Twelve ideas on how to have a more environmentally friendly Christmas that will help you and your family have a more fun and rewarding special day! It’s likely to also help save you some money, at this most expensive time of the year!
Christmas is seen to be a time of over-indulgence and frivolity. But it’s also seen as a time for goodwill, giving to others and an opportunity to cherish our friends and family. But being overindulgent can have serious consequences for the planet too even more so at this time of year. Let it be an opportunity to show goodwill and thanks to our planet too for all it provides us. Here’s some easy things we can all do to have a green Christmas.
- Get a real Christmas tree. Despite the re-usability factor of plastic Christmas trees generally the real thing is greener. You will also be supporting the British forestry sector, which results in more trees being planted. That can only be a good thing for the planet! Get more advice on where to get your tree and what trees to go for at the Woodland Trust.
- Wrapping paper is one of the biggest environmental issues at Christmas. It’s plastic coated so it can’t be recycled resulting in a lot of waste from just one use. There are plenty of alternatives such as reusable fabric wrapping. This year I have opted for Paperchase’s recycled brown paper that I will decorate. Using stamps with vegetable ink to decorate the paper is another great option. I can then recycle it when I’m done! This is one of the easiest ways to be a little bit greener.
- Make presents. Making something for someone, even if it’s just a scruffy card, will mean so much more than a present grabbed in a shop they probably don’t want or need. Instant win. Get ideas here on Pinterest.
- Or if you’re going to insist that you can’t craft anything, head to the charity shops. They offer an easier, smaller selection of unique affordable stuff. Around Christmas, charity shops put out often unopened gift items that they have been hoarding the rest of the year. I’ve seen some amazing goodies around Christmas!
- Charity shops are also perfect for silly or affordable Secret Santa presents.
- Even better, get someone else to make the present for you! Head to Etsy or Folksy. Supporting small businesses is more ethical and environmentally friendly than supporting huge corporations. Many of the shops on these sites use only eco-friendly materials.
- Etsy and Folksy is also a great place to get unique and good quality Christmas decorations. With decorations go for quality over quantity so you will have beautiful decor that will last years rather than easily broken plastic trinkets.
- If you do head to the shops to buy Christmas presents, aim to buy products without excessive amounts of plastic. Lush is the ideal ethical high street store to buy special treats for loved ones.
- Similarly avoid Amazon if you are aiming for an ethical Christmas. For new books head to Wordery or Oxfam for secondhand.
- Alternatively, make Christmas food hampers as presents filled with local organic yummy goodness.
- Another great idea for presents this year is tapping into the new craze for board games. Forget Scrabble and Monopoly, there’s thousands of others to explore. They are mostly made of card (so eco-friendly) and will provide endless family entertainment on the day that doesn’t require the TV. There’s even co-op games if you fear the inevitable arguments that come from competitive games! Check out some game recommendations on the Guardian. I’d recommend Carcassonne or Ticket To Ride if you’re new to board games.
- Brave a vegetarian Christmas dinner! Or at least cut down on your meat consumption. Here’s a list of 43 recipes to inspire you. Or find a pub to eat out at on the day that offers a good vegetarian option.
Do you have any other ideas to keep Christmas as eco-friendly as possible? I’d love to hear about them!
Have a very merry and green Christmas!