £8 for 30 days, but would only cost 80p with LED, so there’s plenty of money to be saved!
Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about them being tangled up – sorry...
You owe it to your Christmas dinner that it had a good life. Not everyone can afford to have an organic free range turkey for lunch but it is important to keep an eye out for food labels such as the soil association or red tractor. If not the bird, then keep an eye out for organic alternatives to your Xmas veg. or find a local farmer – you’ll be supporting local businesses - it’s always important to act and think locally! Some people will have a meat free Christmas – here’s to you! Enjoy.
There’s nothing tastier than an environmentally friendly meal.
Always a fantastic way to support your local business community by buying local. Sticky Money isn’t something grotty, it’s an economics term used to describe the ways you can help cash circulate in a local economy before it leaves. Small businesses are the biggest employers nationally so by buying from them you are supporting the local business community, their suppliers and links. You can find out more about sticky money here and buying local here.
Food waste - AKA eat all your food
FEED YOU - NOT YOUR BIN
Food waste is a big problem in the UK, a 7 MILLION tonne problem. For those of you that like your units in impractical, that’s equivalent to more than 25,000 Airbus A380’s, over 44,000 Blue Whales, 1.2 million African Elephants or just 1 MA-HOO-SIVE smelly pile of wasted food.
With so many of the world's resources going into producing our lovely Christmas grub, it’s important that we don’t let it be all for nothing. More than 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions are from agriculture and 70% of all the worlds freshwater use is dedicated to producing our food.
We’ve gone out and found all the links you need to help inspire you to make the most of your leftovers.
So, before you tuck into another turkey and stuffing sandwich, as nice as they are, take a look at some of these lovely recipes for your Christmas leftovers.
Some of our favourites…
Leftover Lasagne. http://tinyurl.com/h35r6lm
Use up the turkey, veg, and that odd looking cheese you’ve got lying around.
Cranberry Sauce Brownies https://tinyurl.com/yc9u4fwy
(…or cheat and just whack the leftover cranberry in with a pre-mix pack!)
Christmas Pudding Sundae. http://tinyurl.com/hnbkc2g
Ok, so it might not need to be as arty as the one in the recipe, but cream, ice cream, yoghurt, custard, fruit and Xmas pud will be fantastic .
Go nuts! How could it go wrong? Scrummy!
And if you still can’t think of anything to do with your leftovers there’s loads of ideas on one of these beautiful links: BBC Good Food, Love Food Hate Waste & All Recipes.
There’s no excuse anymore, recycle as much of the waste from xmas as possible. It’s the easiest thing we can all do! All the spirit, beer and wine bottles, boxes, card and paper and any metal and foil are all easily recycled and most places take plastic too.
No excuses! You can even take your Christmas tree to the tip – don’t just dump it.
Wishing You A Very Environmetally Friendly Christmas & A Sustainable New Year