I’m dreaming of…..well a Green Christmas of course

oliver General, Materials, Natural stuff, Recycling / upcycling

It’s that time of year again when decorations start going up and houses become all twinkly. There’s certainly plenty of magic around, but does that really mean it’s ok to give up on our aspirations for a better home and world to live in? And more than that is there a way to still really enjoy the festive season without cutting out the fun?

Well of course there is, and here are some of my favourite festive finds …….

Firstly by switching your tree lights to LED bulbs you can save yourself an impressive amount on your electricity bill. Did you know that general lighting contributes approximately 15% towards your bills? A string of 100 Christmas tree lights left on for around 10 hours per day over the duration of the 12 days of Christmas will produce enough Carbon Dioxide to inflate 60 balloons!! Wow!

So if you’re buying fairy lights make sure they are warm white or coloured LEDs. For the outside why not change your lights to a solar powered version such as these from Nigels Eco Store, they will add that Christmassy sparkle without costs to your Christmas spirit (oh ok and increasing your carbon footprint!). In fact its worth remembering that fairy lights aren’t just for Christmas, and ive these led lights like these in my garden trees all year round.

If you’re having a real tree this Christmas, ensure that you purchase it from a sustainable grower and that it has Forest Stewardship Council accreditation, when purchasing make sure you check that they are locally grown. Or how about trying something different this year and having an alternative tree, there are some great choices out there including wooden, cardboard and recycled aluminium versions. Take a look at this totally ingenious selection!

 Christmas is a time well known for lots of food, and lots of food can generally mean lots of waste. Instead of throwing your food scraps in the bin, try recycling them. www.lovefoodhatewaste.com have some great recipes to help you use the leftover Turkey and vegetables. You can also find a guide on there to help you plan your meals and portion sizes too! Another alternative to throwing away food is to compost it producing organic ‘Christmas’ soil for your garden.

Recycling is important at Christmas time, we all send and receive lots of cards and just think about all that wrapping paper! Approximately 8,000 tonnes of waste is produced at Christmas time and if we recycled just half of this then around 25,000 trees could be saved. Not On The High Street has a large selection of recycled and environmentally friendly wrapping paper in stock, grab yours in time and remember to recycle it after the big day.

There’s no denying it, we all dread receiving those unwanted presents and more often than not we are guilty of sending them. This year instead of buying the first thing you see why not give a charity gift, organisations such as goodgifts allow you to pay for an actual gift for another person or community- that really makes a difference. Whether it’s little things like farming tools to help communities to become self-sufficient or funding village libraries in India there is something great in there which will reflect the person you could be donating on behalf of. Despite this we will all most likely receive an unwanted gift during the Christmas period, instead of wasting it why not donate it to charity or find someone to swap with.

Instead of buying new decorations why not make your own, instead of buying faux greenery to decorate your house why not use real Holly and Ivy, once you have finished just simply compost it and finally instead of buying a Wreath why not make your own out of scraps of old fabric, it can look really effective. There’s a really cool selection here even one made of vintage ties!

With just a little extra thought this year you can ensure that your Christmas will not only be merry but also won’t have such an impact on the world you’re looking forward to enjoying next year. Enjoy!