I’m an eco expert and here’s how you can avoid waste and save money this holiday season

We may all be dreaming of a white Christmas but with climate change being the headline news this year, it’s a green one we should be thinking about.

The festive season can be a seriously wasted time of the year with a lot of single-use plastic toys falling apart.

GIY's Michael Kelly offers tips on how to have an eco-friendly Christmas


GIY’s Michael Kelly offers tips on how to have an eco-friendly Christmas

Last year, Repak Irish households are estimated to have used six million rolls of wrapping paper – as well as four million boxes today.

But eco-activist Michael Kelly, founder of Grow It Yourself, thinks it’s possible to have a special Christmas while still doing your best for environment.

From eco-friendly gifts to organic food choices, there are small changes we can make without compromising our enjoyment of that season.

Here Michael tells AOIFE BANNON His top tips for a sin-free Christmas.


When it comes to your Christmas tree, Michael recommends choosing a live tree.

Live trees are a renewable resource and being replanted on tree farms contributes to our air quality and natural ecosystems.

Most read in The Irish Sun

“You can also pick up a potted houseplant and then enjoy a ‘Nature Restoration’ activity with your family after Christmas as you replant it outside or place it outside in a large pot,” he said. and decorate it with seeds. balls, peanut butter and seed trays.

“It’s a fun activity for the kids and provides an important source of food during the long, cold winter days for the birds.”


When it comes to grub, the first tip is to buy less. Every year Irish households dump tons of food waste that is never needed.

A turkey and ham dinner with all the traditional trimmings can see tens of thousands of miles of food being prepared.

Buy your food from the farmers market or directly from the producer itself. Not only will it taste better, but it will also be a more sustainable food shopping habit.

Most people buy a bird that’s really too big – so it’s probably a good idea to reconsider how much you really need.

And if you have leftovers – get creative with leftovers; Turkey carcasses make a great stock for soups and you can blanch vegetables.


You can forgo the turkey tradition and go vegan for dinner. You can enjoy your Christmas dinner with a delicious nut loaf, delicious veggie scones, and seasonal vegetables.

Local and seasonal vegetables mean fewer forages and artificial cooking methods; Potatoes, turnips, carrots and sprouts are all grown in Ireland and are on the market in December.

Remember that there are always prices for cheap food, so be prepared to pay a fair price for your Christmas turkey, ham, and veggies.


By choosing organic meat and vegetables, you can ensure no chemicals are used in the production of the food and that it is better for the planet.

Supermarkets often use vegetables as loss leaders to get us into the store at Christmas.

This is bad news for vegetable growers in Ireland as prices tend to go down permanently and we have forced them to go out of business.

Buying local organic produce is one way to support local growers.


Look out for yogurt boxes and toilet rolls, which can be substituted for growing vegetables.
These can act as pots to plant seeds in. And transparent pads and milk bottles can act as clumps in the spring when the seedlings are first brought into the soil.


Homemade gifts are not only ideas but also make a gift more different and unique.

Homemade dishes or sauces are completely unique. Pesto, sauces, and pastries all make beautiful gifts, and you can also involve your kids as an activity.

Ideally, reuse wrapping paper. If you buy gift wrap, choose brown paper that is fully recyclable.


If you brave the water for a swim on Christmas morning, grab some seaweed while you’re there as a Christmas press for your flower beds.

Avoid pulling seaweed off rocks, collect it from the beach instead if it gets washed up after a storm.


Start 2022 with good intentions to do what you do for the environment.

Our food production is responsible for almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

  • MAKE The GIY Transform and embrace growing your own vegetables.
    For more tips on living green and growing, check out I’m an eco expert and here’s how you can avoid waste and save money this holiday season

Fry Electronics Team

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