The good news is with a little reading and research and some family discussion, it's easy to turn Christmas into a holiday that's more friendly on the enviromentally.
So if Christmas is your one and only splurge time, but you're looking to reduce your environmental impact, read on!
Eco Friendly Christmas Gift Ideas
Gifts are perhaps the biggest part of Christmas' impact and the first place to start. Home-made crafts or foods are lovely alternatives to the usual shop-bought stuff. If you're really trying to cut back, why not offer to do something nice for someone instead?
- Minimalism is back: Oftentimes, giving a small but meaningful gift can have the same impact as something big and flashy!
- Be a material girl (or guy): Look for organic cottons, hemps, silk, wood. They have less of an environment impact than plastic goods and tend to support sustainable farmers.
- Shop down the road: Shopping locally is a great way to support your community and local economy.
- Ditch the paper: instead of buying plastic-y, glossy paper, go for fabric when wrapping presents. Or, you can pop your gift in a reusable bag - it's a gift that keeps on giving!
- Re-gift someone else's stuff: Think gumtree, facebook marketplace for pre-owned items in good condition.
- Support someone's handicraft: Go to your local markets and buy some smallgoods (jam, cheeses) or hop onto Etsy.
- Ditch the Christmas card: Try an e-gift card instead to save on paper!
Eco Friendly Christmas Decoration Ideas
You can get creative with dried fruit peel (really!), pine cones, Christmas tree offcuts and the like.
- Minimalism is still trending: Remember, don't over do it. Less is still more! Cluttered decorations are neither inspiring nor beautiful.
- Decorate with nature: Create a wreathe with natural materials, make fake snow with organic cotton, etc.
- Hand-made decorations: Using recycled materials. There is a wealth of DIY Christmas decoration tutorials! Try paper snowflakes from recycled paper to get you started.
- Light up green: If your strands of lights are older than 10 years it will be more efficient to replace them with newer, LED bulbs. They can also save you up to 90% or more on power costs and will last longer than traditional bulbs. (And don't forget to put them on a timer!)
- Orange baubles: Yes, even your summer citrus bowl can get festive! Dried whole oranges make beautiful and aromatic Christmas tree decorations.
Eco Christmas Food
Here are some alternative festive food tips to help you shop and cook for an Earth-friendly feast.
- Don't be a turkey: and buy organic, local, free-range Christmas meats! Or better yet, cut down on the amount of meat you serve this Christmas.
- Communal punch bowl: Often we buy individual bottles and cans when we stock up the esky. All these disposables aren't great for the environment and a lot of drinks can be prepared in bulk and served in pitchers. Try iced tea, punch, pimms, cider or mimosas.
- Be mindful of leftovers: If you have too many leftovers, see what you can freeze. Or why not donate some to an elderly neighbour, local food bank or soup kitchen? Compost any other waste.
Are you up for the Eco Christmas challenge? The Christmas countdown is on! Your eco Christmas is only limited by your imagination.
This year, why not say ‘no’ to the traditional toxic decorations and ‘yes’ to a cleaner, greener Christmas for everyone.