In part 2 of our Green Christmas guide we look at ways to be green this festive season, focusing on the big day itself.
Read part 1 here, looking at how to be green in the lead-up to Christmas, and later this month we’ll be sharing tips on going green in the new year.
Christmas is a time of year when we’re thinking about those we love (and what to have for lunch on Christmas day).
With so much preparation and planning for the big day, recycling and the environment can slip down the to-do list.
- We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink per year in the UK
- An average UK household with children spends around £680 a year on food that could have been eaten but is thrown away
- UK households dispose of around 4.9 million tonnes of packaging every year.
This time of year presents a great opportunity to make a few changes to your daily routine that make a real difference to the planet.
Waste less food:
We throw away hundreds of pounds worth of food every year. But we don’t have to.
With a bit of planning ahead you can significantly reduce the amount you throw away.
- Save time & money by planning your meals in advance (download this free meal planner & shopping list template to get started)
- Plan portion sizes on Christmas day to minimise what goes to waste (use this free Christmas dinner portion planner)
- Only buy what you need
Picture the scene: the floor is littered with empty cardboard boxes, you can barely see your feet over your stuffed belly and the carpet is a distant memory after it was buried under wrapping paper early this morning.
Take action early to avoid this scene of mess, mayhem and tripping hazards!
- put your used wrapping paper to good use and clean the windows with it (maybe once your dinner has gone down a bit…)
- shred used wrapping paper and reuse as padding when packaging future gifts
- decorate boring old notebooks or recipe books with leftover paper
- recycle it by putting it straight into a recycling bag as you open your gifts
Millions of kitchens are piled high with vegetable peelings and left over turkey during the festive season. But where does it all go? Here are a couple of tips on making the best use of leftovers:
- Cook up some bubble and squeak on Boxing Day with any leftover vegetables (this recipe is delicious)
- Add leftover smoked salmon to scrambled eggs and pile onto toast, muffins of bagels for a light lunch
- Use any extra turkey up in a warming turkey and ham pie (recipe here) or in smoked turkey and pepper fajitas
In the average home, lighting accounts for around 10-15% of the electricity bill so it’s worth being aware of how you’re using yours. Here are some tips on going green with your lighting this Christmas:
- Cut down on wires trailing across your garden with some energy saving solar powered fairy lights (also check out these gorgeous LED solar powered lights from Nigel’s Eco Store)
- Switch off the lights when you’re not in a room and save money as well as energy
- Use energy saving light bulbs – they last up to ten times longer then ordinary bulbs and are cheaper to run
- Use Christmas lights with LED bulbs – they use up to 90% less power than standard bulbs and last up to ten times longer
I’ll keep wishing for a white Christmas because I just love snow, especially at this time of year, but I’ll also be wishing for a green one.
Come and join us on Facebook and share your green ideas for the festive season.
See you there – and have a great Christmas and a green 2012 (and come back soon for part 3 of Green Christmas on Daisy Hill Living).