Following this year’s COP26, we should all be aware of just how important it is to make every effort we can to be more sustainable this Christmas and beyond. Small changes can make a BIG difference in reducing our environmental footprint, especially at this time of the year, when the potential for waste, over consumption and mass shopping is high.
With this in mind, here are some simple ways for a more sustainable Christmas!
1. Choose a Grown in Britain certified tree
A report published by Grown in Britain in 2019 highlighted that new tree pests and diseases could be making their way into the UK on some of the tens of thousands of Christmas trees that are imported each year. By choosing a Grown in Britain-certified tree, you can be sure you are getting a tree grown in the UK and you’ll also be helping reduce the risk of unwanted pests spreading into the country.
2. If you want to go that little bit extra, opt for a potted tree
Grown to around 3 to 4 feet tall, potted trees may be smaller than your typical Christmas tree but they can last a lifetime. Once they’ve been the focal point of your living room for the festive period, potted trees can make great patio plants with a little love and care. Or you could plant it in the garden until next Christmas and pot it up to bring inside. Christmas trees, given the right care, can grow between 60 and 100 cm each year – it’ll also help provide food for wildlife like siskins, who love to eat seeds from spruce trees.
3. Or go for a more eco-friendly alternative
If you’re on the hunt for something alternative to reuse every year, consider wooden trees instead of plastic or real trees. These are great for decorative purposes but also add a touch of something unique to your home. And can be placed anywhere in the house.
4. Re-use Christmas decorations and avoid single-use ornaments
For many, dusting off Christmas decorations marks the beginning of the holiday season. But it can also be a time to get the whole family involved by making your own decorations.
If you do need to add more decorations to your collection, choose sustainably sourced ones and avoid lametta (single thread) tinsel which isn’t recyclable, can be difficult to remove from branches, and can pose a hazard to pets who might get tangled in it or swallow it. If you’re feeling creative, why not try making your own?
5. Choose certified Christmas cards and wrapping paper
A sustainable Christmas doesn’t have to stop at your family’s tree, it’s also about the many trees around the world that have gone into making Christmassy products like wrapping paper, as well as Christmas cards – a whopping 1 billion of which are sold in the UK each year.
If you want to know if your wrapping paper can be recycled or not, use the scrunch test. Scrunch up the paper in your hands and then let it go. If the paper stays scrunched up then it can be recycled but, if it unfolds by its own accord, then it likely contains non-recyclable elements.
Look for the FSC® or PEFC logos when you shop to know wood products come from well-managed forests and other controlled sources. Consider giving old magazines or newspaper a second life as Christmas wrapping paper too, and make sure to recycle everything when you’re done!
6. Recycle your tree
And finally, there’s nothing sadder than the sight of a real Christmas tree on the curb, ready to go to landfill after the festivities have finished. Visit your local authority website or Recycle Now to find out how to recycle your tree. Many local authorities offer a drop-off or curb side tree recycling service, so your real Christmas tree can be put to good use by being chipped and used locally.
Whatever you decide to do to make this Christmas a more sustainable one, all of us at Artscape Design and Build hope you have a very happy and peaceful one!
* Reference and information credit for the blog – forestryengland.uk