The festivities have begun, and spirits are running high. It’s the start of that season that many of us – and rightfully so after the year we’ve had – are particularly excited for. There are countless things to organise; from putting up the tree and making snowflakes, to searching for a half-decent gift for the extended family, while also constructing a hefty list of what is needed for Christmas dinner. However, one thing to bear in mind while completing all of these jobs is that Christmas is one of the most exhausting times of the year for our planet. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be all ‘bah humbug’ about this, but why not consider opting for a more sustainable approach to your Christmas dinner plans this year?
Compared with conventional methods, organic farming is significantly better for the environment. Organic farms use natural techniques such as growing their crops in fertile soils that are full of nutrients, that will eventually make their way into your Christmas dinner. Moreover, livestock is able to roam the farm freely, while also eating grass— contrary to animals being subject to confinement in cages and being force-fed corn in conventional animal farming methods. Granted, the organic route can typically be a little more expensive, but the process at which produce makes its way to your plate is done so with your health in mind.
Where to go?
It can often be difficult to locate exactly where independently-run fruit and vegetable stores are when there’s a Tesco Express or a Morrisons Local seemingly on every corner, yet with websites such as FarmingUK.com and FindLocalProduce.co.uk, there’s never been a better time to know where to head. Such sites enable you to condense the options out there down to counties, giving you a variety of information on each store from what they sell, their best sellers, down to exactly where you can find them. The notion of shopping locally encourages consumers to shop within a 30-mile radius of their home, so these websites will give you a variety of options on where to go for your Christmas veggies!
Another major perk of shopping locally is that, more often than not, produce isn’t wrapped in unnecessary plastic, meaning that while you’re supporting the locals, you’re also not contributing to the issue of single-use plastic! Bonus!
Preparation is key
Knowing how many mouths you’ve got to feed before heading to the shops is so important— a sustainable Christmas is one that has minimal waste, so by simply writing out a list before you shop will save yourself some dosh and the environment some damage. According to RespectFood.com, a staggering 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings, and 74 million mince pies go to waste each Christmas. The figures speak for themselves; plan ahead, know what you want, and there won’t be any need to contribute to such frightening statistics. A guilt-free Christmas is the best way forward.
Let’s be honest, unless you fork out a hefty bill for some good quality crackers, they’re never really worth it. The gift gets thrown away, the hats easily tear and the jokes are always the same… so, why not go all ‘DIY’ with the dinner table decorations this year? Grab the scrap paper, cut zig zags downwards, add some funky decorations, tape together and voila! You’ve got yourself your own personalised Christmas hat! As for the jokes— get those festive juices going, I’m sure you can think of some better ones. By simply opting out of the cracker tradition this year, you’ll be helping to cut down the 40 million Christmas crackers that go to waste each winter. We can do better, we just need to pull together!