9 Ways To Help You Have An Eco-Friendly Christmas
This is a very special time of year for so many of us in the UK and beyond, so we’ve put together a quick guide of the easiest and most effective ways to have a greener Christmas. Because great celebrations shouldn’t impact our wonderful planet.
Eco-friendly Christmas shopping tips
Use reusable bags
This one isn’t just limited to the festive season, and you’ve probably heard it a hundred times, but remembering to take bags with you when doing festive shopping is a great shortcut to reducing your elf-sized carbon footprint.
Gift greener presents
Gifts shouldn’t cost the earth, and some of the most sentimental gifts we receive often don’t, we can appreciate the thought to them. So, here are a few of our favourite eco-friendly present ideas:
This one’s simple, but start by asking your family if they would like to receive gifts this year, and if so, is there anything they need.
Another choice is to do a bit of research into sustainable versions or brands and focus your efforts there. Sustainable subscriptions are also a great idea.
When it comes to gifts for you, think about what you need this year, make a list and ask for something second hard, or that will last longer. This isn’t always the cheapest option, so you could ask your family or friends to club together. You can ask for donations in your name to your favourite charity, or a digital or recyclable gift card for a sustainable shop.
The same can be said for stocking fillers. What will be appreciated and not wasted? Maybe thoughtful, sustainable ingredients if someone enjoys cooking or plastic-free toiletries – two quick ideas that are sure to go down well.
Eco-friendly wrapping options
As with lots of answers on sustainability, look at what you already have first. If you’ve got a drawer full of saved, or half-used wrapping papers then get stuck in, it doesn’t matter if they’re mismatching. If not, think about gift bags or papers that can be reused or recycled.
Eco-friendly Christmas decorations
Rather than opting for plastic or disposable items, how about making your own reusable decorations from painted pinecones, collecting holly and ivy, or creating your own biodegradable wreath?
When it comes to lighting, where possible opt for using LED lights as they’re up to 80% more efficient than their fluorescent or incandescent counterparts.
Planet-kind Christmas food
Perhaps this is the year for hosting a plant-powered Christmas! Want some inspo? Check out our recipe for a delicious vegan mushroom Wellington vegans and non-vegans will love.
Also plan your food needs in advance to reduce the amount of food waste, remembering to shop local and organic as much as possible. It’s still the season of indulgence and merriment, (and we’re here for it) but we can still keep an eye on how much we’re buying compared to what we won’t waste. This is also a good time to remember that we can donate what we’re not using to food banks. Can you add a tip about how to find a food bank?
Green Christmas crackers
Do we really need another miniature screwdriver in our lives? Probably not, right? The answer to lots of sustainability questions is to make it yourself. We know that this involves a lot of time, so luckily, you can also buy sustainable Christmas crackers now.
Our favourite eco cracker idea is this reusable fabric set from Not On The Highstreet (you can even personalise them with your family’s names). Fill them with zero-waste, useful gifts that don’t have to cost the earth! How about a homemade vegan truffle and a hand-written fact or joke?
A reusable advent calendar
These don’t have to be expensive shop-bought items, but small bags can be made from recycled fabric and hung from a piece of driftwood attached to the wall like this from Soap Queen. You can fill them with fun sustainable gifts, or treats.
Opting for an eco-friendly Christmas tree
There are up to eight million Christmas trees bought in the UK each year and so many aren’t reused or disposed of responsibly.
If it’s not Christmas for you without a living tree, then there are a few things you can do to make your choices a little greener:
- Choose a tree that’s been grown and sold locally to ensure it has the smallest carbon footprint as possible
- Buy your tree with its roots intact and keep your tree healthy during December, then, if you’ve got space, plant it somewhere in your garden to use again next year
- Sometimes, even with the best intentions, our tree might not live as long as we’d like. If it really has gone past the point of no return, then find a recycling centre or check if your local council will collect it where your old festive friend might become woodchip and have another lease of life
If you’ve already got an artificial tree, then absolutely keep using it for as long as possible. If you reach a point where you want to replace it, check local sites for second-hand options. Want to know more, then read our post entirely dedicated to sustainable Christmas trees.
By Fabian Jackson
Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.