CHRISTMAS; IS IT THE MOST WONDERFUL OR WASTEFUL TIME OF THE YEAR?
Did you know that the so-called most wonderful time of the year is also one of the most wasteful?
Indeed, the level of waste increases worldwide at Christmas, with most of the excess waste consisting of gift wrapping, unnecessary gifts, cards, and food waste. Sus.live would like to sensitize you all on our environmental footprint in terms of waste over this season which isn’t as wonderful for our planet.
HOW WASTEFUL IS CHRISTMAS YOU’RE WONDERING?
1. Christmas tree
People think that choosing a natural Christmas tree is the most sustainable decision. Yet millions of trees are cut down in forests and sent to landfills, releasing tons of greenhouse gases as they rot after the holiday season. Buy a tree with roots that can be replanted later and used in future years at your own place. That’s sustainable and trendy to have one’s own Christmas tree. In addition, many countries now encourage the purchase or rental of sustainably planted potted Christmas trees. And, if you are buying an artificial tree, try to find a second-hand one rather than buying a new one, so you don’t contribute to the consumption of new plastic on the market. If it’s your first time buying an artificial tree, durable and good quality that can be used for at least 10 Christmases to minimize its long-term environmental impact. Other sustainable alternatives are making your own Christmas tree from driftwood, dried branches, books amongst others.
2. Sustainable Gifts
Christmas is about sharing and giving gifts to please others. Even if sometimes we are very disappointed to receive that collection of socks that our aunt or grandmother gives us, again and again, have we ever wondered if it wasn’t more useful, and therefore more sustainable than a random gift that we find cute but pile up in a corner or a drawer? Think about buying useful gifts, ask people what they would like to have and be specific in your demands too. Offer them vouchers or experiences like concerts, trips or massages. This way, you limit packaging and engage in eco responsible consumption. Consider buying from local artisans, thrift stores, or sustainable products. Plus make a sustainable shopping list, stick to it and eradicate all the “what ifs” and useless add-ons.
3. Avoid food waste
Whoever thinks of a Christmas gathering automatically thinks of Christmas meals.
So much food, so few people for only one day!
So, stop providing too much food, instead of thinking of huge meals like three-course menus, think of simple, yet tasty and delightful dishes.
As for the leftovers, freeze them and plan meals for the week or the New Year’s Eve party. In addition, offer take-out through sustainable ways:
have your friends come over with their own containers to take home the leftover delights or it’s the occasion to donate these jars that are stacking in the cupboard. Furthermore, prepare homemade dishes, buy prepared food from small businesses and buy local, seasonal products to contribute to the local economy.
4. Christmas gift wrapping
Did you know that wrapping paper or cards containing glitter, foil, and other microplastics are not sustainable?
People don’t realize that gift wrapping is one of the most wasteful activities. The pretty cards, though disposable once people have read them, are piling up in landfills. The best solution is not to wrap gifts at all, but there are other less drastic measures. Opt for original gift wrapping such as scarves, tote bags that would also be part of the gifts, recycled paper, newspapers, magazines, collages of old cards. This way, you minimize your impact in this wasteful practice and reduce the production of such unhealthy materials for our planet.
5. Upcycle things or DYI Christmas gifts
Your family and friends have always complimented your creativity in crafting. Recycle stacked pots into beautiful flower pots that you can paint and decorate. Take your mom or grandma’s old sheets and clothes and create a beautiful blanket. Make homemade recipes, jam, tea that you can fill into those piling pots at home to give away. Assemble the pieces of wood left over after your construction and make pretty decorations, small shelves, or useful wooden objects for your loved ones.
6. Do not buy disposable plastic or carton cutleries
Why buy disposable plastic or cardboard cutlery when you have beautiful cutlery stored in your cupboards?
In addition to reducing the amount of waste, you will be moving your parents or grandparents by using vintage cutlery that belonged to their grandparents. Why send disposable cutlery to the trash when you could just use the ones you already have and wash them afterward?
Washing is better than landfill and wasting money, don’t you think?
7. Swap or donate your clothes
Have you heard about the circular economy?
Well, swapping your clothes over Christmas is one of the best means to contribute to This way, the circular economy helps reduce waste at Christmas. We’ve all had those adorable Christmas t shirts, cardigans, hats or headbands before. Yet, for insta show, we can’t wear the same thing every year, can we?
Yet, instead of throwing them away, trade them with your sister, your friend, your mom… or give them to people, there will always be someone who will be a taker.
Plus, we’re sure you wanted to have that t-shirt your bestie was wearing for Christmas two years ago.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the most wasteful time of the year?
Well, it’s up to you to make your sustainable decision to create a positive impact on our planet.