Discovering a Greener and Wildlife-Friendly Christmas

The festive season is synonymous with celebration – exchanging gifts, adorning our homes with sparkle and cheer, and indulging in sumptuous feasts. However, is it possible to partake in these traditions while being mindful of our planet and wallets?

Each year, the UK witnesses a 30% surge in waste production during Christmas, contributing to a staggering 227,000 miles of wrapping paper and a colossal 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging. If you resonate with the pang of Christmas guilt amidst the joy, surrounded by piles of torn paper and unwanted gifts, you might be considering a different approach this year.

You're not alone. According to a survey by waste management company Biffa, 68.4% of respondents expressed willingness to have a 'greener Christmas' by opting for items with minimal packaging or crafted from recycled materials. Furthermore, 87% believed retailers should shoulder more responsibility for the waste they generate.

Explore our tips to infuse every aspect of Christmas with 'green' spirit, from the tree to the turkey, without compromising on joy and festivity.

Eco-friendly Christmas Decorations

Traditional store-bought decorations often use non-recyclable materials, contributing to annual replacements. Embrace budget-friendly, natural alternatives like holly, ivy, and pine cones instead of non-recyclable tinsel. Engage your family in crafting edible decorations like gingerbread, creating a fun, sustainable activity. For your door, design a plastic-free wreath following wildlife-friendly guides in our wreath making blog. If you opt for a real Christmas tree, we have a blog which provides advice on selection and care. Additionally, switch to LED Christmas lights, conserving energy and longevity, and be mindful of wildlife-friendly outdoor lighting choices.

Sustainable and Eco-friendly Christmas Gifts

Rethink gift-giving by focusing on quality over quantity. Consider supporting wildlife charities or giving experiences like show tickets, courses, or charity memberships. Second-hand gifts from charity, antique, or vintage shops eliminate the environmental impact of new items. Personalise second-hand gifts through upcycling or craft heartfelt homemade presents, reducing environmental impact. Foraging recipes like blackberry vodka or sloe port add a unique touch.

Eco-friendly Christmas Gift Wrapping

Traditional wrapping paper contributes to immense waste, opt for recyclable options without foil or glitter, such as recycled or FSC certified paper. Explore alternatives like newspaper, brown paper with string, old wallpaper, or fabric. Repurpose last year's Christmas cards as gift tags.

Wildlife-friendly Christmas Cards

Choose Christmas cards made from recycled or FSC certified paper, avoiding glitter and foil. Create your own cards or opt for e-cards to conserve trees.

Sustainable Christmas Food

Support local, free-range, and organic meats, reducing environmental impact and promoting ethical farming. Combat food waste by repurposing leftovers into new meals or donating to food banks. Composting, when possible, minimises waste. 

Wildlife-friendly Christmas Don'ts

Don't use 'reindeer food' with glitter and sequins, harming garden wildlife.

Don't succumb to promotional offers; focus on meaningful gifts.

Don't feed birds turkey fat; use only pure fats like lard or suet.

Don't overbuy food; be mindful of portions.

Wildlife-friendly Christmas Do's

Do prioritise local, organic, and free-range products.

Do recycle your tree, wrapping paper, and cards.

Do give experiences instead of material objects.

Do create bird-friendly wreaths.

Embrace a mindful approach to Christmas, where joy meets sustainability, and create cherished memories while caring for our planet and its wildlife.

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Saturday, 18 May 2024