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15Hatfields' top tips for a conscious Christmas


This time of year can produce a lot of waste so to help the team at 15Hatfields' have wrapped up some ideas to help celebrate a conscious Christmas:

Treemendous sourcing – try to buy a real Christmas tree from a British carbon-neutral supplier such as Pines and Needles, that uses sustainable forests and low-emission transport. Using ten times fewer basic materials and five times less energy than producing an artificial tree, just one acre of real trees absorbs enough carbon dioxide throughout the seven years they take to grow to supply oxygen for 16 people. Once the festive period is over, real Christmas trees can be recycled for alternative uses such as renewable fuel or chipping, unlike artificial trees that are usually sent to landfill within nine years, where they remain for centuries.

One person’s waste is another’s treasure – why not declutter and adorn your eco-conscious tree with office junk that might otherwise go to landfill. Gather old marketing collateral, such as leaflets and business cards, and supermarket loyalty and Oyster cards, and repurpose and upcycle them into paper chains and hanging ornaments. Unused CDs and silicon circuit boards can be precisely cut into seasonal shapes, and for the pièce de résistance, get creative with your tree topper – last year we fashioned a star using tea tongs, natural twine and cardboard.

Gift your support – whether it’s your local craft shop or Fairtrade companies from around the world, we know the importance of supporting independent businesses this year, more than ever. If you’re unable to upcycle your own decorations, or have run out of materials to do so, buy handmade festive festoonery from organisations such as Traidcraft, which supports producers from developing countries and sells recycled and recyclable decorations for a more circular Christmas.

Feasible feasting – we all know the feeling of overindulgence during yuletide celebrations. But what if we provided the right amount of Christmas dinners and festive feasts for our guests, delegates or team members, with no waste? Use historic data, or start gathering it, to measure how much people normally eat when dining at your establishment and how much they throw away, or, offer portion size options so that guests can choose how much they want to eat themselves to ease operational management. Still got something left over? Organisations like Olio or Too Good to Go create easy and simple ways to donate your leftover food safely to those in need, and it stops food waste going to landfill, which creates dangerous methane and wastes water. Seasonal ingredients and locally sourced produce are also important for ensuring you reduce your menu’s carbon footprint and will deliver better taste for your guests as well! Speak with your event caterer or head chef to find out how you can champion responsibly sourced ingredients.

Find out more about 15Hatfields and its unrelenting commitment to sustainable causes here