Stagecoach

How to have a greener Christmas

01 Dec 2017

green christmas

Christmas isn’t the best time of year for the environment, with thousands of tonnes of paper, card and food thrown away every year. But the good news is there are loads of small changes you can make to ensure your Christmas is a little bit greener, without missing out on the fun!

Small changes add up, and can make a huge difference in the long term. So, here are some of our top tips for easy swaps you can make to help the planet this festive period:

Try an alternative to Christmas cards

One billion cards end up in the bin every Christmas, so do your bit to reduce the amount of wasted paper and card at Christmas by sending ecards instead of traditional cards. Dontsendmeacard.com allows you to send ecards while also donating the amount you would have spent on buying and posting cards to over 100 different charities.
Even if you don’t send cards, you’ll probably still receive them. Make sure you recycle any cards you receive and don’t throw them in the bin.

Only buy the food you need 

vegetables

We all get excited for the Christmas food in the shops – fancy cheeses, three kinds of stuffing, boxes of party snacks just in case you get unexpected visitors and a turkey to serve at least twice the number of people you have for dinner. But how much do you end up throwing away? Instead of adding to the thousands of tonnes of food thrown away at Christmas, make sure you have an idea of how much food you need, write a list and stick to it. And don’t forget, the shops are closed for one day – you don’t need to stockpile like it’s the end of the world.

Use your leftovers

pie

If you do buy too much, don’t throw away your leftovers! Most Christmas leftovers can be turned into new delicious meals. Turn leftover turkey into a curry or a pie, feast on bubble and squeak made from cooked vegetables and mashed potatoes, and throw cheeseboard ends into macaroni and cheese. A quick search on Love Food Hate Waste will give you lots of inspiration for leftover recipes.

Reuse your wrap

gift boxes

We throw away 227,000 miles worth of wrapping paper every Christmas in the UK, but luckily there are great alternatives you can use to in place of traditional wrapping paper. While gift bags are still made of card, they are reusable and a better option to wrapping paper, or use newspapers and magazines that would ordinarily get thrown away (and it’s fun to choose the best pages for the receiver of the present!). Other great alternatives are reusable boxes, fabric or recyclable brown paper.

Lower the heating

If you’re cooking Christmas dinner you’re likely to have the heating on most of the day, so use this as an opportunity to turn down your heating! The oven will create plenty of cosy warmth and turning off your heating will save you both energy and money!

LED lights

fairy lights

We all like twinkly lights around the Christmas tree at this time of year, but be sure to choose LEDs for an environmentally-friendly option. Switching to LEDs is easy and makes a huge difference in terms of energy usage. They’ll save you energy, and therefore money! Plus, they’re less of a fire hazard than traditional lights.

Use the bus

christmas shopping bus

Fewer cars on the road is always a good thing for the environment, so why not take the bus to do your Christmas shopping? Forget worrying about finding a parking space and expensive car parking charges, and do your bit for the environment by travelling green this festive period.
 

 

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