Christmas is a time of celebration and appreciation for those we love often symbolised through the giving of gifts and indulgence in all sorts of goodies. While joyful for us, the high consumption and waste generation of the festive period means that it is not a good time for the natural world we depend on so much. Why not include the natural worlds’ interests in our celebrations by following some of the tips below to make it a happier Christmas all round.
Go greener in 2021: Start the year on an empowering note by making a few simple changes that will make the world a better place!
The Kris Kindle custom means that instead of everyone buying something for each other, only one present is given by each family member. Create your gift: If you have the time, and the inspiration, creating a gift ensures a personal, unique present.
Avoid giving battery-operated toys
Most batteries are purchased around Christmas so avoid gifting a present that requires batteries to reduce the battery waste-stream and the effects of toxic chemical leakage on ecosystems.
Buy gifts from Irish businesses. It is good to support the local economy and will help to reduce the carbon footprint created in transport.
Make your own wrapping paper
Consider using last year’s calendar, an old newspaper, or an old magazine to wrap your presents this year.
Replace Sellotape with reusable options
Use ribbons or string instead of this single-use plastic option. Some much-loved ribbons will carry their own nostalgia when they are untied each year.
Compost your Christmas tree
If you buy a real tree, composting your Christmas tree is a great way of recycling the nutrients back into the earth.
Green ideas to add to your New Year’s Resolution list for 2021:
Reduce your plastic waste in 2021
Carry reusable grocery bags for shopping and choose products with less or without plastic packaging where possible. Bring your own small reusable bags for loose fruit and vegetables.
Reuse household items in 2021
Upcycle your own clothes or second-hand clothes instead of buying from the high-street shops. Consider cutting up old towels to make cleaning cloths or face cloths instead of using single-use wipes. Choose brands that offer reusable, refillable, and recycled plastic bottle solutions so you can reuse the bottle instead of adding plastic bottles to the waste stream.
Reduce the use of chemicals in your home
Make your own cleaning products with household items such as vinegar, lemon, and bread soda which can be used to clean surfaces. Or simply opt for natural cleaning products that are free from harsh chemicals such as VivaGreen’s new ‘Tru Eco’ range of refillable, eco-friendly household cleaning and laundry products that are made in Ireland.
Bring your own Cups (BYOC)
Take-away cups, even if they are compostable, are an unnecessary burden to the environment especially for the remaining rainforests.
Top 10 Green Tips for the Festive Season by Anne Marie Mahon, Lead Research Scientist, VivaGreen. For more information about VivaGreen please visit, www.vivagreen.ie