Make Christmas Green

Sarah Corcoran

Blog Writer

Have a Green Christmas

This year has been a rollercoaster from start to finish. One thing that we can rely on in 2020 is the arrival of Christmas and with it, plenty of food drink and gifts.  Unfortunately with gifts comes waste and even with the rise of sustainability in Ireland, we are expected to generate over 90,000 tonnes of extra packaging waste over the festive season. At Premier Business Centres, we are advocates for a greener Ireland and wanted to share our top tips for reducing waste this Christmas, without making the holiday season more stressful as it already is. Make these small changes to make a big difference.

Homemade Gifts

Many of us have taken up new hobbies this year, ranging from crafts like embroidery & card-making to learning to bake or a new language. This year, put your new skills to the test and make a gift they will never forget. Anyone can walk into a shop and buy a present but it takes a special talent and a whole lot of love and care to give a hand made gift for someone you love. It doesn’t even need to come from you. If your other half of your children have a creative flair, spend some time making gifts for friends and family and treasure those memories forever.

Sustainable Gifts

Sustainability is on the rise in Ireland and we love to see it. Instead of adding to the ever-growing pile of discarded plastic toys this Christmas, instead, Santa can invest in some well- made wooden or metal toys that can be passed down through generations. As a Kris Kindle gift, instead of buying some novelty socks or a plastic toy or trinket, why not spend your money on something useful like a reusable cup or water bottle or some metal straws, something to encourage the recipient to reduce their waste consumption in 2021.
If you’re buying gifts for close family and friends, chances are you already know what they’d like. Instead of feeding consumerism of Christmas and buying unwanted gift sets and candles. Instead, give the gift of experiences. Check if their favourite band or comedian are coming to town next year and buy tickets, or give them a voucher for their favourite restaurant so they can enjoy a well-deserved night off next year. You could save money by offering babysitting or housekeeping vouchers too, ideal for busy or new parents. You could bake a cake as a gift for a family or buy a voucher for a visit to an amusement park for your children. Memories from experiences last so much longer than physical gifts.

Christmas Decorations

We often don’t think of the impact of our decorations on the environment. The carbon footprint of an artificial tree is about 40kg of greenhouse gas emissions – more than twice that of a real tree – and ends its life in landfill where a real tree is often burned. When it comes to decorations, think about reducing them rather than increasing them! Use natural and found items rather than mass-produced plastic and don’t forget to get the kids involved, encouraging them to draw or design their own decorations that can be reused every year. We also love the idea of adding personal touches to the tree, using family treasures that have been handed down or visiting a second-hand shop to give old decorations a new life.

Christmas Dinner 

No-one wants to reduce, reuse or recycle when it comes to our Christmas feast but there are ways to minimise food waste. Portion your dinner well so each person gets a generous helping of everything but don’t go over the top. Slice and freeze leftover turkey and ham so you have a quick midweek meal on hand for weeks to come. In fact, most Christmas goodies can also be frozen like cake, puddings, mince pies, sauces, veggies and so much more. If there is food waste, make sure to dispose of it properly with all food and compostables going into the brown bin. For more information visit https://www.mywaste.ie/what-to-do-with-my-food-waste/

Green Wrapping

One of the biggest culprits of additional waste over Christmas is wrapping paper and packaging. We all want a pretty present, wrapped with love but there are ways to reduce our contribution to the black bin without compromising on style.

  • Avoid anything with glitter. Glitter, even the biodegradable kind, contains microplastics, which can find their way into rivers and oceans, taking many years to degrade.
  • Wrap with brown paper. Save packaging from Christmas deliveries and decorate with sticker, markers, drawings and colours. Try to buy wrapping paper printed on brown paper. No other type of wrapping paper is recyclable, especially the glossy kind.
  • Try to use paper tape. It may not be as cheap or easy to find but when you use paper tape you can recycle the entire wrapping. When you throw away paper with plastic tape on it, it cannot be recycled, even if it is brown.
  • Try to avoid plastic bows and tags. Instead, use fabric ribbon, coloured string or wool and make your own tags with scrap paper.
  • Another idea is to completely cut out the wrapping paper! Give gifts in reusable gift bags without writing on the tags and the recipient can reuse over and over again!

If you’d like to learn more about how Premier Business Centre are reducing our impact on the environment, read our sustainability campaign. To arrange a meeting or to learn more about our virtual or serviced offices, visit our website or contact Therese Mullane by calling +353 1 639 2939. We’d like to wish all of our clients, customers, suppliers and friends a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy start to 2021.

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