8 ways to be more sustainable this Christmas

1. Make Christmas Decorations

Why not try making some Christmas decorations instead of buying new ones? Not only does this save the planet but it’s also fun, and saves you money. This is definitely something that you can do with your housemates, friends, and family.
Check out this blog for some cool ideas - we love the pinecone wreath.

2. Only buy what you really need

It is estimated that in the UK, 74 million mince pies are thrown away each year during the festive period. A way to be more sustainable would be to only buy what you really need, again this saves both the planet and your bank account.

For tips on how to cut down and ways to use your leftovers, check out this post by Unilever

3. Use LED or solar powered lights, and rechargeable batteries

Everyone loves the warm glow from a Christmas tree covered in lights, but to lower your environmental impact this Christmas, use LED lights. If you need to use batteries, use rechargeable ones. For outside lights, try going solar powered.

Did you know: LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting as 95% of the energy in LEDs is converted into light and only 5% is wasted as heat.

4. Buy local and/or buy less

Christmas is the time of giving and there are lots of ways to make sure that the presents you buy help the planet. Shop in local businesses to be more sustainable (Gloucester Road is great for this), and/or try to buy less. When you buy presents, think about trying to get a gift that doesn’t require batteries. Alternatively, you could buy someone an ‘experience’ instead, think cinema tickets, club memberships, or even a yoga class.

5. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

According to Cloud Sustainability - If laid end to end, approximately 364,700 km of wrapping paper is used each year during the Christmas period. That’s enough paper to stretch around the equator nine times. We all get a bit slack on the recycling around Christmas, so if you do anything this Christmas, try to ensure you recycle as much as possible. If in doubt about where to recycle items, click this link and search for the item you're unsure about.

6. Buy Fairtrade

If you’re buying presents, why not buy Fairtrade? When someone says ‘Fairtrade’ to me I instantly think ‘chocolate’, but there are many different Fairtrade products availble; including beauty products, flowers and clothing. If you’re feeling a bit unorthodox, why not buy Fairtrade bananas to put in a stocking instead of a traditional orange (but maybe buy them close to Christmas to avoid a mushy banana mess). For a list of fairtrade products, see Fairtrade's website.

7. Recycle Old Christmas Cards

Do you always receive boring Christmas cards that you don’t want to keep? Make a positive impact and recycle them! It can sometimes be difficult to do this due to the extra decorations that are put on cards, such as glitter or bows. Have no fear, we have a solution! Some retailers offer Christmas card recycling services in January – so keep your eyes peeled for those. Retailers in the past have included: M&S, Sainsbury's, and Tesco. Normally these retailers pledge to recycle the cards and either plant trees, or donate money to an environmental charity (a winning situation for everyone).

8. Appreciate Nature

If you've done all the recycling you can, and are full from all of your beautifully crafted (and not wasted) food, then why not pop out and go for a walk to a woodland with your friends, or family, or even alone? Walk off those mince pies whilst appreciating what you’re saving with all of the hard work that you did to be more sustainable this Christmas.