Student Blogger Claudia Gutierrez tells us how to make our Christmas cheer as sustainable as possible:
Holidays are around the corner and so are Christmas preparations! While it’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s certainly not the most eco-friendly. Christmas season is usually the period of peak consumption as we all go full on with gifts, decorations and food. However, there are a few tricks that can help you turn Christmas into a more sustainable celebration without losing the festive magic:
- Recycled Wrapping Paper
On average, around 300,000 miles of wrapping paper is used in the UK during Christmas time. Moreover, there are various materials such as ribbons, glittered paper and tape which are all non-recyclable. You can minimise the level of waste by switching to recycled brown eco-friendly wrapping paper instead! Add dried fruit with a few twigs and you have a stylishly wrapped present! If you don’t feel in a crafty mood, you can use wrapping paper and festive gift bags from previous years!
Last minute panic
We are all guilty of last-minute shopping, which usually leads to buying something silly that the gift receiver will barely use. Even when shopping last-minute, try to buy something that is not likely to get thrown away. Instead of buying the first thing you see, make every gift count by purchasing things of value, purpose and meaning. A perfect example can be an indoor plant, which is kind to the environment and the gift receiver will find joy long after the decorations have come down. Also, if you are in a last-minute rush think about giving experiences rather than gifts! Take your friend for lunch, organise a trip to a place you have not been before and just enjoy the presence of one another.
Another great way to help the environment is to cut down on unnecessary gifts. For university students Secret Santa is an excellent idea as you can put time and thought into one present and save money at the same time.
My favourite place for Secret Santa shopping is Crowngate (Worcester) as it is filled with local shops that offer a variety of goods. By supporting local independent businesses, you not only enhance the local economy, but you are also likely to find special gifts you wouldn’t find anywhere else! There is the guaranteed benefit of purchasing an original present!
Avoid food waste
Christmas is a festive time of the year which usually comes with feasting. So, the amount of food waste goes significantly up. If you end up with too many leftovers, think about freezing them instead of throwing them away. Another way to help the environment while food shopping is to focus on items with lighter packaging and also carefully plan your food consumption over Christmas, so you avoid buying unnecessary items.
There are my tips for a more sustainable Christmas! Enjoy your celebrations and see you in the new term!