Have a Green Christmas Whether You’re Home or Away
The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, full of giving and togetherness. For the more green-minded of us, it can feel like a time of huge waste, as we fill bin bag after bin bag with plastic packaging (why is there so much packaging on tiny toys?!), wasted food and wrapping paper. If you’re looking for some ways to minimise the amount of rubbish you’re producing this year, take a look at these ideas for a less wasteful Christmas (it might even save you some money, too!)
Hold on to Wrapping Paper
Maybe you should take back that time when you laughed at your Grandma for folding up wrapping paper to reuse it! If you’ve received some wrapping paper that will last for another round of gift-giving, why not fold it up and keep it for another time, or use it on a crafty project. If it’s Christmassy paper you’ll need somewhere to store it for a year, but if the design is more generic, you can use it for an upcoming birthday present. If it ends up getting ripped and isn’t really salvageable, of course just recycle it!
Buy Second Hand
If it’s something specific you’re after – see if you can find it in a second-hand store or thrift store – it’ll cost you a fraction of the price of a new one, and if you find exactly what you’re looking for, top points for you! Do you really need to buy a brand new copy of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ when you can get one for 50p? You could even buy several for the price of a brand new one. If you’re unlikely to find what you’re after on the local high street, give eBay a try – just make sure you watch out for delivery costs and factor these into your budget.
If you like crafts and have a bit of a talent, whether it’s for sewing, cooking or painting, why not make your presents this year? (maybe not all of them if you’re time constrained!) The receivers will be super-impressed and it’ll also add a personal touch. If you’re a bit of a whizz in the kitchen you could offer to cook instead of buying presents!
Whoever you spend Christmas with, try not to get sucked into a battle of presents. It’s easy to end up trying to top everyone else’s efforts at gift-giving but you’ll only end up skint and feeling bad for producing more waste. Remember that your loved ones wouldn’t want you to be stressed over buying gifts and just want you to be happy. You don’t need to blow your budget just to fit in – if you’re really strapped for cash, think about contributing something else to the day, like games ideas or your cooking skills.
Share the Load
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re hosting this year and are worried about coughing up for the price of food as well as gifts and decorations, why not ask attendees to bring a dish each? Many parts of the meal can be made in advance, like sprouts, or a dessert. This’ll take away some of the stress for you and will mean all the elements of the meal don’t have to fight for what is often limited oven space. Your guests will also feel pleased to have contributed to the delicious meal.
Turn Leftovers into Different Meals
We all love a Christmas sandwich so why not make one for yourself? Leftover food is delicious on boxing day, which you can eat cold in a sandwich or reheat to have a second Christmas dinner! If you’ve got surplus vegetables, try making bubble and squeak for breakfast the next day, or if you’re still drowning in turkey, make it into a turkey curry for something a bit different.