The most wonderful time of the year can be sustainable

At The Clean Market, we are aiming to help people make this Christmas more sustainable and less wasteful. If you are planning to celebrate Christmas without ending up with a lot of waste, we have many tips that can help you go green this Christmas. According to The Guardian, Mintel predicts that Christmas spending in the UK is estimated to hit £48.7bn. Furthermore, Biffa, a waste management company, estimates that Christmas generates 30% more waste than usual with around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging and 227,000 miles of wrapping materials. We all know how much waste gift wrapping, decorations and food generate over the festive period. Nevertheless, we think it is possible to celebrate Christmas without the need to generate a massive amount of waste. It is possible to make this Christmas the most wonderful time of the year by reducing your waste and making small changes that can make a positive impact on the environment.

Christmas gifts and wrapping
As a big part of Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts, we end with a lot of packaging materials that normally can’t be recycled or reused. Although it is inevitable that some of your family and friends will buy you gifts wrapped in plastic and difficult to recycle materials, you can start making a change yourself. There are plenty of options when it comes to eco-friendly Christmas gifts with plastic free packaging.

Here are some tips that can help you reduce waste coming from gifts and gift wrapping:

  • Make sure you look for plastic free packaging presents
  • Be original and buy eco friendly gifts
  • Ask your friends and family to buy you sustainable gifts
  • Buy experiences like concert tickets or club membership instead of physical gifts
  • Get plastic free Christmas cards or use old ones
  • For gift wrapping, make sure it’s recyclable or compostable
  • Use eco-friendly and natural materials like organic cotton
  • Make sure you use recyclable or compostable paper tape
  • Use your own wrapping materials like brown paper or newspapers
  • Try Furoshiki which is the Japanese art of fabrics wrapping

Christmas decorations
It is difficult to image anyone celebrating Christmas without decorating the Christmas tree and other parts of the house which often lead to an incredible amount of waste as the majority of Christmas decorations is not recyclable or compostable. There are many ways to have sustainable Christmas decorations with the environment in mind.

Here are some simple tips that can help you reduce your Christmas decorations waste: 

  • Look for handmade and plastic free decorations
  • Make sure you reuse old decorations
  • Buy ethically sourced decorations
  • Make sure you use materials that can be reused or recycled
  • Buy LED lights
  • Turn off Christmas lights when you go to sleep to save energy and money
  • Look for vegan and biodegradable candles
  • Make sure your Christmas tree is sustainably sourced or can be reused

Christmas food
We all know how important food is at Christmas. However, food waste is a major issue at the festive time as people buy too much food that often end up in bins. There are plenty of easy and affordable ways to cut down food waste this Christmas.

Here are some practical tips on how to reduce your food waste and lower your carbon footprint over the festive period:

  • Shop locally in order to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Start preserving your food with reusable food wrap
  • Look for DIY recipes for food
  • Buy food with a long expiry date
  • Look for recipes for leftover food
  • Buy what you need only to avoid excessive food waste
  • Introduce some vegan or vegetarian meals to your Christmas dinner
  • Shop in bulk and take your reusable bag with you
  • Plan your food shopping depending on how many people are attending your Christmas dinner

Finally remember that Christmas is all about enjoying your time with your loved ones, but it is possible to do it in a sustainable manner.