With a little over a week to go, most of our Christmas preparations are now in place. Presents have been bought, perhaps if you are much more organised than me, they are also wrapped and sitting under a decorated tree. When it comes to a sustainable Christmas, a lot of emphasis is put on the gifts that we buy (including from whom we choose to buy them from) and our plastic covered plastic trees, but there are countless other ways that our festivities can impact the environment. In fact our three days of festivities astonishingly equates to 5.5% of the UK’s annual total carbon footprint. So not to worry if you didn't get around to making all of your Christmas cards by hand this year, as there is still plenty that you can do to help limit Santa's environmental bootprints this year!
Single use and straight to the bin prizes, it's like a bad joke - and they've got those too (yes, so do I!). You could try reusable fabric crackers instead, or a make-your-own-cracker kit or you can give back to nature while you shop, with the RSBP's beautiful Woodland recycled crackers which each contain a wooden prize and you'll still get your paper crown and a joke
Travel (just in case)
It is a strange year, to say the least. We're all probably travelling a lot less than would usually anyway, but if you do start to notice your car miles racking up, or you somehow manage to get onto an aeroplane, you can offset excessive travel with My Climate
Remember your reusables
If you're heading out to winter festivals and wonderlands, or the Boxing Day walk around the park, take along your travel cup for coffees (or mulled wine) on the go. I actually use jars to take our drinks on the go, its very hipster-millenial of me, but it does the trick nicely, or there's always a regular thermos
In the UK alone, 150 million miles worth of carbon emissions are created just to get our Christmas dinner on the table – that’s the equivalent of driving 6,000 times around the earth. Visit a farmers market, butcher and/or greengrocer this year to ensure your food is locally sourced
Zero-waste food shopping
If you are lucky enough to have had a zero-waste shop open up near you, head there to bulk buy festive snacks – stock up on nuts and dried fruit (time to talk about those jars again!). If you don't have an independent option, Waitrose and Holland and Barrett often have a refill section for dried goods and more supermarkets are set to jump on board very soon
Love your leftovers
Each year in the UK, we bin over 230,000 tonnes of Christmas food, the equivalent to 74 million mince pies. This year, buy only what you need by meal planning and sticking to a shopping list, compost any uneaten treats, and elevate your leftovers-recipe game
Start Veganary early
Going vegan is likely the single biggest way you can reduce your environmental impact. You could go 'whole-hog' and do a tasty vegan Christmas dinner, or you could implement alternatives to some of the meat and dairy in your recipes - I swear my vegan cheese sauce kicks the butt of its dairy predecessor. Check out this post from Vegan Food & Living, you might get inspired to switch up your sides or your desserts (see if anyone notices!)
Do you have any other tips for a more sustainable Christmas?