Here are 8 helpful hints to help you have a greener Christmas from the Sustainability Team at Workspace. 

1. Unplug your electronic devices

Why not?

If you’re going away for the holiday season, why not unplug your electronic devices at home and switch off your computer at work while you’re away and cut your carbon footprint.

Did you know? 

  • Leaving a computer on overnight for a year creates enough CO2 to fill a double-decker bus

Read more here.

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2. Reusable Christmas setting

Why not?

Try to reduce waste at the Christmas dinner table by considering purchasing reusable water bottles, cotton napkins. Also consider sustainable decorations such as candles made from beeswax and decoration made from natural materials such as wood and glass.

You can also find zero waste gift ideas such as a zero-waste starter gift kits here.

Did you know?

  • In 2018 it was estimated that more than 103,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown away and not recycled in the UK this Christmas – which is the weight of almost 215,000 polar bears

Read more here.

3. Christmas budget

Why not?

  1. Repurpose your Christmas cards
    Around 1 billion Christmas cards end up in the bin each year, but you could make a saving during the festive period by reusing them. These can be reused by repurposing cards into things like gift tags could help you cut costs and recycle, too.

  2. Recycle electronics for cash
    Instead of throwing yours out, you could make some money this Christmas by cashing them in. If you don’t have time to sell your items yourself, companies such as MusicMagpie allows you to send in your old and unwanted electronics for an agreed cash amount.
     
  3. Recycle clothes for cash
    Divert your old clothes from landfill by making some money from old clothes, rather than just throwing them out. And companies including John Lewis, M&S, H&M and Nike have schemes in which they’ll buy back your unwanted clothes.

Also any unwanted Christmas present don’t forget to donate to your local charity shop or re-gift them!

Did you know?

  • Royal Mail delivers around 150 million cards and packets during the pre-Christmas period. It’s estimated that 1 billion Christmas cards could end up in the bin after December 25th

Read more here. 

4. Greener energy

Why not?

Clean energy is power generated from renewable sources such as sun, wind, water and biofuels.

The Big Clean Switch only uses suppliers which can guarantee 100% of the electricity sold is matched by energy from renewables. You can find out how much you can save by visiting Big Clean Switch for your home or office.

Did you know?

  • Renewables produce more than 20% of the UK’s electricity, and EU targets means that this is likely to increase to 30% by 2020

Read more here

 

5. LED Christmas lights

Why not?

Switch to LED Christmas lights are much better for the environment than traditional twinkling incandescent lights, because they use up to 80 per cent less energy.

Did you know?

  • According to Which UK the average cost of electricity to run your Christmas lights for thirty days could decrease by up to 90% using LED lights

Read more here.

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6. Christmas trees and decorations

Why not?

Buy an FSC Christmas tree

FSC real Christmas trees from a local sustainable grower can minimise your environmental impact and ensure it is sourced from a responsibly managed farm. Artificial trees are reusable, however may not be the most sustainable option. To reduce your environmental impact you would have to use the same tree for at least ten years, furthermore the only end-option for PVC trees is landfill.

Forage for decorations

The season brings the opportunity to cut down on plastic and spend time looking for seasonal decoration such as holly, ivy, chestnuts and pine cones – and get to work with glitter glue and string to make some simple, rustic tree decorations or table settings.

Did you know?

Between six and eight million real trees are sold in the UK every Christmas, with more than 250,000 tonnes of trees thrown away every January. Nordmann firs account for 80% of these trees and take around 10-12 years to grow to six ft

Read more here

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7. Rethink wrapping

Try choosing recyclable wrapping paper and previous years Christmas Cards or alternatives such as brown paper, twine with twigs or eucalyptus tucked in the string?

  1. Gift Bags which can be reused                        
  2. Reduce, reuse, recycle - Reusing newspapers, magazines or comic books as wrapping paper to wrap your presents.
  3. Stockings - Forget wrapping paper altogether with a good old classic stocking. Brown paper packages tied up with string

Did you know?

  • 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper will be thrown out or burnt – enough to gift-wrap the island of Jersey! 

Read more here. 

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8. Planning ahead

Why not?

Make a Christmas meal plan catered to your guests to avoid wasting food and where possible support locally grown food. By planning ahead, you can reduce the amount of food wasted.  Also don’t be afraid to use leftovers to make use of food not used on the day.

Did you know?

  • This Christmas we’ll cook around 6,711 tonnes of fresh turkey, and 12,472 tonnes of frozen turkey. That’s almost 20,000 tonnes of meat!

  • Around 4,200 tonnes of aluminium foil gets thrown away every Christmas in the UK

Read more here.

 

Want to learn more about being more sustainable in 2020? Start by reading our homeWORK articles Waste Not and Recycle with Purpose to find out what practical steps you can continue to take in the New Year.