Simple ways to be less wasteful during the festive season

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The holiday season is a festive time to spend with loved ones, and be grateful for all the things you have. However, in a season of gift-giving, it can be easy to forget about sustainability. Here are a few easy ideas to implement into your everyday life to be less wasteful this festive season.

Madeline Pennington

1. Try doing “Meatless Mondays” or reduce your meat consumption

Now, I admit, I am a proud vegetarian and have been for many years now, so I may be biased. However, studies have shown that dropping one serving of chicken per week from your diet could have the same environmental impact as taking 500,000 cars off the road! Reducing your meat intake for even one meal a week is a fun and easy way to experiment with new recipes if you enjoy cooking, and can help you be less wasteful this season. One of my favourite plant-based winter meals is a warm bowl of oatmeal with oat or almond milk!

2. Use recycled material to wrap your gifts

Madeline Pennington

If you’re planning on exchanging gifts with friends and family this season, try to use recycled bags or wrapping materials whenever you can to reduce your waste! Newspaper makes for an artsy gift wrapping alternative, or you could simply use a bag someone gave you from a previous holiday!

3. Use Mason Jars to give cute food-themed presents

Mason Jars are a great sustainable addition to any gift. You can put cute homemade treats in them, or gift customised hot chocolate for a twist on a winter classic. If you don’t plan on gifting any food this season, you could also turn a mason jar into a DIY candle, or a quirky terrarium for succulents and other plants! Mason jars can be reused for a number of things, making them a sustainable option for gift-giving!

4. Try your hand at thrifting!

Madeline Pennington

Not only is thrifting super fun— it feels like treasure hunting when you sift through racks of pre-loved clothes— but it also helps the environment. It is estimated that roughly £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfills each year and the average lifetime for a garment of clothing is only 2.2 years. Extend that lifetime by donating your own clothing, and buying from secondhand and thrift stores this holiday season. Many thrift or vintage stores will buy your old clothing, so not only are you helping the planet, you could also make some extra cash in the process! And buying thrifted clothing for friends and family allows you to find unique pieces that really speak to their individual sense of style. It’s a win all round!

Using these tips, you can ensure your holiday season won’t become a ‘wasteful wonderland’ and you can feel more confident that you’re spreading the love to your friends, family and Mother Earth.

Words by Madeline Pennington, edited by Hope Elliott

Hope and Vicky are your lifestyle editors.

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