12 Tips for a Sustainable Christmas
Brought to you by Cadline.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, but during an average Christmas, we will produce several more tonnes of waste. That’s around an extra 100 million bin bags being sent to landfill, contributing to both pollution and global warming.
This got us all thinking at Cadline. How can we continue our drive to net zero, but still enjoy everything that Christmas has to offer?
The 12 Tips for a Sustainable Christmas was born. Collating ideas from around the business, these are our top tips for a greener, merrier Christmas.
Tip 1: Real vs Fake Christmas Trees
Will you choose real or fake?
Claire, our Customer Success Director, chooses real. Fake Christmas Trees have a huge carbon footprint, but don’t forget to make sure you recycle your real tree correctly. Don’t add to the millions of real trees that are dumped in January!
Sustainable Christmas tree farms are a great choice. They are good for the environment and for the people who work and live on them, for whom jobs and income are generated. And of course, unlike fake trees, real trees are completely biodegradable and can be used for lumber, turned into mulch, donated to restoration projects, composted and used to fertilise next year’s crop, and more!
Tip 2: Wrap in recycled/recyclable paper
We all know most Christmas wrapping ends up in the bin. If you don’t want to contribute to this mountain of rubbish why not do what Michelle from our Marketing team does, she always buys recycled or recyclable wrapping paper. Doing her bit for the environment and still making sure her presents are beautifully wrapped!
To check if your wrapping paper is recyclable, do the scrunch test. Scrunch up the paper into a tight ball. If the paper stays scrunched in a ball, then it can be recycled, but if it bounces back then it is not recyclable.
Tip 3: Reuse old decorations or cards and make new decorations for next year
The best eco-friendly Christmas decorations are those that come out of the loft year after year or get crafty with your kids and make some new ones.
Nick, our Technical Director, has been using the same tree decorations for 20 years. Super eco-friendly and if you look closely, we can definitely see some gorgeous handmade decorations from his daughter. Well done, Daisy!
Tip 4: Make your own Christmas Baubles
If you’re not lucky enough to inherit grandmas’ decorations you could have a go at making your own baubles, there are lots of ways you can do that. A member of the super creative team in Marketing, Jess, has been making her own Christmas baubles for a few years now. They make great gifts for family and friends, and we think they look fab!
If crafting is not your thing and you need to buy new decorations, then opt for ones made from natural biodegradable materials like wool, wood, recycled glass etc, or get on the phone to Jess!
Tip 5: Make your own Wreath/table decorations
Christmas Wreaths make beautiful decorations but be careful which ones you buy. Avoid any that include plastic which we know is bad for the environment, but also any that have glitter on them. Glitter is a micro plastic and super harmful to wildlife.
The best wreaths to buy are real ones or why not try to make your own. There are lots of schools and florists that do this at Christmas or try an online guide.
Rajinder, our lovely HR Manager, has found a super eco friendly wreath made from locally sourced natural products and has promised to ensure it is recycled correctly.
Tip 6: Donate to a Charity or send Plantable Christmas Cards / make your own cards
In recent years, lots of people have chosen not to send Christmas Cards, instead opting to donate to a charity. Every year Cadline does this, donating to Operation Smile and Crisis at Christmas. We also plant trees with the National Trust.
If, like most teenagers, you are happy with a WhatsApp Christmas message, then you will be helping reduce the tons of Christmas card waste, but if you still like to send a card then look for those with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mark. The FSC is the leader in sustainable forestry putting forests and people first.
And most importantly, don’t forget to recycle your cards or compost them, or even have a go at turning them into decorations for next year.
Tip 7: Making your own Christmas Crackers
Every year, millions of Christmas crackers are thrown away, complete with all the dodgy jokes.
This year why not replace your single use crackers with reusable ones or better still make your own, make sure you fill them with plastic free surprises for a personalised eco-friendly alternative.
Disappointingly after consulting with the whole team, we have not found anyone making Christmas crackers. This is not to say it isn’t worthwhile, just that our team have not engaged yet! We are anticipating an avalanche of homemade crackers next year. Watch this space!
Tip 8: Reusable Advent calendars
We all love advent calendars, but they can be difficult to recycle and encourage unsustainable shopping habits we should be moving away from.
This year, why not invest in a reusable advent calendar which can be enjoyed year after year. You can choose your own gifts which makes them much more fun and personal.
Martin is one of our super Trainers and was happy to share the reusable advent calendar that his very clever wife has made, perfect for filling with all those chocolate goodies. Why not have a go this year, you might enjoy it!
Tip 9: Give a handmade Gift
We are a super crafty bunch at Cadline and love making our own gifts.
Monika, from our Finance team, loves to crochet. This year she plans on making gifts for friends and family. The designs are beautiful, and what a lovely personal gift to give.
Sarah, from the Building Services team, has made a business out of her crafting hobby selling her creations online.
Why not make try making your own gifts this year, help the environment and save some money. If crafting is not your thing what about making some homemade cookies, most grandparents would love a handmade gift from the kids.
And if you don’t have the time to make a gift what about giving a subscription instead of something physical? Digital services like Audible or Netflix, memberships to favourite places, cinema or the National Trust, are all great gift ideas.
Tip 10: Switch to LED Christmas lights
Houses covered in Christmas lights look lovely but at what cost! Swapping your Christmas lights to LEDs is an eco-friendly way to celebrate Christmas and they use up to 80% less energy than normal lights.
If every UK household swapped a string of incandescent lights for its LED equivalent, we could save more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2, just over the 12 days of Christmas.
Maxine, our Marketing Manager, has swapped all her outside lights to LEDs and we think it still looks great!
Tip 11: Reduce food waste
Every year in the UK, tonnes of food is wasted, and at no time is it greater than at Christmas. Lots of food waste ends up in landfills producing harmful greenhouse gases.
Try not to overcook this year, think about how much you are going to eat and only cook that amount. If you do have food left over think about donating it to a local food bank or using a food waste app, such as Olio, a smarter option then just binning it.
Allison from our Internal Sales team grows her own vegetables, so Christmas dinner veg is already sorted! She makes sure that any leftovers from her allotment is made into jam and gifted to friends and family or recycled through her local council food waste collection.
Tip 12: Remember the true meaning of Christmas
Ask yourself this year what’s truly important at Christmas? Is it the presents, delicious food, decorations and sparkly clothes? Or is it spending time with loved ones and being grateful for what you have?
We’d like to end our tips with a comment from Carl, a member of our Customer Success team:
“When all the parties are partied, and all the Christmas kisses kissed, all the presents are opened, and all the bellies are full, let peace descend like a feather, the gravity of materialism lighten, and let hearts soar with the hope of a blessed New Year”.