Everyone here at Deep Sea World loves Christmas time, especially our resident sharks. Our divers swear they can hear them whistle a festive tune every now and again! And while we are all singing Christmas corals and writing a list of our Christmas fishes, we are aware that the festive season is incredibly harmful to the planet. According to Commercial Waste last January we threw out 3 million tonnes of general waste, £1 billion pounds worth of food, 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging, and 8 million Christmas trees. Unfortunately, the naughty list goes on and on. However, that doesn’t mean that we should not celebrate, in fact, we are dreaming of a Green Christmas this year! One that everyone can enjoy while also taking steps to make it sustainable. Here is some advice for the perfect eco-friendly Christmas.
Getting an Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree
While it might seem more wasteful to have a fresh tree in your home in comparison to a reusable plastic tree, purchasing a real tree is much more sustainable if it is taken care of properly instead of taken to landfill. If our tree still has its roots attached we can have it re-planted so that it can live on. If your tree has had its roots removed, it can be cut up and burned, perfect for keeping the fire going and a toasty New Year.
Retro Sustainable Christmas Decorations
While we can use plastic decorations for many years, they are non-recyclable and have a terrible impact on the environment. Instead, have ‘green’ Christmas Decorations by going old school. You can have string sewn into dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, popcorn, and dried cranberries, to create beautiful retro garlands. Your house will smell amazing, and you will have stunning biodegradable decorations.
Sustainable Christmas Crackers
Another fun tradition that unfortunately produces quite a lot of plastic waste is Christmas crackers. While it is fun to receive the little prize during our Christmas meal, they often get thrown in the bin. Instead, we can do a fun craft activity by creating our crackers out of toilet paper (just make sure to save them coming up for Christmas Day!). Write out your favourite jokes (Dad’s time to shine!) and stuff them with old paper scraps (could even sneak in a little sweetie). Once our goodies are inside secure tie each end with string so that the little handles are created. Add your own artistic flair by decorating them with paint and biodegradable glitter. If you are strapped for time Nancy & Betty create luxury eco-friendly crackers and plant a tree for every box purchased.
Buying Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts
Unfortunately, children’s toys are a massive contributor to the waste left behind after Christmas. It can be hard to find gifts that the kids will love that are also sustainable. At Deep Sea World we have a range of eco-friendly toys. We have Eco Buddiez that have their fabric and filling made from recycled plastic bottles, Ocean Friends made by Waste Free Oceans that are stuffed with recycled polyester fibre and plastic pellets, and toys from PetJes World that are stuffed with 100% recycled materials.
An even more fantastic gift is one that gives a magical experience that is naturally plastic and waste free. We offer online Flexi Tickets and Annual Memberships to our aquarium that are the perfect present for any animal lovers. If you have anyone who loves a thrill, we also have Adult Shark Experiences and Junior Shark Experiences for them to take the plunge into our shark tank!
Eco Friendly Wrapping
While we may not think that wrapping paper would be a problem to recycle, most wrapping paper that we buy each year is non-recyclable due to foil, glitter, or plastic, so it goes to landfill making it a harmful one-use material. Some advice we would give is to use plain brown parcel paper. If you have any carboard boxes lying around (like the mountain of Amazon ones you get just before Christmas) they are the perfect present size. Use some twine and natural materials for your finishing seasonal touches. You can use thinks like pinecones, cinnamon sticks, or a sprig of holly.
Having a Sustainable Christmas Meal
According to Change Works, we eat around 80% more food during the festive period in comparison to the rest of the year. We also tend to bin around 230,000 tonnes of food during the festive period according to Commercial Waste. Some of the best ways we can make our Christmas meals more sustainable is by planning our food ahead of time and going overboard with portions. Another thing that we can do is go plant based with some of our festive favourites. BBC Good Food has a range of vegan Christmas meal recipes from succulent wellingtons to mouth-watering Christmas pudding.
It can be hard at this time of year to change all the traditions that we know and love. However, making little changes to these things helps our land and oceans this Christmas. We hope that our blog has inspired you to make some ‘green’ changes to your festive plans this year. Do you have any other amazing ideas for having an eco-friendly Christmas? We would love to hear about it! Tag us on social media showing us your dream sustainable Christmas this year.