Are you playing host to family and friends at home this year? If so, why not make this most wonderful time of the year a little less wasteful? By following a few simple steps, you can eat, drink and be merry – and kinder to the environment.
Let’s talk turkey
A good way to reduce your carbon footprint is to eat less meat. That could mean forgoing meat for a vegetarian alternative. But if you don’t want to go that far, opt for turkey instead of beef (turkey generates 4.8 times less greenhouse emissions than beef*). You could also cut back on some of the trimmings, such as pigs in blankets and sausage rolls.
Reduce your food miles by sourcing your cooking produce from farm shops or local suppliers that sell homegrown goods. Opt for seasonal veg such as cauliflower, parsnips and Brussels sprouts.
Plan your purchases
Many people buy too much food out of concern that they might run out on the big day. But usually, there’s more than enough to go around. Plan your shop carefully so you don’t overbuy (this will save you money, too). If you do buy a few extras, make sure they’re non-perishable.
Give away leftovers
Once the festivities are over, give any excess food away via the local sharing app Olio. You can give fresh and non-perishable items, along with any unwanted presents.
It may sound obvious to mention recycling, but every Christmas in the UK, 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging that could be recycled goes to landfill**. Make sure you recycle all the packaging from food and presents. Also, see if your local council runs a Christmas tree recycling scheme. Many councils turn the trees into woodchips and use them in parks and public areas.
Did you know that in the UK, we throw away 277,000 miles of Christmas wrapping paper each year?*** One way we can turn this statistic around is to reuse wrapping paper wherever we can. So instead of binning all your paper after opening your presents, keep the larger pieces and use them again next year.
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* Source: Consumer Ecology
** Source: GWP Group
*** Source: GWP Group