Christmas is nearly here, and that means that its time to start shopping! I’ve decided to write a self-help guide to a more eco-friendly Christmas, to help YOU save the planet.
Wrapping paper may not be on the forefront of your mind when it comes to a sustainable Christmas, but choosing your wrapping materials wisely is something to start thinking about. Most wrapping paper is not recycled and many are lined with a thin layer of plastic that makes it impossible to recycle anyway. Paper covered in glitter absolutely cannot be recycled, along with paper that has tape still attached.
So why not turn to cheaper, recycled and easily recyclable alternatives?
Wrapping with old newspaper is a free way to reduce your footprint but still have your gifts looking fab.
Using brown paper that is not lined with plastic is another alternative to traditional wrapping paper.
Fabric is an amazing way to wrap presents, its reusable and looks great! Tying with string instead of using tape or ribbon is also great as it can be reused and means the paper used can be recycled.
Big brands are having a detrimental impact on the planet.
Global and chain companies (especially ones named after rainforests!) are drastically contributing to climate change as they transport their stock all over the world. The overproduction of products requires the overexploitation of resources, leading to deforestation and habitat loss at unprecedented rates.
Similarly, the fast fashion industry is terrorizing the natural world, with the manufacturing and transportation of clothing emitting huge amounts of green-house gases that are stopping infrared radiation from escaping the atmosphere, causing warming. Every year, masses of the world’s most diverse forests are destroyed for the wood which is used to make synthetic fabric fibres that are then used to make clothes.
This is why shopping small can make a BIG impact. With the big-brands selling clothing for as little as 4p a piece, its very difficult to persuade people to spend a little more, but its worth it! Small businesses have been affected drastically by the covid-19 pandemic, so they need all the support they can get! Go to smallforall.co.uk to check out other small businesses just like Fixing the Earth!
Why not go the step further and try hand-made gifts? Baking some festive treats or painting a picture for a special someone can really go a long way.
Now of course Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the show-stopping centrepiece, the turkey. But have you thought about putting a twist on tradition and having a more veggie-based meal? Cutting down on your meat intake can be really beneficial, both for yourself and for the planet. A predominantly plant based diet means you are only eating from one trophic level rather than two, as livestock has to eat farmed crops as well. This means you can approximately half greenhouse gas emissions and land used.
As a result you can reduce your carbon footprint through the limitation of the deforestation of rainforests that play a huge role in carbon capture. So why not try some (no) pigs in blankets this Christmas, to do your bit and start fixing the earth?
Last but not least, the tree. Thousands of fake trees that contribute towards plastic pollution are put into landfill every year, with thousands more being made from unsustainable materials and transported all over the world. For this reason, real trees are a lot better for the environment.
When choosing a real tree, be sure to check that it is gown locally and has an FSC certification that means it has not contributed to carbon emissions via transportation. By opting for a locally sourced real tree you are not only reducing your damage to the environment but you are also helping a local business- what’s not to love?
So there you have it, an eco-friendly Christmas. I think this all goes to show, that it is entirely possible to have as much festive fun, whilst leaving as little impact on the planet as you can!