When one of our team members – Digital Marketing Executive and eco-enthusiast Nadia Griezans – recently shared her top tips for going ‘evergreen’ this Christmas, we were so inspired we thought we’d put them out there for planet-conscious party people everywhere.

Here’s Nadia’s take on how you can enjoy the season – sustainably…

Which tree?

The Soil Association says that you need to reuse an artificial Christmas tree at least ten times for it to negate its carbon footprint, but after its lifespan it still ends up in landfill.

If, like me, you can't resist the piny aromas of a real Christmas tree, but you want to make a more conscious choice, choose a tree that’s grown in the UK and FSC-certified (responsibly sourced) and consider what to do with your green friend after Christmas. For example, there are plenty of charities which offer a tree collection service in return for a small donation.

Also, check with your local council to see what they offer too: some provide free drop-off points and will find a new purpose for your used/enjoyed tree — The Fylde Sand Dunes Project is an excellent example of this.

Choose LED lights

LEDs of course use less energy, don't hog all the electrons, and look just as good. Also, switch off your lights at night at the socket and unplug—it's safer and won't cost the earth.

Recycled gift wrap

I've been saving wrapping paper from gifts received this past year as well as black and white tissue paper from other parcels, and I’ll be using both to wrap my family's and friends’ gifts this year (I know, lucky them!). You can also use bits of fabric for gift ties or gift wrapping.

Eco-friendly decorations

No one does cosy at Christmas quite like the Scandinavians. Here’s a positively Scandi tutorial on how to make paper stars to pop on your Christmas tree or attach to gifts. And here’s another.

Also, for table decorations and gift tags I ‘borrow’ branches from my unsuspecting Christmas tree and tie them to foraged fern leaves, pinecones, or wild berries (or anything else found on walks) with floristry wire that can be used time and again. Origami Christmas trees can make a good table centrepiece or shelf decoration as can these cute DIY paper houses.

Make your own Christmas crackers

Creating your own Christmas crackers is actually pretty simple, and a nice thing to do with your beloveds. You could include eco-friendly, practical prizes because let’s face it, there's only so much use one can get from a fortune teller fish and/or a tiny set square! Making your own also means you can really personalise the crackers for each of your guests, too – here’s how.

E-cards

There’s something very Dickensian and charming about writing and receiving hand-written letters and Christmas cards, but unfortunately this creates a lot of waste. Consider the antithesis of Dickensian Britain and send an e-card. While there is still an environmental impact when it comes to sending a card virtually, there's less waste and it has less impact on our forests.

To send an e-card there are the usual suspects: Moonpig, Funky Pigeon and GreenVelope, but there's also Canva – a simple tool with a free plan. In Canva, you can create your own card which you can then download and send to your recipient's email address.

Cut food waste

Planning ahead is the best way to cut out food waste, but leftovers may be unavoidable at Christmas so Love Food Hate Waste has some excellent leftover food recipes. You can also save your leftovers to enjoy in the following days by covering it with biodegradable cling film or wax cloth covers.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Nadia’s tips for making Christmas more eco-friendly.

At Places for People, creating sustainable homes in communities that impact positively on the environment is what we do best.

 

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