Have yourself a water-saving Christmas season
When we think about eco-friendly Christmasses, our thoughts turn to plastic-free presents and decorations, local and organic food, buying experience gifts instead of ‘stuff’, switching off the gadgets - yet how often do we consider the hidden water cost of those hectic weeks of parties leading up to the big day?
If you remember, everything we buy or use has a water footprint. That’s the amount of water it took to produce that item, from the water that’s used raising animals and in mining of natural resources to the water required in factory processes and to make the fuel transporting the goods to our homes.
Makes sense that Christmas isn’t only hard on the wallet. It’s also seriously water expensive.
Here are a few ideas that we hope will help you save on the seasonal spending AND minimise your water footprint during December...
Water-saving party outfits
A single, solitary, cotton t-shirt takes over 2,500 litres of water to make, start to finish. That’s more than 30 baths’ worth of fresh water.
Textiles are exceptionally water hungry, so the more we can do to streamline our wardrobes and fashion buying, the better the result for the environment.
>> Hire a suit or dress instead of buying. For posh ‘dos’, this could see you quids in. Never be caught in the same outfit twice!
>> Take a look in designer resale shops. Those with the finances to invest in designer clothes will quite often offload them via online resale stores such as Vestiaire Collective and Vide Dressing at the end of the fashion season. Cross your fingers that someone with your taste and your measurements uses the service and you may bag some seriously well-made clothing.
>> Browse vintage clothes shops. If you like to stand out from the crowd, in true vintage gear you can be practically certain you’ll never encounter anyone in a matching look.
>> Have a rummage at the charity shop. Come prepared to sift through a lot of tat. It’s worth it for the moment when you find that absolute gem at a bargain price.
Water-saving reusable cups
So your reusable coffee cup is practical, eco and saves you money on your morning latte, right, but did you realise it’s now a party must-have?
Take your refill cup along to events where they’re giving out plastic disposables and fill up on cocktails, beer, G&T or whatever you’re having. Every piece of plastic we can avoid using is a win, water-wise.
Amazingly, it takes at least twice as much water to produce a plastic water bottle as the amount of water that can be held in the bottle.
Water-saving gifts for your hosts
Never show up empty-handed, that’s the general etiquette. Most hosts would probably be delighted to be given a nice bottle of English wine or a few of the more interesting local ales. Both of these benefit from low food mileage for greater water-friendliness.
For trickier gift decisions, we like to consult this ethical gifting chart, created by online zero waste shop, Just Little Changes. Pick from the top two-thirds and you'll not go far wrong.