Green Christmas forecast for a third of Brits

A third (32%) of Brits are dreaming of a ‘green Christmas’ this year by taking steps to reduce the impact of their celebrations on the environment, research has revealed.  

The survey of 2,000 people in the UK found that many Brits will stay off Santa’s naughty list this festive season, by taking greener approaches to festive traditions such as Christmas trees, sending cards and even Christmas dinner.  

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The research, carried out by eco-heating specialists, Daikin UK, found that more than half (57%) will be opting for Christmas dinner that comes in more sustainable packaging, almost a third (30%) will be trying to source it from local producers, and one in five will be shunning the turkey and going meat-free. 

On the gifting front, three in ten (30%) will buy from local producers where they can, 29% will try to keep their gifts plastic-free, and 16% plan to make their own.  

And when it comes to trees, 14% of people will be renting theirs. A fifth (20%) plan to buy a real one, with two thirds (61%) intending to burn, chip or plant it after Christmas, and just 18% will send it to landfill, where it will release harmful methane gas.      

Millions re-use

More than three quarters of Brits (77%) say they will buy or re-use an artificial Christmas tree this year but, on average, the new artificial trees purchased this Christmas will be used for just 3.8 years – well short of the 10-year lifespan the Carbon Trust recommends to offset a fake tree’s carbon footprint. 

And if your green credentials aren’t limited to Christmas dinner and you’ve taken bigger steps to make your home more sustainable, a humble brag about this over a mince pie isn’t out of the question.  

More than a third (37%) of people surveyed agreed that living more sustainably is something you can show off about to friends and family, with 44% admitting they would be impressed if they visited someone’s house fitted with solar panels, and 35% saying they’d be impressed if they visited a house with a heat pump.  

According to Daikin UK, which manufacturers air source heat pumps, switching to a heat pump from an old boiler can reduce a home’s carbon footprint by 3.1 tonnes every year, which is more than going car free.  

Ian Bevan, Daikin UK’s Commercial Manager of Heating and Renewables, said: “With Christmas just a few weeks away, many of us will be looking forward to celebrating with friends and family, decorating our homes, giving and receiving gifts, and that all important Christmas dinner.  

“But according to the Stockholm Institute, along with releasing festive cheer, three days of Christmas celebrations could also release as much as 650kg of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere per person. 

“It’s been really encouraging to see that many people are aiming for a ‘green’ Christmas by limiting the impact of their celebrations on the environment. And that many are considering how their lifestyles can be more sustainable overall.” 

The nations concerns

The survey also revealed that eight in 10 (83%) of people are concerned about humans’ overall impact on the environment, with almost half (48%) planning to change their own lifestyles to be more sustainable. 

But people’s actions may not fully stack up against their words when it comes to being greener this Christmas.  

More than half (54%) of people aged between 18-25 plan to have a more environmentally friendly Christmas this year, according to the research. But four in 10 do not consider the impact of their decorations or wrapping paper on the environment. And if they’re buying an artificial tree this year, they only plan to use it for 2.5 years, falling well short of the Carbon Trust’s 10-year recommendation.  

Ian Bevan added: “There’s been no avoiding the topic of sustainability this year, especially with COP26 taking place in Glasgow. And as a result, a lot of us have taken stock of our lifestyles and whether we could make them more sustainable.  

“For those who do want to more, don’t underestimate the power of small changes, as they add up to make a real difference. But for those who want to go bigger and lead the way in living more sustainably, switching to low carbon heating will do more than just impress your friends.   

“Along with reducing your home’s carbon footprint, a heat pump could save up to £546 per year in running costs compared with an oil boiler, and up to £317 compared with a gas boiler, simply by being more energy efficient. And until March 2022, the UK Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) can cover a large part of the cost installation.”  

For more information visit Daikin UK.