How to save the Environment at Christmas

Eco friendly gifts, cards, decorations and much more

An Opportunity at Christmas

Christmas is a time when you are likely to spend, spend, spend on a Christmas tree, presents, Christmas Decorations in a Shopping MallCredit: TerriePlowmancards, ornaments and masses of food. The thought of preserving the environment is possibly the last thing on your mind. To you, it is more important to buy all the Christmas presents for your children, parents and friends. You need to buy the turkey and all the food to last the holiday season. You need to decorate the Christmas tree and fill the house with seasonal decorations. You will have written and posted all those Christmas cards. You are not alone. Most of the population will be doing the same.

But at this frenetic time you can take the opportunity to help the environment.With a little pre-planning you can search quite easily for recyclable products like Christmas cards, wrapping paper, decorations, fairy lights, Christmas crackers and even a tree.

Christmas Card with StarCredit: cehwiedel.comIn the kitchen you can also be eco-conscious.  

Christmas Cards

We send one billion cards each Christmas in the UK so here is an opportunity to reduce the waste for the landfill sites.You can buy Christmas cards made from re-cycled card from many sources. It's good to feel that dozens of cards from last year have not be wasted  but have ended up being re-cycled.

Decorations

Solar Powered Fairy Lights

If you wish to light up your garden either at Christmas or any other party time you can buy solar-powered lights that can be used outdoors throughout the year. They are weatherproof and, once charged, will last up to 40 hours. They give a magical feel for your garden or yard. They will turn on and off automatically, off during daylight hours and on during darkness. You don't need to do anything except enjoy the spectacle!

Christmas Tree Decorations

A super idea for decorations for the tree are the paper shapes which are embedded with seeds to plant in the garden after the festivities. The paper breaks down into the soil and the seeds germinate to grow wild flowers for you to enjoy later in the year and to remind you of the enjoyment of the previous Christmas.

There are also baubles made from re-cycled circuit boards and re-cycled CD's. The shiny sides are good at catching the light.

Green BaublesCredit: christmasstockingimages.com

Christmas Tree

You can even buy a cardboard Christmas tree!

Wrapping the Presents

 Miles and miles of wrapping paper is thrown away each year. It ends up in the landfill sites. But re-cycled wrapping paper is available. Think of all that paper covering the floor on Christmas morning. What do you do with it? Why, it mostly goes in the waste bin and you have to buy again next year. But save the larger pieces you've just unwrapped and smooth them out by ironing them ready to re-use. It may be an idea to cover the wrapping paper with an old handkerchief when ironing to avoid burning!

Gift Tags

You can buy these or cut up some old Christmas cards and use pinking shears to shape the edges to make cheap but attractive tags.

Christmas Crackers

These are recyclable. You can make your own with a cardboard toilet roll centre, place a small eco gift inside and wrapChristmas CrackersCredit: christmasstockingimages.com with your re-cycled paper.

Presents

The list of eco-friendly gifts is endless. Gifts for her include organic soap, herbal or bath gift boxes. Organic food gift boxes, assorted re-cycled plastic covers,e.g. for an i phone, shopping bags, body lotion and much more.

Gifts for him range from the inevitable socks, solar-powered electric shaver, recycled razor blades, solar-powered car battery charger and pocket water bottle.

Children don't miss out either. There are plenty of toys, including UV colour changing beads, solar transforming robots  and helicopter kits.

For the Home

There are endless energy-saving devices now available including TV standby savers, plug-in timers, mobile phone shut down plugs, fridge thermometers and home energy monitors.

In the Kitchen

Compostable kitchen liners for left-over food, compost bins, re-cycled apron, can crushers, sandwich covers, mugs, cups, glasses and organic wines.

Boil only enough water in the kettle for your immediate needs.

Keep the lid on the saucepan.

Planning the Menus

When it's time to shop for the food, then plan your menus carefully. It's always on your mind that someone may call in unexpectedly but generally all of us are usually well satisfied after our Christmas Dinners. Meals for the rest of the holiday could perhaps be less elaborate. How often have you found something in the fridge that you'd forgotten you had bought. Don't go mad with the size of the turkey you buy. And write the menus down in your diary. Hopefully, there will be less food to throw away  on to the landfill site.

The New Year

The New Year brings you thinking about resolutions. Why not give yourself an environmental challenge to help to reduce the country's carbon footprint.

Here are a few ideas for your New Year's Resolutions:

Use less energy

Re-use materials

Use natural and organic

Buy locally

Walk sometimes instead of taking the car

Never leave anything on standby

Finally, adopt the motto: Reduce, Re-use, Re-cycle.

By next year you will be amazed at how much you have contributed to saving this wonderful planet!

 

Christmas decorations in La Cala de MijasCredit: Terrie Plowman