A Guide to a More Sustainable Christmas!
by Sinead Belton | 1st Dec 2022
As Christmas time is fast approaching, we can easily get carried away with all the festivities and forget about the importance of sustainability. Here are some simple ideas to consider to make this Christmas a bit more sustainable while still enjoying all the food, gift giving and decorating.
Did you know that a lot of wrapping paper is not recyclable? Why not use brown paper to wrap your gifts this year. Once the gifts have been opened, if any paper is still intact you can keep it and reuse it again next year.
Not sure if the paper is recyclable? Try the scrunch test. If the wrapping paper can be scrunched up and remains scrunched then it is recyclable. Any paper that has plastic in it will not remain scrunched. Remove any sellotape, ribbons, labels or bows and place the paper in the recycling bin. Any wrapping paper with foil or glitter cannot be recycled and must go in the general waste bin.
If you want to try something different, you can always wrap your presents with newspaper and decorate with some ribbon, string or festive decorations (but remember to remove the decorations before you recycle)
Plan ahead before you do your Christmas food shop. Make a list before you go and try to choose loose fruit and vegetables and avoid products with heavy plastic packaging.
If you find you have a lot of leftover food after the Christmas dinner or Christmas parties, why not make some turkey and ham sambos for the following day. Don’t forget you can always freeze some food and keep it for after Christmas.
Leftover potatoes and cabbage work great for Bubble & Squeak and there are plenty of recipes online for leftover Christmas food, so make sure to check them out and not let any food go to waste!
If you have a holiday planned after Christmas, you bought too much food and haven't used it yet or you simply have too many leftovers, why not see if there are any local charities that you can donate the food to so that we can all help make sure no one goes hungry this Christmas.
Although there is something special about decorating the house with festive Christmas lights every year, try to go easy on the lights this year. Why not opt for LED lights where you can! Nowadays most decorative lights contain LED bulbs which use less energy than traditional incandescent lights and are available is a whole range of colours.
For the outdoor lights, why not check our solar powered lights. These outdoor solar Christmas lights have inbuilt light sensors and rechargeable batteries.
Sending Christmas Cards?
There is an overwhelmingly large choice for Christmas cards in most shops and it can be hard to decide which one is the best. This year keep an eye out for recycled cards, FSC-certified cards and try to avoid cards with glitter or plastic. Don't forget you can always hand out extra special cards this year by making some homemade cards!
If you have received cards with added decorations, you can still recycle them once the ribbons, bows or plastic film is removed.
Shop Local & Buy Irish
If you're gift giving this Christmas try your best to shop local and support sustainable Irish Businesses. The past few years have been tough for small businesses so try to support them where you can this Christmas.
When doing the big food shop, try to buy meat from your local butcher. Choose organic or free-range meat that has a credible certification, such as the Bord Bia Quality Mark which are most likely the tastiest and most nutritious choice! Pick up your fruit and vegetables at local food markets where possible or source fruit and veg that are grown by local producers.
Stuck for Gift Ideas?
If you're stuck for gift ideas, why not give the gift of health this Christmas with a GourmetFuel gift certificate. Our team of expert Nutritionists and Chefs create and prepare delicious, healthy meals that don't disappoint. We pack our meals in PET1 plastic trays, the lowest carbon footprint packaging for food. They trays are suitable for both the oven and microwave and are made from recycled material and along with our sleeves, they are 100% fully recyclable.