1. Remember to take your bag for life shopping
When you’re out and about buying Christmas essentials, don’t forget to take along your bag for life. One trillion plastic bags are produced globally every year, yet their average working lifespan is just 12 minutes. Carrier bags account for 70% of coastal plastic waste – don’t add to that stat.
2. Buy a real Christmas tree
You would have to reuse an artificial tree for at least 10 years to keep its environmental impact lower than that of a real tree. Buy a real one from a sustainable source. You could also consider buying a tree with roots so that it can be replanted.
3. Scrap the wrap
Every year Britons throw out enough wrapping paper to circle the globe nine times. Recycling it can be difficult because of the materials used, so it often ends up in landfill. Scrap the wrap and get crafty instead. Old maps, newspaper, and even fabric make great alternatives without compromising on style.
4. Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without all that yummy food. But did you know more than a third of households throw away more food waste at Christmas than they do at any other time of year? The carbon footprint of our Christmas dinner is also estimated to be around 49,000 miles. This year, buy less and buy local. Why not compost all your food peelings too?
5. Switch to rechargeable batteries
Lots of things at Christmas need batteries, from lights to toys. But the toxic chemicals in them mean they do not biodegrade. Try switching to rechargeable batteries instead. At the very least, recycle your batteries at your nearest facility which can often be found in supermarkets.
6. Give ethical and sustainable gifts
Not all gifts have to cost the earth (quite literally). Choose gifts that are ethical and sustainable. You can do this by buying locally, purchasing experiences rather than products, browsing charity shops, buying Fairtrade items, or making sure you buy from reputable sellers.
7. Recycle. Recycle. Recycle
Recycling helps conserve resources, saves energy, helps protect the environment, and reduces landfill. From Christmas cards to Christmas trees, there are loads of things you can recycle once the festivities have been and gone. Check out Recycle Now to find out what, where and how.
There is lots you can do to help the planet this Christmas. Join us this month and take part in our Good Deed December calendar