Seven seasonal, yet sustainable Christmas hacks!

It’s beginning to look a lot like…last Christmas, as in, once again, we’re being asked to ‘pull together’ and curb our movements as well as our merriment with restrictions being put in place from December 7th right through until January 9th. Bah humbug!

Therefore, as we’re busy cutting back on our excessive socialising, it might also be a good time to take a long, hard look at some of the other festive excesses we tend to engage in at this time of year.

For example, bulk buying food and wasting it, splashing out on unnecessarily expensive gifts and running up a massive energy bill to name but a few. All of these are examples of how Christmas, although a magical time, can take its toll on our environment; and on our bank balances.

With that in mind, while I’m no tree hugger, I’d like to share my own top tips for having an eco-friendly, sustainable and upcycled Christmas!

  1. Oh Christmas tree: I love a real tree, always favouring it over an artificial one. Real trees are not just environmentally friendly, as in, you can pot them or plant them in the garden after Christmas to give them an extended life; but a real tree will give off a beautiful pine-y aroma; something which I’ve always associated with the spirit of the festive season.
  2. There’s nothing I love more than receiving that first Christmas card through the door! However, while I’m not saying you shouldn’t send cards this year; I would advise that, instead of throwing last year’s in the bin to make room for new ones, you could instead recycle them, turning them into gift tags to attach to your presents.
  3. If you’re anyway handy, why not consider giving that eco-friendly family member or neighbour a bespoke, thoughtful, homemade gift? Roscommon’s landscape is dotted with art and craft shops, Christmas fairs, farmer’s markets and local family-run businesses, all selling unique and quirky luxurious items, perfect for that ethical, yet renewable pressie.
  4. For that animal lover in your life, why not donate to a local animal welfare/rescue charity in their name; that way, you’re really giving them a meaningful gift close to their heart.
  5. Before you shop for festive food, why not make a list…and check it twice to ensure you really do need every item on it. Do try to steer clear of pressure-buying traditional festive fayre that nobody likes. You know you’ll only throw it away a week later.
  6. When you do go shopping, shop local, they always have the freshest veggies and the best Christmas cakes, mince pies and puddings etc.,
  7. With food in mind, this week, make space in your freezer for any leftovers that you can use again. Better still, get creative and whip them up into soups, stews, sandwiches or curries. Another idea would be to offer your guests a ‘doggy bag’ to take home with them and freeze for later.