For some us, the closer it gets to Christmas, the harder it is to resist getting caught up in a buying frenzy.
Everybody seems to be worried about whether they have got enough gifts for friends and families - and then whether they are good enough gifts – as well as whether there is sufficient food and drink to last the whole 24 hours the shops are shut!
Sometimes our good intentions about minimising our environmental impact go out the window but there are lots of things you can do to reduce wastefulness and still enjoy the festivities. You might also save some money too!
Here are a few small suggestions:
Buy less: Not everyone needs shiny new items for Christmas. A thoughtful second-hand or “vintage” gift can be just as warmly received.
Less packaging: Unwrapping presents is half the fun but you don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy decorative paper. Newspaper or magazine pages work just as well, or tissue paper and even cloth.
Give time: You don’t need to give physical things. An evening’s baby-sitting, a couple of hours’ gardening or the offer to cook a meal could be the perfect gift.
Give food: Creating a selection box of favourite foods rather than buying a ready-made hamper means there is less likelihood of things being thrown away. Take it one step further and make your own gifts of jam, chutney, cake or sweets if you can.
Give an experience: This could be anything from a trip to the cinema or theatre, ride on a steam train or meal at a restaurant.
Buy local: Whether it is a gift or an experience, using local suppliers reduces carbon footprints and keeps money in the local economy.
Buy only what you reasonably need. It’s a huge temptation to buy excessive amounts of food and drink just because it is Christmas. While no-one is suggesting you should starve, tons of perfectly edible food is thrown away because it starts to go off or simply too much is cooked. If you’re not sure how much you’ll need, try and get things which have a long storage time or which can be frozen so they don’t end up in the bin.
After the big day:
When it’s all over, there are still some things you can do to reduce your environmental impact:
• Keep good quality wrapping paper from gifts you receive to reuse another time – you may have to cut it down but it’s better than throwing it away.
• You can put most wrapping papers in the kerbside and bring bank paper collections except for foil type wrapping paper (ie the shiny metallic type)
• Christmas cards. Many cards can be recycled in the kerbside boxes or bring banks but please don’t put in ones which have glitter decorations. Many shops set up recycling bins for these types of card after Christmas – or you can keep them and use to make your own home-made cards next year!
• Filled up your recycling boxes? No need to put the rest in your bin - you can put bottles, cans etc in other bags (one material type per bag) and place out with the boxes. Or drop them off at a bring bank or amenity site if you are going past.
• Recirculate unwanted gifts. If you don't want it, the chances are that someone, somewhere else might. Sell it on, donate to a worthy cause or freecycle rather than put it in the bin.
Find out how you can help spread awareness and help the Isle of Man's environment through your business
Have a question, inquiry or feedback? We'd love to hear from you here at EcoVannin! contact us today