It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we’re all looking forward to celebrating – with food, drinks and gifts aplenty. But have you ever wondered how to celebrate Christmas more sustainably? With environmental concerns remaining high on the agenda, the good news is that it’s easy to have a stylish, sustainable Christmas and we’re going to share some advice on how to do just that.
The first signs of Christmas are appearing earlier and earlier in the shops each year, with tinsel available sometime in August! Shopping for gifts is probably the biggest festive task we face at this time of year, but there are some easy ways of making it more sustainable (and even dare we say it) enjoyable! We are blessed in Linlithgow to have a wonderful, thriving High Street with a huge variety of gift options. Instead of stressing out about the last delivery dates and shipping costs online, you can find gifts for everyone on your list right here in Linlithgow from chocolates to toys, books to beauty products. An even more sustainable gift choice is to give
A useful tool for gifting more sustainably is the hierarchy of giving, pictured below. Experience vouchers such as afternoon tea, theatre tickets or days out are a good way of reducing ‘stuff’ and creating memories instead. At a time when we’re all tightening our belts, vouchers for a treat that is otherwise unaffordable are always appreciated!
Decorating our homes is fun and a great way of marking the start of the festive season. Whether you go for an artificial tree that you re-use year after year or a sustainably sourced real tree (look for those from FSC accredited suppliers), you can make sustainable choices in how you decorate too. Nature provides a wealth of beauty at this time of year, with plentiful pinecones, holly and berries, all of which provide natural colour for your home. Dried orange slices, popcorn garlands and cinnamon sticks will make your house smell sweet and can be composted once Christmas is over. If the baubles from last year need a change, don’t rush to throw them away. Most can be upcycled with paint or by covering them in festive fabric, ribbons or paper for a brand-new look.
Pinterest is a great first stop for decoration ideas. Simply type ‘DIY Christmas Decorations’ into the search bar and you’ll be overwhelmed with festive projects!
A big part of Christmas is all the food and drink we enjoy with family and friends. Alongside the traditional turkey and roast potatoes there are ways to make your menu more sustainable. Shopping for loose fruit and vegetables immediately cuts out plastic packaging and may also save you money. We’re lucky to have several local shops and farms that can cater to this, as well as supply you with fresh and local meats and treats. Most of the traditional vegetables associated with Christmas are seasonal – root vegetables, potatoes and of course sprouts! – this is already great for reducing food miles and helping the planet. Substituting vegetarian or vegan options for parts of your festive meals can make them even more sustainable and there are plenty of ready-made options in the shops. Whatever you choose, try not to over-buy by too much to avoid excessive food waste, and look online for some fabulous recipes to make the most of your leftovers! Vegetable peelings and other food waste can be composted either at home or via the council’s collection service.
Again, Pinterest has a lot of good leftover recipes, and we love this section of the BBC website dedicated to post-Christmas cooking!
Once the last mince pie has been eaten and the tinsel has been packed away, remember to recycle your wine bottles, put your Christmas cards and wrapping paper in your blue bin (avoid cards and paper with glitter which can’t be recycled). Unwanted gifts can be passed on to charity shops and your Christmas jumper can be washed and put away for next year.
Follow Linlithgow Community Development Trust on social media to get more tips on living more sustainably all year round and to keep up with local events.
Whatever your plans this festive season, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Linlithgow Community Development Trust