With awareness on the environment ever increasing, it is no surprise that people are now looking at ways to be more sustainable at Christmas.
From Christmas tree choices, to making your own advent calendar, we look at ways you can be more eco-friendly without ruining the festivities this season.
Rent a real tree for the festive season
A tree shouldn’t just be for Christmas, GWP found that as many as 8 million Christmas trees are thrown away each year. This includes 14 per cent of people who will even be binning their fake Christmas tree. Fake Christmas trees are made up of plastic and metals, therefore often can’t be recycled.
For next year, if your fake Christmas tree is in good condition, why not donate it to a charity shop and opt for a real tree instead? Simply Plants and Love a Christmas Tree, both offer tree renting services, enjoy the tree for Christmas and after, it gets planted back in the ground for Spring.
If you have bought a real Christmas tree this season, don’t worry, Birmingham City Council offer tree recycling which is free. Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice Treecycling also offer the service, although free, a donation of £10 is recommended, with all proceeds going to St Mary’s Hospice.
Make your home merry and bright with LED lights
Being sustainable doesn’t mean your home has to be dark and gloomy this Christmas. Choose LED lights to hang on your tree, LED lights use 80-90% less energy than non-LED, the cost of powering them is less too.
There’s lots of LED light options to choose from this Christmas, so you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Get creative with your wrapping paper
The amount of wrapping paper thrown away at Christmas in the UK alone would stretch to the moon, according to estimates by recycling advisors WRAP. That’s 225,623 miles of wrapping paper!
The problem with wrapping paper is often due to the foils, dyes, and paper it’s printed on which makes it unable to be recycled. There is alternative paper that can be used such as kraft paper, although brown, why not customise it with reusable ribbons and patterned biodegradable zero plastic Sellotape.
Replace your throwaway advent calendar for a reusable one
Advent calendars and selection boxes add to the three million tonnes of extra plastic waste created every year during the festive period in the UK.
There are lots of ways to get a reusable advent calendar, support independent businesses and find one on Etsy. Or if creativity is your thing, upcycle old items to make your very own. You can fill it with chocolates, make-up, whatever you want!
Eat sustainably without cutting out on quality
During Christmas, 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings, and 74 million mince pies get disposed while still edible, causing almost 270,000 tons of food waste in total during the festive season.
Earlier this year we wrote a blog about sustainable supermarkets to try in Greater Birmingham. There are also lots of other ways to eat more sustainable this Christmas.
Try planning your shopping for the winter break to avoid over buying and only buy what you plan to eat. Organise your fridge so you can store food properly, so it will last longer and not get spoilt. If you have leftover untouched food and it’s in date, look for a food bank to donate it to during the Winter to help others.
Millennium Point and sustainability
This Christmas we have looked at how we can enjoy a sustainable Christmas, continuing our journey to be more eco-friendly. For example, our 39ft Christmas tree, which is rented, is fitted out with LED lights.
We have also placed a range of processes to ensure we’re not adding to our carbon footprint. Energy management and the journey to net zero carbon are at the heart of all our decisions. We try not to create waste but where we do, we segregate and recycle as much as we can. Lastly, we encourage staff, tenants, and visitors to make green travel choices when visiting us.
Find more interesting content from Millennium Point over at our news section, or follow us for daily updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn with @MillenniumPoint. Millennium Point is a landmark public building and multi-award-winning events venue in the Eastside of Birmingham City centre. Profits from our commercial activity are invested by the Millennium Point Charitable Trust into projects, events and initiatives which support the growth of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and education in the West Midlands.