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5 Tips to Having a Greener Christmas
We’ve all heard of a white Christmas, but with the recent important focus on looking after our planet, it’s essential to consider ways to be greener this festive season. Here are some amazing tips to cut down on the waste without sacrificing the fun.
Cut down on food packaging
Plastic packaging is a major concern in supermarkets, especially in the produce aisles. Where possible, buy fruit and vegetables loose, use your own bags or containers, or invest in an eco-friendly cotton or paper bag.
Make your own or buy eco-friendly decorations
Attend a creative Christmas wreath-making workshop, follow an online tutorial on how to make your own beautiful Christmas crackers (without the plastic!), and use nature’s own ornaments for your decorations.
If you’re stuck for a rainy day festive activity to do with the kids, creating salt-dough decorations and cranberry-clad popcorn garlands is the perfect solution. In addition to being charming and unique, they satisfy your craft craving and are great for the environment. Win, win!
As well as DIY and bringing wintery foliage and twigs inside for a rustic look, consider ethical homeware stores and brands that love to create eco-friendly decorations. Nkuku is a fantastic home and lifestyle store with handmade products made from natural, sustainable and recycled materials, including elegant tree decorations, gifts and garlands.
Buy a responsibly sourced Christmas tree, or rent one!
Every year in the UK alone, 8 million Christmas trees die. Instead of buying one this year, you could give a loving temporary home to a tree sustainably grown and looked after.
A rented or bought potted tree will sit in its cosy pot and stay extra fresh and perfectly shaped for its stay in your home, and after Christmas can return to nature, providing habitats for birds, squirrels and insects.
Check out Love a Christmas tree for more information.
Where it is not possible to rent a living tree, there are many sustainable sources and eco-friendly disposal options. The Forestry Commission has several real tree sales centres in England and Scotland, and The Cambridge Christmas Tree Company collects and mulches retired trees for agricultural use on their farm.
In the UK we throw away at least enough paper to circle the globe a shocking 9 times every Christmas. But there are steps we can take to ensure our gifts are wrapped beautifully and not at the cost of the environment.
Avoiding metallic, sparkly or glittery paper is important, as they are not recyclable and will end up in landfill. There are some gorgeously designed handmade recycled gift-wrap options from fantastic companies such as Re-wrapped and Happy Wrap who set out with the noble intention of reducing waste.
Buy sustainable gifts and shop independent
Keep the environment in mind when buying for the ones you love this year. There are plenty of amazing sustainable gift options on the market, such as plant-based wax candles, reusable shopping bags, and all-natural skincare kits. Add charity shops to your Christmas shopping rotation, who often sell Fairtrade items handmade by International artisans. Check out Oxfam’s sustainable gift shop.
Another way you can be kinder to the environment is shopping local and independent. Saving travel times for yourself and the products you buy means less road pollution and a reduced carbon footprint. You’re also helping your local community and the economy!
Cambridge is fortunate to include over 250 independent businesses, ranging from food and drink, bike shops, gifts, clothing and much more. Take a look at our helpful map showcasing a variety of great businesses – and explore, shop and eat local this Christmas.
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