Wishing You a Green Christmas!
Wishing for a white Christmas? Here at Glandore we’re hoping for a really green one! We hope our tips below will help you on your journey to go green too!
Twinkle and Sparkle
Before leaving the office for the festive season, make sure to turn off all your electrical devices – computers, scanners and printers. Items left on standby consume power. Up to 20 per cent of your electricity usage in the workplace and at home comes from items on standby or chargers left plugged in. That’s a lot of wasted electricity. Set a reminder on your computer to unplug everything 10 minutes before you leave the office this Christmas.
Looking to get some new Christmas lights? Switch to LED. These bulbs use less electricity and last a lot longer. Don’t forget you can return your old broken Christmas lights to the store you purchase your new lights from under the WEEE recycling programme. Just show them the receipt. Invest in a set of reusable batteries, these will save you money and are great if Santa forgets to bring them on Christmas morning!
Buy Smart. Think Green.
Pick a gift that will last, shop local and always remember less is more. Consider your gifts, select products in less packaging, choose sustainable clothing such as organic cotton, wool or hemp or locally produced craft items. Encourage loved ones to give you a list of items they’d like. Give an experience as opposed to a physical present, a massage, wine tasting, a gift voucher for a photography course etc. Buy cards and wrapping paper made of recycled paper and recycle your used wrapping paper. Avoid glitter or glossy shiny wrapping paper, this is often a composite (a material made from two items like plastic and paper). Composites aren’t recyclable. If you want to know if the wrapping paper is recyclable, do the scrunch test. If it stays scrunched up, it’s paper and can be recycled. Better still use a paper bag and on the tag write “Please Re-use Me”, instead of the person’s name. Likewise re-use the present bags you receive. Give an eco-gift, such as a reusable coffee cup, water bottle, bamboo toothbrush, wax food wraps or stainless steel lunchboxes to friends and family.
Deck the Halls
Wondering whether to get a real tree or a synthetic tree? Keep in mind that fake trees are made of plastic and can’t be recycled. Real trees are grown locally and while they are growing, capture carbon dioxide. Many county councils offer recycling centres for trees after Christmas, where they are shredded and turned into bark mulch for local parks. This is great if you are pressed for time in January.
Be inspired by an Irish Christmas around your house, decorate with our abundance of local flora and plentiful natural props. Logs, holly and ivy are easily found in our wonderful Irish countryside. Take a Winter’s walk this week and start collecting some pieces. Cinnamon sticks and handmade wreaths make wonderful decorations and are all compostable. Choose glass, ceramics and metal decorations over plastic. These last longer and can be re-used. Non paraffin candles and Poinsettia plants are also great decorations. Keep quality and sustainability in mind over decorations that can’t be recycled.
The Big Christmas Feast
We all love a good Christmas feast. This year why not consider purchasing a free range or organic turkey. Sprouts, parsnips and carrots are all in season right now, so easily available. Our Island produces some of the best fruits and vegetables in the world. Consider something different and enjoy some Fair -Trade South African wine on your table this year.
Get creative with your leftovers
- Thai Green turkey curry is delicious and something different for St Stephen’s/Boxing Day lunch
- If you have lots of leftover nuts and fruits, try making a fruity and nutty loaf which can be shared out in the evening with a nice Irish Coffee!
- Left over fresh fruits can be used up at breakfast time over a nice crunchy homemade granola and Greek yogurt, or even better still, whizz it all up and make some festive smoothies!
While there has been a very positive move with the introduction of removing plastic packaging in the supermarkets and shops, always try doing your bit for the environment and recycle your tins, boxes or plastic bags and use them for storage.
The Big Christmas Clean-Up
The end of the Christmas season shouldn’t be a sad occasion, it should be a time where you can reclaim your home again and make some order before the new year kicks in. Inevitably there is waste, but reduce your impact by making sure you reduce, re-use and recycle as much as you can. Donate unwanted presents to charity shops and hospitals. Consider leaving those extra boxes of biscuits and chocolates into a homeless shelter. Put away the decorations properly and store them securely so that they last and can be re-used again next year.