A note from your Green Officer, Anna Knowles-smith:

Topic: Sustainable Holidays

Holiday season is approaching! It’s time to start thinking about how we can make it a more ethical, sustainable holiday. Below are some ideas to get you thinking!


Sellotape is not only non-recyclable, any residue on otherwise recyclable materials is very difficult to remove and may mean those materials become unrecyclable. Why not switch this out for paper tape, ribbon or twine!

Wrapping Paper

A large portion of the 108 million rolls of wrapping paper used in the UK at Christmas is non-recyclable. Any paper with glitter, foil or texture is generally not able to be recycled. It is, therefore, definitely worth checking that the wrapping paper you buy can be recycled. Another option is to pair brown paper tape with plain brown wrapping paper and then add some embellishments.
Food Waste

The obvious solution to the massive amount of food wasted is to buy less. However, in reality, this is not always possible. With large family gatherings, it is very difficult to work out the exact amount of food required and it seems better to err on the side of caution and buy plenty. However, if you do have leftovers then there are other ways to deal with them than throwing them in the bin. If you have random food leftover and are unsure what to do with then a website such as Lovefoodhatewaste.com can help!

Holiday cards
With regards to holiday cards, one replacement option is to post a digital holiday message perhaps on social media or via a digital holiday card. It is also best to avoid cards with Glitter or embellishments as this makes it difficult or impossible to recycle.

Cracker plastic

Crackers are a Christmas table staple….. however the enclosed Plastic toys and gadgets are often shipped great distances, made from non-recyclable material, and are often made using cheap labour. Waste and carbon generated during their production and toxic materials are also environmental concerns. Shop around for some crackers minus the plastic!

Meat-free alternatives 

Many studies have shown a plant-based diet to be more sustainable than an animal-based diet. Why not experiment with some meat free holiday recipes to supplement or replace meat on your dinner table!
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