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Sustainability at Christmas by Megan d’Ardenne

Christmas consumerism has become sustainability’s worst nightmare. From food wastage, to unrecyclable plastic packaging, to trees being cut down for decoration; this time of year can really take a toll on the environment.

This year, I have become more aware of my consumption usage and have been trying to cut down on the waste I produce, an issue sparked by the shocking amount of plastic that clutters our oceans, and the harmful effect this has on aquatic life. As a result, I have gathered together some tips to make you more sustainable this Christmas.

Give a gift that gives back:

Pela Phone Case

Branding themselves as the world’s first truly sustainable phone case, Pela make their phone cases out of environmentally sensible materials and strives to keep 1 billion tons of plastic from entering the ocean. Their cases are durable enough to protect your phone from drops and scratches and are also 100% compostable. In addition 5% of sales will be donated to ocean loving charities such as ‘Save the Waves’ and ‘Surfrider Foundation x’ – what’s not to love?

Metal Straws

With plastic straws set to be banned by 2021, and many cafes and restaurants opting for paper straws, its time we all think about having sustainable straws in our homes. These metal straws from Amazon are a great option for just £3.99 and even come with a cleaner to ensure they last!

Chilly’s Bottle

Plastic water bottles are one of the biggest sinners from the single use plastic family, with over 60 million being thrown away every day in just the US alone. Therefore, using a reusable bottle instead of buying a plastic one is a small, yet important, step. Chilly’s Bottles are fun colourful metal water bottles that are a great gift to give this Christmas.

Cut down on wrapping:

One of the biggest things wasted at Christmas-time is wrapping paper. Unless you’re like my Grandparents and reuse wrapping paper (they either carefully open presents to re-wrap next year or use scraps of paper for countdown), then its more than likely all the paper ends up in the bin moments after opening your gifts. Try and avoid plastic coated wrapping, as this can’t be recycled, and also try to stay away from gifts packaged in excessive plastic packaging. For example, The Body Shop is selling canvas jute pouches, made from Community Trade cotton from India, which can be reused after Christmas in a variety of ways – makeup bag, plant pot cover, storage etc.

Cut down on Food Waste

It seems that because the supermarkets are shut on Christmas day, everyone goes into a frenzy, completely overbuying on food, meaning so much ends up going to waste. Working out how many people you are catering for and waiting a list, can help to cut down on wastage. Also buying treats earlier on means they will get eaten over the whole festive period!

Credits:

Created with images by wnk1029 - "christmas gift wrap"

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