Whether you like it or not, we all know about this thing called Christmas. It’s an event wedged somewhere in between Autumn and Spring in a season called Winter; allegedly celebrating the alleged birth of the alleged Jesus Christ; hence it’s namesake.
Despite the views you may hold about Christmas being a capitalist ploy designed by reptilians and billionaires, there’s still nothing quite like the heartwarming ritual of being tucked in at home with your loved ones and celebrating your mutual love over a nice meal. It’s also really funny getting a bit sideways with your grandparents.
However, conspiracy and compassion aside – there is one other universal thing we understand about the festive period: we produce waste. A lot of waste. Each year 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away each year, and us Britons fill our bins up around 30% more over the holidays than the UK average. Even though Openmind is a brand that offers products, we strive to be as eco and resourceful as much as possible, and in doing so have learnt a thing or two about reducing and reusing.
Now, I know as well as you do that being told to do something actually makes you want to do it less. It also is no lie that if something seems like too much effort, then it’s just not worth suggesting. Listen. I hear you. Here are a few tips that don’t require you to do much that will make your special day as guilt-free as possible, all whilst doing your part for the planet.
Recycle your tree
Look, you. I saw you launch that old Christmas tree into a lay-by last year. 6 million trees are discarded every year. 250 tonnes of Christmas trees are thrown away after every Christmas, when they could well be used as compost. Every Christmas tree that gets collected by the bin-men usually end up in landfill, so the best thing to do is to simply take it to a recycling centre instead. If you have a chimney, pine makes for incredible firewood.
Choose your wrapping paper wisely
A simple change in habit can make a world of difference. Try a wrapping paper that is made of Kraft paper. Most wrapping papers contain plastic, glitter and foil, all of which can’t be recycled! Not only is it cheaper, but it looks much better too. The same goes for ribbons, strings and tags; opt in for a real fabric ribbon or even better yet, you don’t need to add the unnecessary waste at all!
Choose junk-free Christmas crackers
This might be a no-brainer, but no one needs 7 toe nail clippers and an arsenal of under-performing yo-yos… and what’s that? A shoe horn?! You might need to do a bit of hunting but most major supermarkets are selling a plastic free alternative. They may be a little more expensive but who needs another measuring tape? All these things just end up in landfill.
Buy just a bit less
It’s easy to go a bit overboard; we seem to think wildly enough that more presents = more love. With just a bit of research, buying less items that you know your loved ones will appreciate more will create a lot less unnecessary waste. If you feel like doing Christmas in expert mode, it is becoming a rising trend to not gift at all and stick to the most important bits – spending time with the people that mean the world to you.
No one’s asking you to skip Christmas dinner, but it helps to be realistic and mindful when doing your food shop. Some 2 million turkeys, 74 million mince pies and 17.2 million brussel sprouts are thrown out every Christmas.
Everyone has the power to create something beautiful and thoughtful. It doesn’t take long, but creating something from scratch really adds the spirit into Christmas. Make a drawing, knit a sweater, or simply make some decorations! Heck, even customising something you’ve bought makes your relatives feel so much worse about throwing it away.
Some presents don’t even have to be made, but rain-checking a day out together or investing in an experience means so much more than a 17-in-1 nose trimmer.
So that’s it. If there’s anything that’s been left out, please leave a comment! What are you going to do this Christmas to minimise waste and maximise love?