Climate change has been one of the most talked about issues in recent years. At Christmas time, many of the actions we take as humans have a detrimental effect on the environment and contribute to climate change. At Christmas, our combined carbon footprint is bigger than ever as we purchase more, waste more and use more energy than we do at other times of the year.
With health being at the forefront of most of our minds during 2020, environmental issues have taken a bit of a backseat. So as the festive period approaches, we wanted to share with you a few ideas on the small changes we can make in order to have a more sustainable Christmas…
Local independents have missed out on a considerable amount of trade this year and many will be fighting for survival in the run up to Christmas. By choosing to shop local you will be doing your bit to support local businesses, but did you know you could also be helping the environment? Such businesses have significantly lower carbon footprints due to more limited manufacturing and logistics. Also, by choosing to buy from smaller, independent businesses you are likely to find more ethical and locally produced products. For example, bespoke furniture manufactured by us at Hartleys, is made here in Yorkshire using sustainable materials from managed forestations.
It’s true what they say – it really is the thought that counts! By putting a little extra consideration into the presents you purchase this year, you could put a smile on someone’s face and protect the environment at the same time. Instead of buying novelty gifts which are destined for the landfill, choose a meaningful present that can be used and enjoyed time after time. After a year of limited leisure activities, perhaps a gift experience or a voucher for a spa treatment would be gratefully received?
At Christmas, we have a tendency to over-indulge and overspend. Help to reduce the amount of waste expected at UK landfill sites over the festive season by limiting the amount you purchase, re-using leftovers and recycling where possible. You can save on gift wrap by using hampers or gift bags for multiple presents, rather than wrapping them individually. To prevent making impulse purchases and buying too much food, make a list before you head to the supermarket. If we limit what we buy, we reduce the amount that we waste.
One of the easiest ways to help the environment this Christmas is by reducing the amount of plastic we purchase and use. More sustainable alternatives to most plastics are now widely available, so it’s up to us to take the initiative and make our own individual contributions to saving our planet. Plastic gift bows and bags can easily be swapped for string or paper versions, produce can be bought loose and carried home in paper or reusable bags and boxes, and there are plenty of useful guides online on how to make your own crackers and advent calendars from sustainable materials.
Protect the Outdoors, Indoors
We all love decorating our homes as Christmas approaches. It truly is part of the joy of the season and a festive-looking home provides the perfect backdrop for Christmas activities. However, getting your home Christmas-ready doesn’t necessarily have to mean investing in mass produced ornaments and unsustainable decorative items. Head to your local florist or forage for some of nature’s treasures to make your own Christmas wreaths and table centrepieces. Also, try to reduce the amount of energy you use by choosing LED lights for your tree and using soy candles to give your rooms that cosy, festive glow.
Wishing everyone a thoughtful and planet-friendly Christmas, from the Hartleys Team.