Last Updated on December 20, 2023 by Ecologica Life
The holiday season of Christmas brings joy and excitement, but it can also have a significant environmental footprint.
With increasing awareness of the importance of sustainable living, it’s important to consider eco-friendly practices at this time of year.
In this article, we aim to provide you with practical tips to help you enjoy a greener Christmas this year.
Table of Contents
Choose a Sustainable Christmas Tree
Real vs. Artificial Trees
While artificial trees can be reused, they are often made from non-recyclable plastics and can have a higher carbon footprint.
On the other hand, real trees can carry a lot of allergens and mould, which can make you feel sick over the Christmas period (known as Christmas tree syndrome).
Choosing a Christmas tree is therefore a matter of personal preference. If you opt for an artificial tree, consider buying a second-hand tree or one from a brand that is committed to sustainability.
If you opt for a real tree, try to choose one that is locally sourced. Consider a potted tree that can be replanted after the holidays.
Choose LED lights for your Christmas lights; they use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs.
Invest in quality decorations that can be reused year after year, reducing the need for disposable items.
Mindful Gift Giving
Quality not Quantity
Around 50% of adults in the UK report receiving unwanted gifts at Christmas. When choosing gifts, it’s better to focus on quality rather than quantity. Choose something they will remember, something that will last. Thoughtful gifts are the best kind of gifts.
People seem to have everything these days, so choosing a gift can be difficult. If you are stuck, maybe you could ask the person what they need/want, some people prefer this. Christmas isn’t about presents anyway, it’s about spending time with friends and family!
The greenest gift you can give someone is your time, make memories with them!
Consider giving experiences. Concert tickets or cooking classes are great gift ideas that create memories and reduce material waste.
If you’re buying physical gifts, look for products made from sustainable materials or from companies with a strong environmental ethic.
Use recycled paper or cloth for gift wrapping. Better still, reuse gift bags or make your own packaging from old newspapers and magazines.
Avoid plastic ribbons, tapes, and wrapping paper with foil or glitter. Choose recyclable greeting cards, which means avoiding those with foil or glitter.
Explore tape-free wrapping methods such as ‘furoshiki‘, a traditional Japanese technique of using fabric to wrap and carry gifts. It offers a stunning, distinctive, and reusable wrapping solution.
Local and Organic Foods
Choose local, organic, and seasonal foods for your Christmas feast. This supports local farmers and reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting food.
Minimise Food Waste
Plan your meals carefully to reduce food waste. You could also look into donating unused food items to local shelters or charities. What else could be more in the spirit of Christmas than helping others?
Remember to store food in the fridge and freezer to avoid it spoilage.
We have a whole guide to sustainable shopping. But here are a couple of ideas to inspire you this Christmas:
Support Local Businesses
Buying from local artisans and small businesses helps reduce the environmental impact of shipping and supports the local economy.
Pay attention to packaging when you shop. Choose products with minimal or environmentally friendly packaging.
Making your Christmas celebrations greener doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple changes to your tree selection, decorations, gift giving, feasting, and shopping habits can have a significant positive impact on the environment.
Let us know in the comments if you have any ideas on how to celebrate a more sustainable Christmas.