Christmas is one of the most celebrated events of the year, but did you know that the festive celebration creates million tons of waste worldwide? From food, packaging, gift cards and more, there are more than a few ways you can lessen your personal footprint during the festive season.
While we celebrate the festive season of Christmas, let’s do our part to be mindful of our personal impact and footprint.
1. Make a shopping list and stick to it
Shopping lists helps you take note of what you need rather than what you want. Build your list with essentials such as food, gifts and decorations and do your best not to deviate from it!
2. Buy green gifts
Speaking of shopping list, why not let green gifts replace traditional gift items this season? You can identify if a product is environmentally friendly by looking out for logos from established organisations such as the Forest Stewardship Council logo. This speeds up and simplifies your waste reduction effort with a product that’s already environmentally friendly!
3. Buy items with less packaging
Now that you’ve made your list, it’s time to go one step further. One way you can reduce your individual footprint from the get-go is to select items with less packaging. Focus on getting the item that you need and pay less attention to the fancy wrappers or decorations that come with it as materials such as plastic wrappers are difficult to recycle!
4. Buy reusable items
A big theme of sustainability is to reuse and recycle items you have. Try buying items that have high reusability such as bottled products as opposed to single-use items such as food cartons. Items with high reusability has a lot of values, which brings us to…
5. Turn your old items into beautiful decorations
One of the ways you can give your used items a new lease of life is to turn them into something completely new. Have a little family fun by having an arts-and-craft get together to turn old materials in the house into beautiful decorations for the festive period! Take for example, there are countless decorations you can make out of supplies of paper lying around in your house! Check out this list of christmas decorations made out of paper for some ideas:
6. Use recycled paper to wrap presents
A present is only complete when it is wrapped in nice looking festive wrapping paper right? It may seem like a no-brainer to purchase new wrapping paper for your gifts, but wrapping paper traditionally only has a one-time usage and the nature of this practise contributes to tons of waste every year. Instead of buying more wrapping paper this year, why not get creative and use alternate materials to wrap your presents such as recycled paper, newspapers and even fabric materials.
7. Send fewer Christmas cards Reduce paper waste during the festive period by replacing hardcopy Christmas Cards with E-cards. E-cards produces little to no carbon footprint, and there are plenty of templates available online, and best of all, most of them are fully customisable!
8. Switch to LED light decorations
It’s time to make the switch to LED light bulbs for your Christmas decorations if you haven’t done so. Did you know that LED light bulbs consume less energy and have a longer lifespan? Replace inefficient lightbulbs with LED light bulbs to light up and beautify your workplace and home to give it the festive vibe!
9. Get an artificial Christmas tree
A mainstay of all Christmas decorations, the Christmas Tree. Reduce waste by purchasing an artificial tree to reuse every year. Artificial tree requires no maintenance and requires little space to store during the other 11 months of the year! You’ll also save money in the process of reusing your artificial trees (and its accompanying decorations). A true win-win!
10. Skip single-use plastic cutlery
Organising a Christmas get-together with your friends? You may want to take note of the amount of waste created from the use of plastic cutlery and plates. Plastic cutlery is terrible for the environment and billions of tons of waste from plastic cutlery are created each year, so skip the use of plastic cutlery this season!
11. Donate Christmas gifts you don’t need
Received a gift you don’t like? Don’t simply throw them away, extend the gift to a person who can benefit from it, so long as it is in a good working condition!
12. Recycle what you can
At the end of the Christmas celebration, take some time to go through any rubbish you’ve compiled and sift out things you can recycle. You will be bound to find common recyclable items such as plastic containers, glass bottles, and wrapping paper! You’ll be surprised how much you can recycle!
We hope you’ll find some of these tips useful! Let us know if there’s anything you wish to add to this list! 😊