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TOP TIPS FOR A SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS

Days are getting colder, nights are longer, and we’ve started humming Christmas music. Before you know it - it’ll be time to pull on the novelty jumper!
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At Nature Unite, we love that this joyful time of year gives us the chance to indulge in seeing our loved ones. But, as an eco-friendly products company, we can’t help but feel anxious about the impact Christmas has on the environment.
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So, let’s talk about how to have a sustainable Christmas this year.
 

HOW TO HAVE A SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS

In this guide, we’ll cover some simple ideas that you can do to make this Christmas a green one. As you know, Nature Unite advocates the idea of #SmallChanges. If you can’t fulfil every suggestion we’ve made, you should still feel proud of yourself even if you manage one!

HOW TO BUY A GREEN CHRISTMAS TREE

They With all the various statistics and bad rep Christmas trees has been getting over the last few years, you may think that recycling an artificial Christmas tree each year is the most sustainable way to bring festive cheer to your living room.

But in fact - fake Christmas trees are less sustainable than real trees.

Made of non-renewable plastics and oil by-products, the carbon footprint of a single artificial tree can be a staggering 40 kg of CO2. Which means you’d need to use the tree for 10-12 years at least for it to make up for its output of energy. But, these trees aren’t built to last. You’ll see that after a few years your fake tree looks a little droopy. As they are not recyclable your plastic tree will end up in landfill once it’s had its run.

And to add even more fuel to the fire, fake trees are usually manufactured in China, which results in transportation.

By comparison, a natural-grown Christmas tree will be grown on a farm. As it matures, the tree will absorb harmful CO2 emissions - so it’s literally fighting the climate emergency for us. After Christmas, your biodegradable tree can be used for compost or recycled for other uses, such as in carpentry workshops.

Now the next question - what is the most sustainable way to buy a real Christmas tree? Well, you have two options.

Where to buy an eco-friendly Christmas tree in the UK

Always shop from as local a Christmas tree farm as possible.

The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) pools all the tree growers across the nation. You can punch in your postcode or country into the online directory to find your closest grower. This means you are distributing your money to an independent farmer. And, by ordering from your nearest supplier, you are keeping the tree’s transport emissions down.

And when Christmas is over? You can locate your closest Christmas tree recycling station on the RecycleNow website or consult your local council for an earth-friendly solution.

How to rent a Christmas tree in the UK

Second option, you could rent a Christmas tree.

Love a Christmas Tree provides trees from their farm in Leicestershire. Due to the pandemic, there is no delivery service this year but if you are local - you can opt to pick up your rented tree. In January the farm will take back the tree and replant it for the next year.

Londoners can rent a tree from Christmas on the Hill. You may discover other options in your own county or town with a quick Google search.

HOW TO GIFT YOUR LOVED ONES SUSTAINABLY

One thing that we can’t escape at Christmas is the gifting process. But how to have a sustainable Christmas when you have a vast family or network of friends?

Let’s brush up on the eco-friendly Christmas etiquette; use Christmas as a time to spread the message that we need to be kind to the earth.

Choose eco-friendly products

Gift products that will give your loved ones plenty of longevity and inspire them in their own sustainable journey. Choose biodegradable or recyclable products that are made from natural materials - no single-use, no plastic, and no mass-produced items.
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The reusable water bottle by Nature Unite cuts out the need to buy disposable plastic bottles. Plus, everyone needs to stay hydrated!

Shop locally & with independent brands

If you do want to purchase jewellery, clothing, art or home furnishings - seek out your local community’s designers. Opt to choose handmade products over bulk-produced. Such production techniques result in far fewer carbon emissions, and the closer to home you buy, the lower the transport CO2e.

In fact, if you’re crafty yourself - you can even hand make your own gifts.

Gift an experience

An experience is such a special gift to receive. Think of something that you and the recipient can do together. It doesn’t need to be grand - even cooking them a meal or baking them personalised biscuits shows that you’ve put thought into your decision. This way, you’ll have a very low carbon footprint too.

Buying from sustainable and ethical independent businesses means that you know exactly where your money is going. Plus, more often than not, these types of brands will pledge a fraction of their profits towards environmental, sustainable, and humanitarian initiatives. That’s what we do with our partners 1% for the Planet and Plastics for Change.

HOW TO WRAP YOUR ECO-FRIENDLY GIFTS

The majority of gift wrap, ribbons and bows are made from plastic and are not recyclable. Anything with glitter on it is also a tell-tale sign that the item isn’t sustainable.
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There are a number of companies who do produce recyclable wrapping paper. When shopping for it, look out for FSC certified options that are 100% recyclable or biodegradable. Furthermore, Kraft paper is a natural, biodegradable and compostable material. And if you want to wrap your gifts with a bow - use fabric ones that can be reused next year.

But, consider if you even really need to buy it. Rather than disposing of newspapers and magazines, you can use this as a chic alternative to conventional gift wrap.

    HOW TO PLAN AN ECO-FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS DINNER

    Christmas is synonymous with food - and lots of it. But, our traditional way of preparing a festive meal is not at all sustainable.

    Here are Nature Unite’s tips on how to have a sustainable Christmas dinner this year.

    • Buy the meat and veggies (more veggies than meat if you want to be extra sustainable) for your Christmas Day feast from an ethical, ideally organic supplier. Farmdrop is the perfect starting point. This platform partners with farmers who follow environmentally and socially responsible farming practices.
    • Most households take the ‘stock up’ approach at Christmas. Especially if you will be entertaining family - you never want to run out of mince pies and mulled wine! But too much stocking up usually leads to waste, so if you can - try to buy in small quantities and top up as when provisions run low.
    • If you do over-shop, there are a number of organisations in the UK where you can donate excess food, such as FareShare. This way, your soon-to-expire food can be placed with those who struggle to buy their weekly groceries.

    And that is a brief overview of how to have a sustainable Christmas!
    If you have any more ideas that we’ve missed, please let us know on our social media channels.

    Merry Christmas from the team at Nature Unite 🎄🤶

     

     

    Written by the Nature Unite team

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