Our top 5 tips for an eco-friendly Christmas
1. Shop artisan and local
One of the best ways to start shopping more sustainably this Christmas is to shop from independent, artisan retailers and (if possible) shopping local.
Independent makers make all their products in small batches, reducing waste and reducing the amount of environmentally taxing resources that go into making their stock. Shopping “small” will also allow you to discover unique finds that will make the festive season truly feel special and one-of-a-kind. If you don’t know where to start, Vegana Marketplace offers a great choice of artisan products that are hand-made and produced sustainably, making it an incredibly convenient and easy option for food, home, and gift shopping!
2. Skip the turkey
For many of us this is a tough pill to swallow, but we’ve all heard it: cutting your meat intake will not only lower your risk of developing some of the biggest dietary killers of our society, type 2 diabetes and cancer, but also dramatically lower your carbon footprint.
Following a plant-based diet for two thirds of your daily meals has the potential to reduce food-related carbon emissions by a whopping 60%. Traditions and habits are incredibly hard to break, but even if you want to wait until the New Year to swear off meat and animal products for good, introducing more plant-based meals than animal products-based meals into your Christmas menu will go a long way in making your dinner more eco-friendly!
3. Buy less, eat more
According to a 2014 Unilever report, 4.2 million Christmas dinners were wasted in the UK during that year, making the festivities the most wasteful event of the year. We’ve all gone through the moment when we realized we’ve made way too much for our family and guests to eat, and while some of us do an excellent job at repurposing our leftovers, the majority of them still end up in a landfill once the festive season is over.
Limit your food shopping for the big night by planning the meal well in advance, freeze the ingredients you are unlikely to fully use, and focus on preparing filling side dishes that can easily be reheated at a later time – we promise no one’s going to end up hungry!
4. Turn off the lights
Nothing says Christmas like a beautiful bright tree and a waterfall of twinkling lights adorning the entrance to your house – but do they really need to stay on 12 hours a day, 7 days a week? It’s easy to lose track of our energy consumption when our Christmas lights come with a built-in automatic mode, but it’s much better to turn your Christmas light on when you can actually enjoy them, and turn them off before you go to bed.
Also keep in mind that when it comes to eco-friendly Christmas decorations, LEDs are far better than traditional lights, as they use up to 80% less energy (and they will last much longer too!).
5. Give gifts built to last
Finally, consider what kind of presents you are giving to your loved ones. That is not to say that you don’t put quite a lot of thought in them already, but perhaps you may not be considering the durability of what you’re gifting as much as you’re making sure they are absolutely perfect for who you’re giving them to.
Some gifts will be more long-lasting than others, and those should be your gifts of choice to make sure they will not be discarded in a year or even two years’ time. Opt for high-quality, durable presents that are produced and sourced sustainably, or perhaps, opt for buying an experience rather than a material gift. Whether it’s a trip to the SPA or a hotel voucher, a fun memory can last a lifetime!
Still behind on the Christmas shopping?
If you’re committed to doing your best to make this Christmas season more sustainable, it can be hard, at first, to find the perfect gift while making sure it’s as eco-friendly as can be.
Whether you’re still figuring out what’s on your shopping list or looking to find one last present to add to the pile, Vegana Marketplace offers a handy selection of vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, sustainable , and artisan gift options bound to make everyone happy! Alternatively, you can have a cheeky browse through our Christmas collection to find the perfect Christmas card for your vegan loved one, or treat yourself and your family to some exclusive Christmas bundles and delicious plant-based baked goods – it’s the time to be merry, after all!