Have a merry and eco-friendly Christmas!

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Sustainability Officer, Kayleigh, is back with some tips on how to stay eco-friendly this Christmas.

Spent too much? Worrying about your expanding waistline? Bins overflowing? For many people Christmas is a time of treats but it doesn’t need to be a time of extravagant excess, here's some tips on how to reduce your environmental impact over the festive season:

1. Consider your tree – Real Vs Artificial!

If you like a real tree, why not have a living tree that you can reuse every year? Look in your local garden centres for trees in pots! No space  for a living tree? Then please remember to dispose of your real tree properly and recycle it…for Blackpool residents the council are collecting trees between the 2nd-13th of January. If you live elsewhere have a look at your local council websites for recycling schemes.

If the thought of standing on needles isn’t your thing, make sure you reuse your artificial tree for years to come. This reduces the environmental impact of producing the tree.

2. Shop local to reduce your food miles!

Lots of the food we buy from a supermarket travels a long way… this is the perfect time of year to shop local. Call and order your Christmas meat from your local butcher and fruit and veg from the greengrocer. What about edible hampers full of local goodies for presents. This means that you’ll also be supporting local small businesses!

3. The art of giving…

Not sure what to buy someone this year? Why not consider gift experiences or charitable donations rather than buying something that may end up sat in a cupboard or in landfill. There really is something for everyone…

We have a range of animal experiences here at the zoo for those animal loving family and friends - find out more and shop online!

4. Think about what you are eating, not just how much!

  • Read your palm! Palm oil is found in lots of the treats we eat over Christmas, like chocolates and Christmas puddings! Please read the label to make sure it is sustainable; keep an eye out for the RSPO logo (the one that looks like a palm tree!) or you can check out the Rainforest Foundation UK 2016 guide for best and worst buys here.
  • Have a few meat free days over the festive period…  People can go a bit meat crazy at Christmas but rearing livestock creates lots of greenhouse emissions. Having a few meat free days is one of the biggest things you can do to reduce your own environmental impact.

5.Reduce your waste! Here’s some ideas how:

  • Ever heard of Furoshiki? It is the Japanese custom of wrapping presents in cloth which looks really pretty and can then be reused. No fancy cloth lying around? Don’t worry but remember to save and reuse gift bags and what about using colourful magazines to wrap presents in? If you really love wrapping paper, use non-foil paper that can be recycled. Doing this might also save some space in your bins!
  • Say ‘Happy Christmas’ via email or e-card! Want to catch up with your favourite people over Christmas? Send them an e-card, email or call them rather then sending a traditional paper card.
  • Fridge/freezer so full it won’t close? Remember supermarkets only normally close on bank holidays. You do not need to buy 50 loaves of bread or gallons of milk, unless you are feeding the masses! Be careful of buying foods you don’t like - millions of mince pies and Christmas puddings are thrown away every year. Got leftovers? Great, these can be used to make lots of yummy things! There are plenty of ideas on the internet but if you want some inspiration look here.