Christmas is a great time of year to try to reduce waste as it tends to be a time where the opposite happens for many. It is easy to have a less wasteful Christmas as you will see from these 10 ways to have a more sustainable Christmas. Starting small is a great way towards living a more eco-friendly lifestyle!
We would love to hear any other ideas you have on having a sustainable Christmas if you have any please leave us a comment below.
10 Ways To Have A More Sustainable Christmas
1. Shop Less
It is so easy to overspend during the Christmas season but before making that next purchase, check yourself, does that person really need this. A popular method when shopping for children is to buy four things,
1. Something they want. 2. Something they need. 3. Something to read. 4. Something to wear.
Try to buy fewer presents and when buying try to buy something the recipient needs, make a gift, buy preloved or create a voucher for an experience instead. Have a chat with friends and family as they might be happy to forgo gifts or be happy to swap over to a Secret Santa gift system. When buying gifts check that they are ethically made.
2. Reduce Packaging
When buying a product consider how much packaging it comes with. A bar of chocolate wrapped in paper is better than a box of individually wrapped chocolates in a box sealed in plastic. It is also useful to think about the lifespan of a product. A plastic toy truck is more likely to break than a wooden one that can be passed on once it is no longer needed. Try this homemade fudge for a good alternative to chocolates, it would look stunning in a reusable glass mason jar!
3. Gift Eco-Friendly Products
If you have a friend who loves drinking from straws then a set of reusable straws would be perfect. For the person always out buying coffee in disposable cups, a reusable cup would be great. A friend interested in beauty products might like a homemade soak or a shampoo bar which helps by reducing plastic. How about a worm farm or compost bin for someone that doesn’t already have one?
4. Secondhand Secret Santa
For families, friends or workplaces that do a secret Santa why not turn it into a secondhand secret Santa this year! Everyone purchases a gift from a secondhand shop which will mean money stretches further and it will be much more exciting to see what treasures everyone has managed to find!
5. Shop Locally
Shopping locally helps to reduce your carbon footprint as well as helping your local community. You might be amazed at what you can find from your local stores!
Try reusing wrapping paper and ribbons. If buying opt for recycled paper. Using kids artwork as wrapping paper is a great option for those of us with children. Alternatively, wrap in fabric or a reusable bag or basket which can be used time again. Check out of DIY basket guide here.
7. Homemade Christmas Cards
Make your own Christmas cards! Old Christmas cards can be revamped into new ones but cutting out the pictures or repurpose other scraps of paper, ribbon etc to get crafty and make one from scratch. Ideally save paper completely by making and sending a card online or even just a personal email!
8. Reduce Food
Think back to years gone by, are there any dishes that could be missed this year? Not only does leaving a couple of less popular dishes out save food waste but it saves money and cooking time! Meat has a big environmental impact so again try to limit the quantity of meat you serve and make sure you choose free-range organic meat. If you are still left with food at the end of the meal pack it up and eat the leftovers the next day.
9. Reusable & Bulk
Skip using disposable plates, cups, cutlery and use the reusable alternatives this year. If you are having a big gathering ask guests to bring their own plates and cups and get them to help with the washing up afterward. Opt for large bottle of soda/ juice over small individual bottles. The same goes for food, skip individual portion packets in favor for bulk packets.
10. Reduce Lighting
Reduce the quantity of Christmas lights you have indoors or put them on for a limited amount of time each night. Use solar lighting for outdoor lights.
Makes sure everything possible is recycled. Save wrapping and cards to be reused. Have bins (or boxes) set up in the morning so rubbish and recycling can be separated as the day progresses.