Christmas is a time of plenty - but what can be done to reduce our environmental impact during the holiday season?
Record levels of carbon emissions. School kids on strike. The hottest decade on record. It's fair to say that 2019 was a year of environmental reckoning and reflection. Christmas is a time for family, friends, food and festivities. It's also likely to be a time of great waste. We at Azeus Convene thought it would be a good idea to suggest some ways to minimise wastage and maximise sustainability! Good for your wallet. Good for our planet.
1. Recycled/Reuse Wrapping Paper
Here at Convene we love to save paper. But we also love giving presents. According to Envirowaste, some 83,000,000 square metres of wrapping paper is thrown away or burnt every year. That's enough to cover the whole of Bermuda - and still have enough left to wrap Gibraltar every Christmas for 5 years.
Instead, buy paper made from recycled sources. Then recycle or reuse it. Simple.
Top Tip: Keep hold of any bubblewrap or packaging materials received throughout the year and make full use over Christmas - should save some money as well as paper!
2. Give Sustainably
While children may love the biggest, the latest, the shiniest - there are many gifts that aren't made from plastic, packaged in plastic, that only last a year. Consider giving a luxury service? An amazing experience?
Think spa-days, theatre tickets or a voucher for an exciting day out.
How about delicious homemade treats? Think jams, chutneys, fudges, flavoured spirits, flavoured oils. Thoughtful and delicious - all with minimal environmental impact.
3. Shop Locally
Shopping locally - while not possible for all - can reduce your carbon footprint.
Whether it's a reduction in your purchases' air miles, the fact that you walked there, or that supporting local farms supports local wildlife, shopping locally is the more sustainable option.
It's also more socially sustainable too - our highstreets are dying. Use them or lose them!
4. Buy Decorations That Last
Not only are plastic decorations bad for the environment, they break. Then you can't recycle them, that's bad for the environment twice. Try and buy (or make!) decorations from wood, glass, fabrics or any recycled materials.
If you're feeling creative and are looking for a fun family activity - the internet is full of clever upcycling Christmas decoration ideas. Get looking!
5. Repot Your (Real) Christmas Tree
It may seem counter-intuitive to advocate cutting down trees to maximise environmental sustainability, but bear with us. Most fake trees are very plastic heavy, have been flown in from far and wide and don't last as long as you'd think.
Whereas real trees can be bought locally, repotted or even recycled.
If you really want a plastic tree, consider buying second hand, and reuse for as many years as you can!
6. Use LED Christmas Lights
Saving money in a sustainable way is key part of the Convene product. Similarly, using LED based lighting will save you up to 80% on your electricity bill when compared to standard incandescent bulbs. This is because they use a fraction of the wattage of standard bulbs.
Not only that, but they are also more durable, produce a similar amount of light, for longer, all for less money & energy. It's a no brainer.
7. Send E-Cards
Another no brainer. Save for some older relatives who may still prefer the real thing, why not send e-cards rather than paper ones this year? In true Convene fashion it will save time, money and paper!
8. Food: Avoid Waste & Go Organic
Food is one of the most important parts of Christmas, but in the UK last year, the equivalent of over 4 million Christmas dinners were wasted. Plan ahead. Don't buy more than you need. Use leftovers.
Think about where your food is coming from, if you can, go organic or choose sustainably sourced produce. Not only will it taste better, it will minimise your carbon footprint whilst supporting business that are more ecologically conscious.
If not for every part of the meal, at least the turkey!
If you're someone who's serious about sustainable consumption at home, consider being someone who's serious about more sustainable practices at work. If you think your company would benefit from a paperless board portal and meeting solution, click the link below to contact us to set up a free demo.