Dreaming of a green Christmas?

Date published: 20 December 2019

With Christmas fast approaching, we have compiled a handy guide for you based on the 5 R’s – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot. We would urge you to keep the 5 R’s in mind throughout the festive season to help make this your most sustainable Christmas yet.

Gifts

It may seem a little cheesy but it really is true – The very best gift you can give your loved ones this Christmas is time. Otherwise remember:

Refuse (to purchase): Selection boxes! Plastic.
Reduce: Kris Kindle (do we really need so much stuff? Think of it as one less thing to re-gift!)
Reuse: That said, re-gifting is perfectly acceptable! (one man’s trash really is another’s treasure).
Recycle: Cards (Top Tip: cut away the front of one you particularly like and simply glue it to a plain piece of folded card to give it a whole new lease of life), tags, bags (no one will be the wiser!).
Rot: Think natural when it comes to gifts this year.

Décor

Changing your Christmas décor each year is both wasteful and unnecessary. A little creativity can really go a long way.

Refuse: No, you do NOT need that life-size Santa for your garden.
Reduce: Less is more when it comes to Christmas décor. Keep things simple and classic. Think bunches of natural holly and pine cones (just dry these out in a low oven first to extend their life).
Reuse: It may seem a whole lot easier just to replace those broken lights but just 5 minutes with a screwdriver will probably fix the problem (and think how chuffed you will be with yourself!)
Recycle: The swap or charity shop (before and after the big day).
Rot: Why not get crafty and use items such as cinnamon sticks, and clove studded orange to create some traditional festive cheer?

Food

Christmas is the season of excess and a little overindulgence is perfectly ok. However, there are several ways you can cut your food waste (and save money) this year.

Refuse: Don’t be tempted by brochures. They may appear to offer irresistible bargains but encourage overspending.
Reduce: Only buy what you need (organic and local if possible). Also ask if visiting family members can bring a dish each. People love to feel involved.
Reuse: The freezer is your friend! Make sure you leave plenty of space for all those leftovers ahead of the big day.
Recycle: Who doesn’t love a turkey sandwich? Send guests home with a goody bag each to reduce waste or, better still, make up a plate for an elderly neighbour who may be spending Christmas alone.
Rot: Compost everything else including peelings, bread, cooked and uncooked meat

Now for a quick recap on the 5 S’s:

Simplify: Think less is more!
Slow down: Only go to the events where you connect with people.
Savour: Enjoy quality downtime with loved ones.
Support: Christmas can be a difficult and lonely time for many so remember to offer support those who may need help.
Stay present: Go for a walk, enjoy the smell of baking, don’t try to multitask!

The team at Earthology would like to wish you a happy, healthy and green Christmas and New Year!

Related Articles

Liffey Sound FM Eco Era

Liffey Sound FM Eco Era

Sarah chats to Una Ruddock and Linda Ward about their new Sustainability basics programme for business called Green Zebra. The programme aims to demystify sustainability strategy, carbon footprinting and how to build a sustainable brand. [button...

Building the Business Case for Sustainability

Building the Business Case for Sustainability

Sarah Blake talks to Linda Ward about building the business case for sustainability. Sarah suggests that when thinking about making changes to your business, you need to start small and think big. Why sustainability is changing from being nice-to-have to a must-have...