Christmas season is here once again! Before you go ahead and buy gifts and decorations, take a moment to stop and think about whether you are making the best choice for the environment.
To tap into your inner green warrior, here are our 12 tips for an eco-friendly and sustainable Christmas!
Tip 1: Opt For A Live Tree Instead Of A Plastic One
Artificial Christmas trees are made of plastic and metal, which uses a ton of resources to produce. The worst part is these trees are almost impossible to recycle!
To avoid this, opt for a live Christmas tree instead.
Real Christmas trees can be positive for the climate as it creates an environment that is beneficial in removing carbon from the atmosphere. Live potted trees can also be used for years and also replanted when it becomes too big.
Tip 2: Rent Your Christmas Tree
If real Christmas trees are a little out of your budget, renting one may be a more affordable and greener solution for you.
Through this, you don’t have to worry about your tree ending up as waste once the festive season wraps up.
Tip 3: Send Unique Plantable Christmas Cards
There’s nothing quite like receiving a traditional Christmas card in the mail from your loved ones. But what if we told you that you can elevate them and make them plantable?
These eco-friendly greeting cards are made from seed paper and embedded with wildflowers, which are incredibly simple to plant.
All you have to do is tear up the finished card, pop it into some soil, and wait for it to bloom into a beautiful wildflower in just a few weeks.
This is a great way to reduce the excessive paper waste generated during the holiday season.
Tip 4: Reduce Your Food Waste By Buying Less
Food waste is one of the biggest sources of waste in the country. In 2019 alone, Singapore has generated around 744 million kilos of food waste, which is equivalent to around 51,000 double-decker buses!
We know the festive season calls for a great deal of feasting, but there’s a way to do this without producing as much waste. Be objective when planning out your grocery list and only buy what you need.
Tip 5: Buy Your Gifts & Food Local
Did you know that something as simple as getting a gift shipped from overseas can increase your transportation carbon footprint tremendously?
Imagine how much plastic and paper packaging is flying across the globe at any given time when products are purchased from online retailers.
Instead, support your small businesses in the area and buy locally made goods. In this way, you are creating sustainable purchasing habits and supporting your local community at the same time.
To go the extra mile this gifting season, try buying eco-friendly gifts from local brands like The Green Collective and The Social Space that offers a variety of zero-waste products.
Tip 6: Use LED lightings For Your Home Decor & Christmas Tree
When it comes to purchasing Christmas lights, most people wouldn’t give a second thought about buying the cheapest option on the shop stands.
But did you know that LED lights use at least 75% less energy compared to incandescent lights?
Compared to using filaments to produce light, LED Christmas lights also use light-emitting diodes, which lasts over 25 times longer than incandescent lightings, making them far more durable.
That means you save on both your electricity bill & overall bulb cost!
Tip 7: Use Environmentally Friendly Wrapping Paper For Your Gifts
Most wrapping paper used for presents cannot be recycled and are bound to end up in a landfill after use. Other decorative features of gifts such as ribbons and bows also eventually end up in recycling centres.
Colourful and vibrant wrapping paper is often laminated, dyed, or contains non-paper additives like glitter and plastic, which cannot be recycled.
For more environmentally-friendly options, make the switch to sustainable alternatives such as recycled craft paper, gift baskets, newspapers, tin cans and jars, fabric scraps, and even reusable shopping bags—the options are endless!
Tip 8: Buy Plastic-Free Green Gifts
While there are numerous recycling initiatives set up by the government, only 4% of plastic actually gets recycled here in Singapore.
Many might find it a challenge to go buy plastic-free gifts as plastic packaging can be found in almost everything now.
To combat this, find alternatives that don’t come in plastic packaging or ones that are packaged with recyclable materials or opt to buy a zero-waste gift such as a beautiful potted plant or even a digital subscription to their favourite services such as Netflix or a digital book on Kindle!
Tip 9: Shop For Quality & Not Quantity
Sometimes, less is truly more when it comes to the holidays.
When buying gifts, consider spending a little more for better quality items as opposed to something inexpensive but will wear out in a short amount of time.
Avoid buying gifts that will end up being unused or worse, thrown away. Instead, choose a gift that lists by purchasing items with value, meaning, and use.
Tip 10: Knit & Make Handcrafted Decorations
We know that it can be quite the challenge to avoid getting carried away with buying decorations.
They’re affordable, easily accessible, and simply just the more convenient choice.
But before you head out to the stores to buy bags of shiny plastic tinsel, try getting crafty and consider making your own handcrafted decorations. You can make all sorts of creations from ornaments, lanterns, wreaths, and even garlands.
Head to your local craft store where you can find an abundance of different materials to use and get cracking.
Not only is this going to cost you less, but you can also get the rest of the family involved in a creative exercise!
Tip 11: Have Meat-Free Christmas Dinner Menu
Who would’ve thought that something as simple as eating less meat can actually help the environment?
The livestock industry is a major driver of climate change globally and generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined.
Due to urbanisation and rising meat consumption, this can have lasting impacts on the environment.
To ease into it, try having a meat-free Christmas dinner menu this year. There are a bunch of plant-based alternatives that taste just as good as meat.
Tip 12: Go Digital & Send Christmas E-Cards & E-Invitations Instead
For most people that celebrate Christmas, it is an annual tradition to send out personalised holiday cards to friends and family as a way of wishing them a merry Christmas.
Thanks to the internet and the advancement of technology that we enjoy today, you can send season’s greetings to your loved ones through digital holiday cards.
Some may still enjoy the tangible feeling of receiving a card made from traditional paper, but the logistical factors involved from making and printing the card to having it delivered to various parts of the world is actually increasing your carbon footprint.
By choosing to go digital, you are also choosing to be kinder to the environment.
Save Money On Your Electricity Bill This Christmas Season
With iSwitch, you can enjoy a merry and sustainable Christmas all while saving on your monthly electricity bill – perfect to recoup the money spent on presents!
But that’s not all!
As a brand that champions sustainability, not only will you receive green-certified carbon-neutral electricity, it will be at no additional cost.
Check out the iSwitch Christmas Electricity Sale and enjoy a guilt-free Christmas this year.