Cover Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

After last month’s COP26, it is no surprise that the awareness surrounding sustainability is ever increasing. To make a dent in our footprint, we need to try to be sustainable in the things we are doing. This means starting with the small efforts we can make on board, small changes add up to the big impacts.

With the holiday season upon us once again – where did 2021 go?! – this is the perfect time to think about things you can do to reduce your impact. At Christmas, rules can go out the window. It’s a time where the potential for excess waste is high- overindulging, overconsumption and mass shopping are rife. So, here are the 12 ways that you can have a more sustainable Christmas.

1. Reduce your waste 

Have a plan when it comes to your food shopping, have menu plans and comprehensive lists so you don’t overbuy. As a chef make sure you discuss the crew festive preferences. If you do have leftovers, which tend to be inevitable around Christmas – use or freeze them.

2. DIY Décor 

Ditch the unnatural, glittery and plastic decorations this year. Starting with the Christmas tree, it is a great idea to re-purpose a tree or plant that you may already have onboard. When it comes to the decorations, have a crew evening of making handmade decorations from natural things around you, get creative if you are in the Caribbean – why not use what you have and put a tropical twist on the decorations.

3. Conscious buying 

Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash

One part of Christmas is about the giving and receiving of gifts, you can still do this but there are many ways you can make it better for our planet. Make sure you research what you are buying; buy second-hand, ethical, local and sustainable gifts. Another idea is to buy non-physical gifts, arrange a day out that you can enjoy for your loved one instead. You can also introduce the concept of buying less, instead of buying for the 10 other crew members, do an onboard Secret Santa

4. Wrap responsibly 

When you do buy physical gifts, make sure you have a sustainable way of wrapping them. There are lots of sustainable wrapping paper and tape out there now or even switch to using fabric you already have.

5. Say it sustainably 

Thousands of trees are cut down each year for Christmas card production, make sure you buy a sustainable and recyclable card, send an e-card or even better simply pick up the phone for your Christmas wishes.

6. The time for giving 

When it comes to Christmas, sometimes the sentiment of giving and receiving can get lost in overconsumption, instead of buying and consuming give the gift or your time. There are various initiatives around the festive period within communities to help out those in need, if you have extra holiday days why not do some volunteering. If you don’t have the time but do have some spare cash, why not give it to a charity that is close to your heart.

7. Say no to plastic 

Photo by Conor Brown on Unsplash

The increase in the amount of packaging around the Christmas period is scary, from both food and gifts. In the UK alone, 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be generated during the festive period. Be mindful of what you are purchasing and what it comes in. When it comes to single-use plastic, look for reusable and sustainable alternatives.

8. Party properly 

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Christmas isn’t just about one day, usually, the whole festive period can be somewhat unsustainable. If you are throwing a Christmas party this year be as sustainable as you can. Replace disposable cutlery and glasses with non-disposable, source local and seasonal food, look into buying sustainable alcohol and make your decorations.

9. Come together 

Whether you are with your family, honouring traditions or onboard with crew creating new ones, festive periods are about spending time together.

10. Connect with nature 

The festive period can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if you aren’t at home with your own family. Be sure to take some time out for yourself, connecting with nature is a great way to do this whether you go for a quick dip or a long walk, get outside and notice what’s important away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

11. Wear it well 

From enjoying a Christmas party, walking around a Christmas market, going out for a Christmas dinner to simply chilling out in your new Christmas jumper, there are various events in the festive period where you may be tempted to buy more outfits. Be aware that fast fashion is a huge issue when it comes to sustainability, think twice before you buy, donate unwanted outfits and buy from sustainable and ethical brands.

12. Travel responsibly 

If you can travel home this Christmas from the yacht then look at off-setting your travel home. If you can, try and make all journey’s more sustainable, for example, choose the train over flying.

We hope you have a merry and sustainable Christmas!

Be sure to enjoy any time off you may have this festive period and remember what’s important this Christmas. These 12 ways should help you have a more positive impact on the festive period.

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