BeNorfolk’s Top Tips for a Sustainable Christmas

Christmas is a time to show you care about the people in your life, spend more time with those you love and spread joy. Why not extend this demonstration of care and love to our environment and the places around us? By making your Christmas more sustainable, you can show you care about our planet whilst showing love for local produce and businesses.

Below we have listed 6 of our top tips for a sustainable Christmas:

Gift an experience – When you are thinking about getting presents for those you care about, why not consider gifting an experience instead of an item. These gifts could be solo or shared experiences that can provide more joy and entertainment than a gift brought in store. When thinking about what experiences to gift, look in your area or a place you are planning to travel to for local experiences and unique activities – why not immerse yourself in something entirely new and bespoke to the area! Have a look at our BeNorfolk activity finder tool to find over 250 free and paid for activities – you will be sure to find something for everyone!

Shop local – If you are planning on giving physical gifts, try to shop local to you, not only does this support small and local businesses, but it can also provide you with better quality and sometimes more unique gifts. If there are local farm shops where you live, try to buy local produce from there, look for local artists and craftsmen, buying your presents from these businesses will help boost the local economy whilst also be more environmentally friendly!

Cut down your food waste – Stereotypically, Christmas is a time for excess, from presents to food, this can leave you with a lot of food waste after Christmas. This could not only include leftovers from your Christmas dinner but additional food you have been unable to eat and that have gone out of date. Try to plan ahead, cook and buy correct amounts of food and if you do have any extra space in the fridge, store the food in Tupperware or beeswax food wraps (instead of clingfilm!) and save it for later. Try to shop more locally where possible, local small businesses can give a personal touch and advise on the correct amount you need to buy – this could even save you a few pennies!

Get Crafty – Why not try to make your own personalised presents or decorations, not only can you make these unique to you, but they will also be one of a kind. Once you’ve made your presents and decorated your home, its time to wrap your gifts! Try to avoid wrapping in materials that are damaging to the planet, try reusing old wrapping, items around your house such as boxes you have received or even wrapping in fabric, this can be reused in future years as well.

Shop second hand – Are you thinking about getting new Christmas decorations? Why not try shopping second hand first, many charities and second-hand shops have an abundance of decorations, even if you don’t get them this time, just after Christmas people will donate items and you can save these for the following year. Try online second-hand sites or even asking family and friends to see if they have decorations they don’t use anymore.

Travel Greener – Whether you are coming home from university, meeting in-laws or spending time with friends, many of us travel over the Christmas period. Try and make this journey more sustainable and greener, think about group travel such as trains or coaches, or even share a car with those heading in the same direction as you to avoid excess car pollution.