Many Scots are still unaware of the negative environmental impacts of buying new products. Around 80% of our carbon footprint can be directly attributed to the products, services, and materials we consume — and what annual occasion is attributed to the season of giving and consumption? Christmas!
Four out of five Scots agree on sustainability, and that we all have a responsibility to cut down on waste over Christmas. Luckily, this can easily be done while still maintaining the joy of the festive season. Let’s take a closer look below.
As they say, it’s truly the thought that counts in gift-giving. As we’ve discussed previously in Part of the Circular Economy, buying secondhand from local businesses reduces our demand for raw materials and maximises the life of products. Buying secondhand could eradicate almost a fifth of Scotland’s carbon footprint by 2050!
It’s also a cost-efficient way to decorate our homes with secondhand stockings, lights, and Christmas trees while teaching our children a valuable lesson: to love our environment and local community as much as we love each other.
To get started, check out our store here at Remake where we guarantee quality vintage furniture and homewares, haberdashery and craft supplies from landfills. With effort from everyone in the community, we can reduce our carbon footprint this Christmas and the many Christmases to come.
Keep your heating down
As the energy crisis persists, energy costs in the UK will be skyrocketing this Christmas season. Fortunately, turning down the heating by only 1 degree can reduce heating bills by up to £80 a year.
The holiday season is the best time to get cosy with our loved ones, so whip out your favourite Christmas jumper and take advantage of the extra heat from the roast in the oven. Investing in a smart thermostat can also be a long-term cost-efficient means as this ensures that only the rooms you are using are heated.
Opt for renewable alternatives
If bracing the cold with a jumper seems too challenging, it may be time to start looking toward renewable alternatives. Gas heaters are pricey, fire hazards, and account for 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. Solar air heaters, on the other hand, only use thermal energy by capturing this during the day from the sun, to store and release heat when needed.
This reduces the amount of energy that providers need to generate through fossil fuels, which Hoymiles’ overview of the importance of solar explains will compound the impact on the shared carbon footprint of the world. The best part is that going renewable is a long-term decision and will give returns over a number of years. This means that the investment isn’t a decision that will keep you sustainable for this Christmas, but all future Christmases.
Besides your heating, your lights and appliances can also be powered by solar energy as long as your panels are strategically placed to capture sunlight. Many may believe that Scotland’s grey and cloudy weather makes solar panels unviable, but the latest technology permits them to function even in the shade. Consult your local experts for the best module and system to install in your home, and your family could harvest solar energy sustainably for many years.
Make your own wrapping paper
Waste management company BIFFA counts an estimated 227,000 miles of wrapping paper are thrown away each year at Christmas in the UK. That’s enough to wrap around the Earth more than eight times!
Instead, a DIY effort with used brown packaging paper or old newspapers can be a fun way to cut your carbon footprint down. You can also engage your children’s creativity in prepping your wrapping paper for the holidays.
Exclusively written for remakescotland.co.uk by Jorin Baddick