Christmas. An excitng time of the year! Time to catch up with family and friends, share a delicious feast and swap thoughtful presents. It can be pure magic, if sometimes somewhat marred with stress in pursuit of perfection and pressure to put on a show.
Unfortunately, the pressures on us to indulge in excess decorations, food, and gifts also put much stress on the planet. Over the last month we put some of the facts explaining the impact of Christmas on display at the Garden and invited our visitors to take a part in a quiz based on it, with entrants in with a chance to win 3L pack of our very own Tayport Apple Juice. And last Sunday, Lewis drew a winner from among 35 submissions – congrats Shannon!
Below are all the correct answers to our quiz, along with sources of the Christmas facts:
- The carbon footprint of 3 days of Christmas in the UK makes up 5.5% of the total annual emissions per person (Source: The Carbon Cost of Christmas report)
- Wrapping paper thrown away over Christmas in the UK could stretch 9 times around the world, and it takes 248,000 trees to make Christmas cards (Source: Christmas in the bin)
- An average family wastes 1/3 of food they buy at Christmas
(Source: Christmas in the bin).
- You need to keep your arificial Christmas tree for 9 years to make it more environmentally friendly than buying one cut tree a year (Source: The Great Christmas Tree Showdown)
- Over 12 days of Christmas, tree lights can produce enough carbon emissions to fill 12 baloons (Source: 10 ways to make Christmas more sustainable and affordable).
- Choosing to do your Christmas travel by train instead of a car can save 35% of your carbon emissions. (Source: The Carbon Cost of Christmas report)
The good news is, there are many ways we can reduce this pressure – which can make both us and the planet much happier! We leave you with some jolly and green Christmas suggestions from our quiz participants (things they already do!):
- Buy books for us – not plastic toys.
- Try to plan well with meals avoiding waste and use all the turkey scraps for snacks and wraps.
- Cut up egg boxes, paint them red and green, hang them on a string to make bells either in pairs or on a long length of string or recycled ribbon.
- Be adventurous and replace one meat dish on your Christmas table with a vegetarian or vegan option…and if you don’t know what to cook, check out the supermarket offerings – they seem to have lots of options this year!
- Use string or ribbon from last year’s presents to create new bows.
- Hand made presents and food from the community garden for Christmas dinner!
- Buy good quality presents which will last for a long time and which can be repaired easily!!!
- A time for family and great dad jokes.
- For dinner everyone brings a vegetable or fruit or any other articles required to cook a xmas dinner, and cook it together in one house. Make sure to agree a menu beforehand. A great way to stop family battles.
- Grow Chinese Lanterns and Statice in your garden to decorate natural wreaths. Dry first by hanging upside down.
- Upcycle last year’s cards to make gift cards.
- Enjoy Christmas. Eat all the potatoes and vegetables. Leave no waste.
- Don’t buy any extra food at Christmas. Just go out for dinner as a treat!
- Make your own Christmas crackers. The jokes are better!
- Take advatage of interest free scottish government loan to buy an electric car. Free electricity at public charging points too!
- Collect things such as branches and holly and make natural Christmas decorations (make sure you have a permission of the land owner and leave enough berries for the birds:)
- Collect nice twigs and branches and put them in a heavy vase, thank hang decorations on them – much better than a Xmas tree!
- Use newspaper and old maps for wrapping paper!
- Reusable gift bags.
- Escape Christmas to be greener – go away to a quiet place in the Highlands and enjoy nature….
- Local, organic, pasture raised turkey!
- Stop using cars and use bikes.
- Hide tasty foods and drinks so that people have to expend energy (their own) before they can enjoy them.
- Buy a REAL tree!
- Buy presents from local makers – they give twice!
- Natural ‘air freshener’ Christmas scent – cranberries, cinnamon, cloves, orange slices in a pot on a stove for Christmas smells (instead of artificial air fresheners)
- Take a train to see your family which should give you time to read a book or play games on the way. If you travel a lot as a couple you can use Two Together discount to save 30% on ticket price!
- Remember to change your central heating hot water settings to fewer hours and lower temperature – you will save energy and ££££.
- Forget tinsel – make a garland with popcorn and cranberries/rowan berries
- Hire a living potted Christmas tree – it’s zero waste and you can have the same tree year after year without having to take care of it throughout the year.
- Make a mulled apple juice from Tayport Apple Juice.
- Do not wrap presents:)
- Parcel wrapping: brown paper, ribbon /wool/jute string and reuse old Christmas cards for added colour and as name tag. Enjoy!