I’m Dreaming Of A Green Christmas
Christmas nowadays tends to be not so much the season of goodwill but the season of Conspicuous Consumption. It can seem very hard to do your bit for the environment whilst entering into the spirit of Christmas.
However there are lots of ways you can make this Christmas your most environmentally friendly yet – without losing out on any of the fun!
Ten Top Tips for an Eco-Friendly Xmas
- Start with a bit of a Declutter; collect up unused gadgets, outgrown toys and clothes and unwanted nick-nacks. Have a yard sale, do a car boot sale or get onto eBay! If you don’t wish to do that, every school, every church and many charities will be having a Christmas Fair and will be grateful for donations of items in good condition. Buying and selling second hand is a good way to recycle and will often help a good cause too.
- Eco Christmas Decorations can be made by recycling anything from junk mail to last years Christmas cards - see Recycled Christmas Decorations. Or you could decorate in the old-fashioned way, with holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, pine cones and ivy. All can go straight onto your compost heap on 6th January, rather than to landfill.
- Christmas Lights. I love fairy lights but they do use electricity purely for decoration. If they are one of your non-green weaknesses use LED lights which use 1/10th the power of ordinary fairy lights, or how about Solar Powered Christmas Rope Lights from Nigel's Eco Store. They are designed especially to work with the British climate and can be put up anywhere outside.
- Plastic Ain't My Bag Remember to take your own carrier bags when you do your Christmas shopping and reduce the mountain of plastic thrown away each year.
- Wrapping Paper. Tricky one eh? It's just not the same if you leave pressies unwrapped is it. You can buy recycled wrapping paper from Nigel's Eco Store, or use colourful pages from magazines, use old boxes which you can decorate or aluminium foil which can be reused or recycled.
- Composting is the best way to dispose of your old Brussel Sprout peelings, teabags and apple cores. Did you know you can compost hair too? Give the whole family a Christmas present which will help them to recycle; get a composter if you don’t already have one. Evengreener have a good selection.
- Christmas Dinner Serve locally produced, seasonal food and drink which have travelled few 'food miles'. Choose organic where possible.
- Recycle all the paper and boxes that the gifts come in. It can be tempting to stick some in the wheelie bin if the recycling bin is full, but save it and deposit it at a recycling centre. Remember though don’t make a special car journey!! Many supermarkets and car parks have collection centres, so combine it with another trip out. If you put it in a separate box, I suggest that you write on the box 'recycling', as one year the dustmen took our box of carefully collected paper and card before the recycling collection arrived.........
- Christmas Card Recycling Many organisations collect these as they can command a higher price than general waste paper. This is because they are ready-sorted and higher quality.
- Christmas Trees Most local councils offer recycling facilities for these. The trees are chipped and used to produce compost, so don’t just leave it in the garden looking dejected. You can usually find details of your council’s scheme from their website and many will advertise collection points in leaflets or local newspapers.
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!