Have you ever stopped to think about the environmental impact of celebrating Christmas? No doubt you have. The truth is that just thinking about it is scary. All the Christmas lights in the streets, all the food going to waste and all the rubbish and emissions generated, thanks to the over the top need to consume, make December the worst month of the year for our planet.
This is a topic that really worries us. As we know that you too are concerned, here at Sinplástico we have gotten to work and arranged an urgent team meeting to help you celebrate responsibly during the festive season.
So, after hours of deliberation, we bring you a summary of our top tips. So that you can be sure to celebrate Christmas in the most responsible way, we bring you the tips and tricks we have tested at home and that we know to work a charm. Take note 🙂
HERE YOU’LL FIND OUR BEST TRICKS FOR CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS RESPONSIBLY
A SUSTAINABLE MENU FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS DINNER
- Choose organic and local (kilometre 0) products
By consuming organic and locally produced products you are supporting a business model that respects the planet and those living on it. By incorporating food from a sustainable origin you are looking after your health by avoiding the presence of toxic chemicals (from pesticides and herbicides) at your dinner table.
- Buy in bulk
Avoid plastics by purchasing ingredients without packaging. For fruit and vegetables you can use cotton mesh produce bags, whilst for legumes, nuts and dried fruit it is best to use this set of different sized fabric produce bags. If you want to buy something sweet like nougat or cakes, you can use beeswax wraps. Finally, for meat or fish don’t forget to take your leak-free stainless steel container.
- Reduce the amount of meat on your menu
Intensive farming is the cause of greenhouse gas emissions, exploitation of natural resources and deforestation, amongst other environmental problems. The welfare of animals in food production is also an ethical dilemma. Make your menu more ethical and sustainable by reducing your consumption of meat or replacing traditional recipes with new vegetarian versions. If you choose to include some meat, ensure it is organic and comes from local farms accredited with sustainable and ethical practices.
- Drink without generating plastic waste
Ban the use of plastic single-use bottles at your place by purchasing drinks in bulk or in glass bottles and by using tap water filtered with activated charcoal. You can also replace soft drinks with healthier options such as flavoured water (water mixed with orange, lemon, mint…) in a special glass bottle such as this one. The kids will love them.
WASTED FOOD? NOT AT YOUR HOUSE
- Serve small portions
If someone wants more, they can always have a second helping. This way you avoid food being left on plates, meaning you can’t use it later to make other dishes.
- Save leftovers in airtight containers
It is important your food is kept fresh so that you can enjoy it later. A good option is to use plastic-free airtight containers like this stainless steel and silicon set of 3 or these glass airtight jars from Weck.
- Use your imagination
Make dishes that take advantage of the Christmas leftovers you have in the fridge, like soups and salads. This way you will save money and time spent in the kitchen whilst also avoiding throwing out food that is perfectly good to eat.
DECORATE WITH CHRISTMAS SPIRIT WITHOUT GIVING UP ON SUSTAINABILITY
- Avoid the shiny stuff
Glitter is made of thousands of micro-particles of aluminium and PET. Like any other micro-plastic, the problem with glitter is that being so small it is nearly impossible to prevent it ending up in the surrounding environment. No longer using it is the best option to ensure a sustainable Christmas.
- Be inspired by your surroundings
Prune a branch of that ivy that keeps growing over your porch, put it in the bottom of an elegant glass jar like this one and place a tall candle in the centre to create a simple and beautiful centrepiece for your Christmas table.
- Reinvent the old ChristmasTree
The Christmas tree is not limited to the plastic option or a cut pine tree. Have you thought of using a plant you already have at home? Or you could make one using old wooden pallets or even using a bare branch as the base of your Christmas tree.
- Turn off the lights
Save energy by avoiding Christmas lights. As an alternative we recommend an easy, and sustainable DIY option that is perfect for doing with the kids. Cut out various cardboard stars (our shipping boxes are ideal for craft activities like this one), join them together with a piece of string to make a star banner and hang it around your tree. A decoration made of reused materials – a win win for all.
LESS GIFTS, BUT WITH MORE THOUGHT
- Share experiences
We are sure that a trip to the countryside, a weekend in a B&B or an afternoon at the movies a few months after Christmas is sure to make your family and friends happier than ever.
- Give gifts that are useful, sustainable and fair-trade
This way you will know that you are buying something that the other person needs whilst at the same time you are contributing to a better world. If you are a little short of ideas, have a look at our recent post A list of jaw-droppingly good presents from Sin Plastico that will leave your friends and family amazed this Christmas.
- Go present-free this Christmas
If everyone around you agrees, a festive season consumption-free is a great idea. This also allows you to take advantage of the time you save (from not shopping for gifts) to hang out and catch up on each other’s news whilst going for a walk or enjoying a delicious hot chocolate.
PLASTIC-FREE GIFTS WITHOUT SINGLE-USE WRAPPING PAPER
- Wrap with fabric
Have your heard of Furoshiki? This Japanese traditionuses a type of handkerchief to wrap all types of things, from boxes to flowers. This discovery has inspired us so much that we now have it available and we will be using it for this year’s Christmas gifts. If you are interested in knowing more, check out this video which explains how to use this incredible technique.
- Use what you already have
Any old newspapers, magazines or even packing paper from shoes or online purchases are perfect for wrapping. If you want to add a special personal touch to your gifts, tie on a sprig of rosemary, a bay leaf or whatever other plant you have at home and hey presto!
- Refuse plastic sticky tape
Instead of regular plastic sticky tape you can use paper craft sticky tape or if you are a little more creative and handy you could use a simple piece of raffia or cotton to hold the fabric or paper together, giving your gift a rustic touch.
EXTRA, EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT! A COUPLE MORE TIPS TO HELP YOU TO CELEBRATE A MORE RESPONSIBLE CHRISTMAS
- Reconsider the way you travel
If you need to travel home for Christmas, think about using public transport or a car share app and try to avoid having to catch a plane if at all possible. This way you will save a significant amount of CO2 emissions.
- Think about the way you dress
If you like to get dressed up in a special Christmas outfit, do so in a responsible manner. Avoid pieces of clothing made of synthetic fibres and choose to use second hand clothes and/or those made under fair-trade conditions from sustainable fabrics.
What do you think of Sinplástico’s list of tips to reduce our Christmas impact? We would love to hear your tips and tricks, so that we can try them too. Share your ideas in the comments below and together we will make this Christmas a happy time for the planet too
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