Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, right?

Delicious food, cheesy music, and the chance to catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while. However, the festive period isn’t quite as kind to the environment as it is to our social lives. This is because we tend to produce a lot more waste during this time – particularly in the form of leftovers and wrapping paper.

However, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways in which you can have an Eco-Friendly Christmas in 2021. Here are some top tips that you can use to get started! 

Use eco-friendly wrapping paper. 

According to a recent report, approximately five million tonnes of additional waste are produced during the festive period in the US alone. From this, around four million tonnes of waste can be attributed to wrapping paper and gift bags, which, as you can imagine, accounts for a lot of the trash sent to landfill sites during this time. This is because wrapping paper can sometimes be difficult to recycle, especially when covered in glitter. Therefore, one way you can have a ‘greener’ Christmas is by buying eco-friendly wrapping paper. This could include:

  • Wrapping paper made from recycled products.
  • Brown Kraft paper 
  • Fabric
  • Old or discarded wallpaper 
  • Tissue paper.
  • Biodegradable wrapping paper. 

Additionally, there are some creative ways to reuse wrapping paper as opposed to simply throwing it away. For example, you could frame small sections of the paper to create interesting artwork for your home. If your paper is particularly festive, you can use these frames to decorate your home at Christmas. However, if you opt for something a little more low-key, such as geometric patterns or bold colors, you could use wrapping paper to create a unique interior liner for your cupboards and cabinets. 

Make your own wreath and table decorations. 

Decorating your home for Christmas is one of the most exciting parts of the festive period – whether your tree is carefully color-coordinated or a mix of bright and bold shades. However, if you’re looking to purchase a wreath or similar table centerpiece, then you might want to stay away from the models you can buy in shops. While they look great, they often contain lots of plastic and glitter, making them difficult to recycle properly. Instead, why not try to create your own arrangement using fresh greens. Not only is this a fun craft project, but it also means that each of your decorations will be unique! 

Shop local.

Shopping local for food and gifts is another great way to ensure you are being a little more sustainable this Christmas. This is because these products will not have to be delivered to your door, causing a great deal of pollution (especially if they are coming from the other side of the country or even abroad). Furthermore, supporting local businesses through the pandemic is a great way to help smaller companies stay afloat during a difficult time. Typically, you can also get better value for money from these shops, too – meaning everyone is a winner! 

Use LED Fairy Lights.

Fairly lights are one of the easiest ways in which you can give your home a Christmas makeover. However, you should, where possible, try to buy LED fairy lights as they are much kinder to the planet than other forms of fairy lights. This is because they are incredibly energy-efficient. This also means that the products have a longer shelf-life, meaning that you won’t have to buy new lights each year. 

Monitor food waste.

We all use the festive period as an excuse to indulge a little – whether you’re having a second helping of stuffing or returning to the dessert table after dinner. While we should all be enjoying ourselves during this time, it’s also important that we take food waste seriously. In fact, we throw away approximately four million roast dinners on Christmas day in the US alone. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can keep food waste to a minimum. For example, you can: 

  • Figure out exactly how much food you need ahead of time, and do not buy any extra products.
  • Freeze leftovers.
  • Donate leftovers to local charities/food banks.

Do you have any more tips or tricks you use to make your Christmas as eco-friendly as it is merry? Be sure to share them below; I’d love to hear from you!