Ferrovial prides itself upon being a financially, ethically, socially and environmentally sustainable company and sustainability is always at the forefront of the company’s agenda. With Christmas just around the corner we started thinking about how we can make our festive celebrations more green this year and have a more sustainable Christmas, with a reduced environmental impact.
Here are our top tips for a greener Christmas!
When is comes to decorations…
LED lights use 90% less energy than traditional incandescent Christmas lights making them more environmentally friendly and also more cost effective. Use a timer for your festive lighting to save even more energy and expense, there’s no point in having the lights switched on when there’s no one around to enjoy them.
Buy a real Christmas tree and recycle it when you’ve finished with it or if you’re purchasing an artificial tree make sure it’s one that you’ll keep for many years to come. Real Christmas trees are great because not only do they smell good (and very festive!) but they help improve the air quality whilst they are growing. Once the festive season is over with you can re-pot the tree for longer use or even plant it outside if you have the space in your garden. Alternatively, live trees that have been cut are a useful material for composting.
When it comes to Christmas gifts…
Consider sending an e-card to your loved ones this Christmas, they don’t use any trees and are quick and easy to send! If you want to stick with a physical greeting card, homemade cards are a lovely, more personal alternative to shop bought, chemically treated ones and can be made using materials that you you have lying around your home.
Think carefully when you’re buying gifts and look into presents that involve reuse or recycling. This might involve re-gifting, buying second hand from vintage stores or charity shops or buying presents make from recycled materials such as earrings made from bottle lids. You could even get creative and make your own upcycled gift for your loved ones, they are sure to appreciate the time and effort that you’ve put into making it. You can read more about upcycling in this post from our blog.
When wrapping your gifts up, use more environmentally friendly paper that uses fibres such as hemp or use paper made from recycled content. You can even use items lying around your home such as old newspapers, calendars or posters as a quirky alternative to wrapping paper. Make sure to unwrap the presents that you receive as carefully as possible so you can set aside any gift wrap to reuse.
When it comes to food…
Consider replacing meat with lower carbon alternatives, here you can find some examples of great, tasty vegetarian Christmas dinner options. Alternatively, if you’re cooking meat for your festive meals, think carefully about your choice of meat, factoring in your carbon footprint. Poultry such as turkey for example has a lower climate impact compared to other meat options. Furthermore, Christmas is a time for family and friends so try to get as many of you as possible around the dinner table, it’s a lot more energy efficient to cook one big meal and more in line with the spirit of the season!
Reduce your food waste
Each year UK households throw away the equivalent of 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies. You can reduce your food waste by carefully planning meals and sticking to a shopping list. Make sure to freeze any leftovers to minimise food wastage and save money, or get creative and use any leftovers to create new dishes.
And when it comes to travelling…
Minimize personal car use
If you’re staying at home for Christmas why not take a festive stroll around your local area rather than taking a drive out somewhere. If you have to travel to other cities to visit family or friends, look into car shares either with friends or through services such as Bla Bla Car.
We hope you enjoyed our tips for a greener Christmas! With these tips we believe you can have just as much fun this festive season but with a minimal carbon footprint.
Got any other tips for a more sustainable Christmas?
Leave us a comment below or tweet us at @ferrovial