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Top tips for a sustainable Christmas

Posted: 13th December 2019

Christmas – it’s the most wonderful, but arguably environmentally damaging, time of the year. During this period in the UK we create a whopping 30% more waste than usual. However, in light of Extinction Rebellion and many waking up to the climate crisis, the spotlight is well and truly on the environment this year.

At Firefly, we are always looking for new ways to contribute positively to the environment. This includes regular office litter-picks and working from home one day a week to help cut down our carbon emissions. In a bid to be more sustainable this Christmas, we’re sharing some of our top tips for reducing waste – without taking away any of the festive fun!

Gift sustainably

We all know someone who struggles, or down right refuses, to get on board with sustainability – they never bring their own bag for food shopping and use takeaway paper cups when getting their daily coffee fix. If someone springs to mind and you’re stuck on what to buy them this year, why not consider one of the many beautifully designed and slick eco-friendly products currently on the market? Even the least sustainable among us won’t be able to resist using them!

A few ideas to get you started are reusable water bottles, coffee cups, cutlery and straws, shampoo and soap bars, and our personal favourite, plants! For a more homemade touch, why not bake or cook something delicious yourself?

To avoid unnecessary waste, we would also encourage you to really think about your gifts, and whether the person you’re buying for will use and appreciate them. If you are unsure, it might be best to gift them an experience instead, such as a meal at their favourite restaurant or a voucher for an activity they’ve always wanted to do.

Wrapping paper

In the UK, a staggering 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is used each year. Instead of buying brand new wrapping paper for your gifts this Christmas, why not reuse gift bags and paper from previous years? If you don’t have any saved, brown paper can look beautiful spruced up with string and, if you’re feeling super fancy, sprigs of holly for a handmade touch. Another great hack is to wrap your presents in a scarf or piece of clothing, preferably pre-loved by yourself or from a charity shop. This can look just as good as wrapping paper and can even double up as another gift.

If you are desperate to buy new wrapping paper, a key tip is to avoid the plastic, foil and glitter variety, which cannot be recycled.

Head over to our journal to read the full article, which includes more useful sustainability hacks to see you through the festive period.

On the lead up to Christmas, we’re also posting 12 bright ideas each day to help you to reduce your environmental footprint, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and join in the conversation. For every new LinkedIn follower we receive up until Christmas Eve, we’re making a donation for a tree to be planted in Indonesia by One Tree PlantedT&Cs apply.


Katrina Barry, Client Account Manager

T: 0131 510 8262


Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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