The feminist’s guide to a last-minute eco-friendly Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner, a season for joy, laughter, togetherness…and a huge amount of waste. According to the GWP Group, we produce 30% more packaging at Christmas than we do compared to the rest of the year.

 If we used the energy that it took to produce all of the wasted Brussel sprouts in the UK and used it instead for powering homes, we could power a family home in the UK for 3 years! How can we, as the eco-conscious people we are, be a bit kinder to our poor planet this festive season? Here are a few tips!

Less is more

Around ⅔ of Brits reluctantly admitted to Unilever that at least a small amount of their turkey ends up in the bin during the yuletide season. The equivalent to at least one plateful per household goes to waste on Christmas day and then the equivalent in the following days as well.

Maybe, to avoid the often eye-watering level of food waste on Christmas day, it may be good to work out how much food is needed so that everyone can have one big portion each. If you know that there’s one particularly unpopular food item in your party, maybe it will be ok to give it a miss this year? I’m looking at you, sprouts.

Homegrown homies

Check out your local food retailers for your Christmas dinner this year! You might find a turkey from the butchers’ costs more, but you know it’s been locally sourced, is organic and you’re supporting a local business! Bonus points if you walk there for collection!

9 tips for a zero-waste, ethical and eco-friendly family Christmas dinner -  Land of Size

This could have been an email…

Christmas cards are SO last year. So much paper and card is wasted on Christmas cards, if you give them a miss this year, I’m sure your cousin’s husband’s mum won’t realise! Maybe send an ecard instead or put a classy post on Instagram, it will reach them a lot faster, is cheaper and won’t kill trees.

We haven’t forgotten your present, it just hasn’t arrived yet…

We all dread the sinking feeling in your chest when the realisation that you’ve forgotten to get a present for someone is about to become apparent. If this happens, don’t panic buy something to get there by next-day delivery, the ecological fallout from this is huge. Try to avoid buying items for people that need to be shipped long distances. Instead, quickly donate to a charity in their name online or re-gift an unwanted item to them. It’s the thought that counts.

 £42 million worth of unwanted Christmas presents end up in landfills each year so maybe consider buying one present for someone that they really want as opposed to lots of small ones that they might not use.

Ho ho horribly wasteful

Every year, enough wrapping paper is thrown away in the UK to wrap around the world 22 times. If you want to wrap your presents up to keep the element of surprise, maybe use brown wrapping paper or newspaper because it works for every occasion and is recyclable!

Brightly wrapped gifts aren't always environmentally friendly • Earth.com

That way you don’t have to buy new paper for every single birthday/anniversary/wedding/baptism/valentines gift, plus you can just write directly on the paper, thereby avoiding tags or cards, hooray!

While these tips won’t stop the inevitable family argument at least you know the argument won’t be on how much effort you put in to save the environment! Merry Christmas, feminists!