13 Tips to Have A Sustainable Christmas

With Christmas fast-approaching and December just about here, sustainability isn’t something you would usually associate with the festive period.

Commonly associated with gifts, wrapping and tissue paper, to some this time could be seen as a harmful period for the environment.

That being said, there are simple and easy ways to have a more sustainable Christmas, without breaking the bank.

For ways that can make the festive period a little more sustainable and less wasteful, here is what we recommend:


1) Buy eco-friendly gifts

Eco-friendly gifts aside from being great gifts can also be great gateway gifts to ignite people’s interest in sustainability.

Great examples of these are a reusable bamboo coffee cup, produce bags or even reusable cutlery for the foodies among us.


2) Use recycled wrapping paper

This can take two forms. There are quite a few options on the market which are 100% recyclable and biodegradable which don’t break the bank.

Another option is to recycle old or previous wrapping paper. An easy way to make old wrapping or tissue paper look new is to iron it and it will instantly take out any creases and look good as new.


3) Wrap gifts with jute twine

This can be an amazing way to wrap up your gifts. Most jute is biodegradable and can look especially good when paired with brown kraft paper and finished with some dried eucalyptus.


4) Use eco-friendly crackers

These can also come in two forms, either you can make them
yourself or they can be easily purchased.

If you make them yourself, you can fill them with individual goodies that you and your friends or family would love with no unwanted bottle opener in sight.

However, the ones that can be purchased are often 100% recyclable, pre-made yet allow you to insert your favourite surprises inside.


5) Try a meat-free dinner

Even though the festive period is synonymous with turkey, going meat-free or plant-based can be a simple way to make your Christmas a little more

Turkey has the 5th largest carbon footprint equating, whilst other common Christmas options such as beef and lamb sitting at number one and two.

With so many of the supermarkets offering meat-free options choosing options like a nut-roast or plant-based wellington will still allow for one dish to be the spectacular centrepiece of the table.


6) Ditch plastic Christmas trees

Aside from buying a real one, these days it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find plastic-free faux Christmas trees.

Even real trees that don’t get planted can produce a subsequent carbon footprint of 16kg.

So which option is better? We would recommend that if you get a real tree to replant it in your garden allowing for reuse the next year.

But if you prefer a faux tree there are many options on the market which are made from more sustainable materials such as driftwood and recyclable wood.


7) Pick natural over glitter decorations

As much as glitter in all its forms can add to the experience of Christmas it sadly does not break down.

Unless you purchase biodegradable glitter each piece will never break down due being made from plastic with the potential to harm local marine life.

8) Gift experiences

Ever fancied going in a hot-air balloon, wine tasting or even a Michelin star cooking course?

These can be amazing alternatives to your stereotypical presents which memories will last a lifetime instead of maybe being used once and then forgotten.

9) Go handmade

Choosing to go handmade at Christmas will allow you to get creative and make gifts and decorations that can be made exactly as you like it.

By purchasing plain decorations or cards, it will then allow you to decorate them exactly to your taste and will be much more cost-effective too.


10) Upcycle old decorations

Upcycling your old and unloved decorations can be a way to give them a new burst of life.

By using eco-friendly paints and getting creative you can give them a new lease of life and not throw them out making them much more sustainable in the long run.

11) Use e-Christmas cards

E-cards are a great way to reduce your paper usage and spare any card and paper being unnecessarily used in the festive period.

Many companies upon purchase will plant one tree with every purchase (another reason to go for an e-card this year).

12) Invest in reusable advent calendars

A permanent advent calendar will allow reuse every year. Even though we all love tearing away the foil door to reveal a treat behind, the composition of these calendars paired with their throw away purpose are not sustainable for the planet.

One of the amazing features of reusable advent calendars is the joy of seeing it every year bringing back all the memories of last year before making new ones in the lead up to the festive period.

13) Limit your food waste

Christmas is a time for lots of good food with those you love. Sadly though, a lot of food waste is created because of this.

Easy ways to cut down on your food waste can be to done via planning and only buying what you need.

Then after Christmas day giving any excess food to close friends, family or even to apps like Olio which pass on unwanted food to those who need it.


Overall, there are simple and easy ways to help the environment which don’t break the bank but still supply you and those around you with an enjoyable and memorable festive period. Why not try a sustainable Christmas this year?


AUTHOR: Imogen Green


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