Christmas is a time for family, festivity and fun! But unfortunately, the increase in waste over the Christmas period is massive with the amount of general waste increasing by 30%, including 365,000km of unrecyclable wrapping paper (that's the enough to wrap around the equator nine times!). With this in mind, we thought it'd be good to think of some tips for you to help your Christmas just a little more sustainable.
1) Quality, not quantity: We think it's safe to say that we have all got a present or two that we didn't want or use. These kinds of presents contribute to needless wastage, that's why it's far more sustainable to try to have a quality over quantity approach when it comes to buying presents. One way you could try this approach would be for a Secret Santa, try to avoid novelty gifts that will be inevitably thrown away and find something more personal that they might use!
2) Gift an experience: The gift that can never be taken away or wasted are memories! Think about buying your loved ones an experience instead of a physical present. With an increasing popularity for gifting experiences, the number of once in a lifetime experiences that you could gift is immense. From seeing Our Planet live in concert with exclusive on-screen narration by David Attenborough to flying in a Spitfire, there really is an experience for everyone.
3) Think about materials: Thinking about what materials a potential gift is made with is yet another simple way to help make Christmas just a little more sustainable. This could include opting to gift an air-dried clay air freshener rather than a non-recyclable plastic one (to take a completely random example). Making sure that wood and paper are made from recycled of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials is another way to make Christmas more sustainable which only takes two seconds to check.
4) Ditch the packaging: Trying to minimise the amount of extra packaging can really affect the amount of waste produced over Christmas. If packaging is necessary however, try to use plastic-free or recycled/recyclable packaging.
5) Expand your wrapping arsenal: Wrapping presents is obviously a large part of Christmas, although not very environmentally friendly. That being said, we can still do our best to make it as sustainable as possible. The easiest way to change your wrapping is to look for recycled or FSC-certified paper while avoiding foil-backed paper or wrappping paper with glitter which isn't recyclable. You could also make your wrapping this year more interesting by trying out the many tape-free wrapping techniques that are online, avoiding plastic ribbon and tape. If you wanted to really stand out from the crowd though, you could try 'furoshiki', a traditional Japanese method of using cloth to wrap and transport gifts, really making for a unique method of wrapping presents.