Real Christmas trees have a lower carbon footprint than artificial trees, especially if disposed of properly. You would need to use a plastic tree for 10 years for its environmental impact to be lower than real trees, so keep reusing! Using local suppliers such as Newnham Christmas Trees and Darwin Nurseries will reduce your environmental impact. After the festive period real trees can be composted or cut up to go in the green bin. Cambridge City Council offer a free Christmas tree recycling service during January at Cherry Hinton Hall car park on Cherry Hinton Road or the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity do a free collection to raise funds for their new hospice, more info here.
If every household in the UK installed just one energy saving light bulb it could save over £80m per year! LED lights, solar or rechargeable batteries and energy saving light bulbs are more environmentally friendly and will help reduce your carbon footprint.
Online shopping can reduce emissions from travel, save time and avoid impulse purchases, all of which will lower your carbon footprint. Reuse wrapping paper where possible, or use newspaper or plain recyclable paper. Jazz it up with some ribbon, which can easily be re-used. Pop into Cambridge’s Scrap Store for creative inspiration and sustainable Christmas craft materials.
Christmas dinner is an important part of the festive period, but there are ways to make it more sustainable. Shop strategically – for example, turkey has a lower carbon foot print than beef and vegetarian options even lower. Vegetarian options are aplenty and improving! Here are some veggie Christmas recipes by BBC Good Food or Jamie Oliver’s vegetarian Christmas recipes. For vegan Christmas inspiration Jamie Oliver and BBC Good Food both have a range of recipes.Check out our Sustainable Food Directory and award winning businesses for sustainability conscious places to eat and shop this Christmas. Shopping at independent, local retailers and farmers markets can reduce your environmental impact and buying seasonal produce can help too. Eat the Seasons tells you what is in season for each month of the year; it’s a great portal for information on seasonal eating.Planning portion sizes and allowing people to serve themselves will reduce your food waste. Save any leftovers for the next day and compost the remainder. Cambridge City Council provide free kitchen caddies to Cambridge residents for food waste that can be composted or put into your green bin. Find out where to get your caddy here.
Sharing Christmas with as many friends as possible is a great way to reduce your footprint, heating one house is better than heating two! Donate your unwanted gifts to charity and check out the OLIO app for a bit of festive food sharing.