Eco Christmas Guide
Christmas is a fun and exciting time where we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus. We have this suspense building countdown to the day, maybe you enjoy an advent calendar, exploring the Christmas markets, searching for the perfect gift, visiting Santa’s grotto. Then the long awaited Christmas Day arrives where families often gather, share meals, give gifts, drink mulled wine and eat mince pies. All sound familiar?
As followers of Jesus we have a responsibility to love and care for the world that God created, the world that God saw and said ‘it is good’, and asked us to look after!
Did you know that over the Christmas period an additional 30% of rubbish is produced and discarded compared with the rest of the year. That’s an additional 3 million tonnes of waste. That’s massive! Lets break it down to look at what contributes to that extra 3 million tonnes…
These figures are shocking and something we all have a responsibility to limit through our own contribution to this problem. So what can we do to help prevent this enormous amount of waste?
One of the big things we can do is recycle. Recycling just one aluminium can saves enough energy to run a set of Christmas tree lights for two hours. Just one tonne of recycled paper would save 17 trees, 18.7 square foot of landfill space and 4,000KW of electricity.
This year, look at buying recycled or recyclable wrapping paper. Remember to avoid glitter - glitter cannot be recycled and if put into your recycling bin will contaminate all of your other recyclable waste. But most of all make sure to take the time to separate your waste for recycling.
Other practical things you can do are to buy locally grown, package free food and only cook what you need to avoid food waste. At St Bart's we have a big communal Christmas card (instead of buying every person in church one!) to help raise money for charity as well as reducing waste, or send an e-card instead of individual cards. Consider buying preloved gifts or supporting a small local business by buying with them.
When buying your Christmas tree look out for the FSC certification which means your tree has come from a forest that is responsibly managed and make sure to recycle it afterwards. Use LED Christmas lights which use a considerably lower amount of electricity. Invest in a re-useable advent calendar and have fun choosing lovely treats to fill it with each year.
Share these ideas and others with family, friends, co-workers- you might just inspire someone else to make similar changes.
So this Christmas, get excited, gather with family, share meals, give gifts, drink mulled wine, enjoy your mince pies - and have the best time, but do it knowing it won’t be at the expense of God’s amazing creation.