We all might dream of a white Christmas but, with environmental issues looming larger than ever, we should be dreaming of a green Christmas, too.
For as much fun as we have over the festive season, it is also a time of huge waste. It is estimated that 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away over Christmas, and enough Brussels sprouts to power a home for three years.
So what’s the best thing do to for those hoping to keep green while still spreading Christmas cheer?
Seven sustainability influencers from across the UK spoke exclusively to FEMAIL to share their tops tips on how to be as eco-friendly as possible over Christmas.
The women, who work in partnership with present company Buyagift, shared the big and small changes that can make a difference…
REUSE WRAPPING PAPER
Waste not, want not! Reuse wrapping paper for a quick and easy way to boost your eco-credentials this Christmas, suggested Karen Maurice. Or just use brown paper instead
Karen Maurice, who runs sustainable style account @n4mummy says start with cutting down wrapping paper use.
She said: ‘I’d recommend that you don’t buy any new wrapping paper this year. Instead, use paper from last year or from packaging you’ve received parcels in.
‘If you don’t have enough old paper, buy and decorate brown recycled or recyclable brown paper.’
BUY A WOODEN TREE
Less is more! The one time not to go green is when it comes to trees, when wood works instead
Top tips: Signe Hansen, pictured left and right, who has 60,000 followers online running a sustainable style blog explained that getting an fake tree is best, but not an plastic one
…OR RENT ONE
If a wooden tree isn’t up your street, NHS Doctor Natalie Davies, who runs zero waste account, @zerowastedoc said: ‘Did you know that it’s possible to rent your Christmas tree?
‘If you want to enjoy the luxury of a real fir this Christmas, don’t choose a pre-chopped tree which will wilt and drop needles after a week.
‘Rent a potted tree instead. It’s a zero-waste option which will help to counter-balance your carbon emissions.’
Signe Hansen, who has 60,000 followers online running a sustainable style blog explained that getting an fake tree is best, but not an plastic one.
She said: ‘One thing you could do to have a more sustainable Christmas this year is to buy an artificial tree. Not a plastic one (because those aren’t actually very sustainable) but one from a brand like Danish Habitree, who make FSC and allergy-certified reusable Christmas trees out of wood.
‘It’s a bit more dainty and minimal than the traditional real deal, but it can be vamped up and personalised with all your favourite baubles year after year, instead of being disposed of. I’m getting one of these trees for myself this year, in a quest to still get that Christmas spirit into our living room but in a more sustainable way.’
HAVE A VEGAN CHRISTMAS DINNER
Meat-free magic! Madeleine suggests ‘a yummy nut roast’ or mushroom Wellington
Every little helps: Madeleine Olivia, left and right, urged shoppers to buy sustainable meat if they did want a traditional roast as it helps reduce the carbon footprint of the meal
Madeleine Olivia, who runs vegan food account @madeleineolivia, said a great thing to do is to opt for a vegan Christmas dinner.
She said: ‘One thing people can do to have a more sustainable Christmas is make your roast plant based! Try out a yummy nut roast, pie, or mushroom Wellington.
‘But if you don’t want to give up meat for the big day, be conscious of where you food is coming from and source it from local farmers to reduce your food’s footprint.’
USE OLIVE OIL, NOT GOOSE FAT
Small switch: Steph said: ‘Reduce your use of animal products at Christmas time, I’d recommend using olive oil instead of goose fat for roast potatoes’
If you don’t want to give up meat on Christmas day but are hoping to reduce your carbon footprint and use of animal products, Stephanice Elswood suggested switching the way you cook roast potatoes.
The influencer, who runs healthy sustainable food account @stephelswood, said: ‘To reduce your use of animal products at Christmas time, I’d recommend using olive oil instead of goose fat for roast potatoes, and maple syrup instead of honey for roasting parsnips.’
RENT YOUR CLOTHES
Shop smart: Natalie Glaze, who was named as one of Vogue’s top eco influencers to follow, said that a great way to cut down on waste is to rent your Christmas party outfit
Natalie Glaze, who was named as one of Vogue’s top eco influencers to follow, said that a great way to cut down on waste is to rent your Christmas party outfit.
The influencer, who has 30,000 followers on her Instagram account @natalieglaze says: ‘When it comes to Christmas parties – have you considered renting clothes? There are loads of rental sites and apps that have amazing options and are planet friendly. No more panic buying outfits.’
‘My tips would be the same for Christmas as every day life. When buying, take the motto “buy less, buy better”: think about investing in pieces and things that will last a lifetime, that you will cherish and love for years to come.
‘And support small, sustainable businesses where you can.’