The holidays are a time for joy and celebration and indulgence is common. But do you ever get the guilty feeling you could be doing more to curb the environmental impact? We get it!
It’s crucial to practice mindful consumption to minimise waste and environmental impact at all times in the year, but especially at Christmas. In this blog, we explore 5 ways to have a more eco-friendly Christmas.
Avoid food waste
The UK throws away 9.52 million tonnes of food per year and this emits 25 million tonnes of CO2e – more than Kenya’s total annual emissions.
One of biggest aspects of the holiday season is food. However, buying your food mindfully can help you savour the flavours without overeating and generating unnecessary waste.
- Plan your meals: Create a menu that considers portion sizes and uses leftovers effectively. Think turkey curry! This reduces food waste and your shopping bill.
- Support local and sustainable food sources: Choose locally-sourced and sustainable foods to reduce the environmental impact of your meals. You can usually buy veg and meat by weight here and only purchase the exact amount you need.
- Use a food saving app: There are apps out there that let you save food from being thrown away by local restaurants and supermarkets at a reduced price. Check out Too Good To Go for a start!
Practice Thoughtful Gifting
Giving gifts is a cherished tradition, but it’s easy to buy things that may not be meaningful or necessary. Being mindful of your gift-giving can reduce waste and promote meaningful connections.
- Set a budget: Make a reasonable budget for gifts, either for yourself or across friends and family to avoid overspending.
- Consider experiences: Instead of physical gifts, give experiences like concert tickets, spa days, or cooking classes. This makes more memories and less plastic waste.
- Choose eco-friendly gifts: Opt for sustainable and eco-friendly gifts, such as reusable products or items made from recycled materials.
- Encourage wish lists: Ask your loved ones for specific gift ideas so you’re giving them something they genuinely need or want.
- Arrange a Secret Santa: This way everyone gets a gift and saves money. This website makes it easy to arrange.
Find Eco-Friendly Decorations
The festive decorations that adorn our homes during Christmas can contribute to a lot of waste. Mindful decorating can help reduce your environmental footprint.
- Reuse decorations: Instead of buying new decorations every year, reuse or repurpose your existing ones.
- Make your own decorations: This can be a fun activity with the kids, use scrap wrapping paper for festive paper chains, or paper mache some tree decorations.
- Go for natural decorations: Use elements from nature like pinecones, holly, and evergreen branches, which can be composted after the holidays. Try making your own wreath with foraged material.
- Choose energy-efficient lighting: Opt for LED lights, which consume less energy than traditional bulbs.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Mindful consumption during Christmas includes making a conscious effort to reduce waste, reuse what you can, and recycle appropriately.
- Reduce plastic waste: When shopping for gifts, look for products with minimal or recyclable packaging. Be sure to take your own shopping bags, so you don’t need to buy plastic ones.
- Reuse wrapping materials: Save and reuse gift wrap, bows, bags and ribbons from previous years. There are some lovely ideas on how to wrap gifts with material you can use again.
- Recycle properly: Be aware of your local recycling guidelines and ensure that paper, cardboard, and other recyclables are disposed of correctly.
The true spirit of Christmas is about giving and caring for others. Consider ways to give back to your community and the environment.
- Donate to charities: Give to organisations that support those in need during the holidays, whether it’s food banks, clothing drives, or shelter programs. Consider giving to a charity on someone’s behalf as their gift.
- Volunteer your time: Spend time volunteering for local charities or participating in community service projects. As an example, The Salvation Army has information on their website on how you can get involved this Christmas.
- Offset your carbon footprint: Consider donating to reforestation or carbon offset projects to counterbalance your environmental impact. We’re big fans of this. At Vavista we work with Eden Reforestation to plant a tree for every policy we sell and Ecologi to offset the carbon impact of our workforce – you can find out more about that here.
As we celebrate the joy and togetherness of Christmas, it’s crucial to be mindful of our consumption. By practicing mindful eating, thoughtful gifting, eco-conscious decorating, reducing, reusing, and recycling, and giving back, we can reduce waste and our environmental impact.
Want to be more eco conscious with your car insurance? We plant a tree for every policy you buy at Vavista. Get a quote today!