Tips for a Sustainable Christmas

Category : Ellen Brophy

Make Sustainablity a New Tradition

Christmas is a time of celebration for many people around the world. For many people, Christmas is also a time to reflect on the year that has passed and to look forward to the new year ahead. It is a time of hope, joy, and celebration, and a reminder of the importance of love, family, and friendship.

Many people also enjoy special holiday foods, such as roast turkey and Christmas pudding.  There are traditions such as exchanging gifts, singing Christmas carols and decorating a Christmas tree.

Traditions are great but just because something has always been done doesn’t mean it needs to continue. Now is the time we need to collectively look at the traditions that have a negative impact on the environment. 

Sustainable Christmas

Here are our top tips on how to be more sustainable over the festive season.

  • Choose a real Christmas tree instead of a fake one. Real trees are biodegradable and can be recycled or used as mulch after the holiday. Fake trees, on the other hand, are made of plastic and can take hundreds of years to break down.
  • Use LED lights on your Christmas tree and decorations. LED lights use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer.
  • Use eco-friendly decorations. Choose decorations made from natural materials, such as wood, paper, or cloth, instead of plastic. You can also make your own decorations using materials from around the house, such as old newspaper, cardboard, or fabric scraps.
  • Use reusable gift wrap and bags. Instead of using single-use gift wrap and bags, opt for reusable options that can be used year after year. You can also use alternative materials, such as cloth or old newspaper, to wrap gifts.
  • Shop locally and support small businesses. Choose to shop at local stores and markets for your Christmas gifts and decorations. This can help to support the local economy and reduce the environmental impact of transportation.
  • Use a reusable shopping bag. Avoid using single-use plastic bags when shopping for Christmas gifts and supplies. Bring a reusable shopping bag instead.
  • Reduce food waste. Plan your Christmas meal carefully to avoid making too much food, and use up any leftovers in the days following the holiday. You can also donate unopened, non-perishable food items to a local food bank.
  • Give people gifts of experiences. Experience gifts are gifts that are designed to create a lasting memory or provide a unique experience, rather than a physical object. They do not create physical waste. Traditional gifts, such as toys or clothing, often end up in landfills or as clutter in people’s homes. Experience gifts, on the other hand, do not add to this waste. 

This is the perfect time of year to encourage those in your life to adopt more sustainable practices. By being sustainable, the message spreads naturally. When people make sustainable choices, such as using reusable shopping bags or choosing eco-friendly decorations, they can serve as a model for others and inspire them to make similar choices.

Furthermore, when people talk about the reasons behind their choices, they can raise awareness about the importance of sustainability and encourage others to think about their own impact on the environment. If you were to talk  about the benefits of using reusable gift wrap, others may be inspired to try it themselves.

Sustainable practices do not have to ruin the spirit of Christmas. In fact, many people find that incorporating sustainable practices into their celebrations can enhance the holiday experience. By making sustainable choices, people can feel good about reducing their environmental impact and helping to create a better future for themselves and future generations. This can be a source of joy and satisfaction, and can add to the spirit of the holiday.