Christmas holidays are getting closer and for many this is their favourite time of the year.
However, this holiday comes at a high price for our planet. For the past years, Christmas has been associated more and more with an increase in consumerism and pollution.
What can young people do to have a more environmentally friendly Christmas?
Decorations. Avoid plastic decorations and opt for wood, fabrics or clay decorations. A good idea would be to get creative and make your own decorations from discarded materials. As far as lights are concerned, pick LED lights. Did you know that they last up to five times longer than traditional lights and use up to 95% less energy? Finally, it is usually better to use a real tree instead of a PVC one. While fake trees could last forever, researches show that they are discarded after a few years, having a huge impact on the planet. Moreover, real trees too can be re-potted and reuse for up to three years.
Gifts. Exchanging gifts with family and friends is part of the fun. To have the lowest impact possible, buy less and in a responsible way. You can choose gifts made from recycled materials, give battery and plastic free gifts and even re-gift unwanted items. Experiences, such as concerts or sport events, memberships, services instead of material goods or gifts bought from charity organisations can be a great sustainable alternative to traditional gifts. You should also try to avoid unnecessary wrappings, use recycled paper or reuse old boxes, and why not making your own personalised cards from old materials?
Food. Try to avoid waste and reuse any food left-overs. The can become your next day lunch or you can mix them together to create a new recipe. Finally, try to choose organic and local products and reduce meat consumption.
Waste. When you can’t use food again, dispose of it in the right way, by using an organic waste bin or trying to make compost out of it. There are also specialised companies that will collect your Christmas tree to re-pot it or reuse the wood for landscaping. Finally, save any wraps, ribbons and boxes in order to reuse them in the future and always recycle!