The environment always pays a very high price during the festive season.
From tinsel decorations and shiny wrapping paper to food waste, we are collectively responsible for creating tons of Yuletide rubbish that ends up in landfill sites.
According to Enviro Waste, 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper, six million trees, 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging and one billion Christmas cards are thrown out every year in the UK alone.
So maybe now’s the time to do your bit for the planet – and here are a few ways to make your Christmas more eco-friendly.
1. Go for a pre-loved tree
Looking for a new tree? Instead of buying one, why not go for a rental instead? Christmas Tree Rentals are a great option and deliver throughout the UK.
Or if you prefer artificial trees, picking up a pre-loved one (from places like Freegle, Freecycle, eBay or Gumtree) could not only save you ££s, you’d also be doing the environment a favour.
2. Or grow your own Christmas tree
If you are feeling particularly green-fingered, maybe you should try growing your very own festive foliage at home.
3. Make your own decorations
You could channel your inner Kirstie Allsopp and make your own festive decorations or upcycle your old ones.
4. Don’t spend money on wrapping paper
There’s a lot of free paper out there, so why spend money on buying gift wrap that’s hard to recycle?
You can get creative and turn your old stash of magazines or newspapers into gift wrappers.
5. Upcycle your old Christmas cards
If you are feeling crafty, you might manage to make your own Christmas cards without spending a penny.
6. Think sustainable when buying presents
Looking to buy a beauty hamper for your best friend? Or some luxury towels for your mum?
Chances are you’ll find eco-friendly versions that are equally good.
7. Don’t feel bad about regifting
Okay, this might make you look like a bad person but sometimes one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure.
So if there’s something you are not keen on but know someone who’s trying to get their hands on it, then go make the deal – it’s basically a win-win for everyone.
8. Opt for LED or solar-powered lights
Want to reduce your electricity bills and help the environment at the same time?
According to Good Energy, Christmas fairy lights add £20 to our electricity bills, so swap them for LED or solar-powered ones.
9. Think about reducing food waste
More than four million Christmas dinners were discarded across the UK in 2014, according to research from Unilever.
And that includes a sum of 263,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740,000 slices of Christmas pudding, 17.2 million Brussels sprouts, 11.9 million carrots and 11.3 million roast potatoes.
If you want to cut down on waste, Love Food Hate Waste’s food portion calculator will give you an idea of how much food you want to buy in the first place.
Or you could always take those leftovers and turn them into another scrummy meal.