Festive tips for a sustainable Christmas
Christmas is traditionally a holiday spent showing our appreciation for family and friends, but how do you celebrate with sustainability in mind? Following up our tips from Christmas past, here are some easy actions to make your holiday season greener.
Experiences over things
Showering loved ones with gifts has become a popular tradition in western cultures but buying gifts without purpose can result in significant landfill. Consider giving preloved items or gifting meaningful experiences. If you’re not sure what to buy why not adopt an endangered species for them.
Switch off the lights
Christmas lights are a fun way to bring neighbourhoods together in festive cheer, but they can also quickly run up energy bills. LED decorative lights have become increasingly common over the last few years and are significantly more energy efficient if you’re looking to buy. Remember to switch the lights out when you go to bed and don’t worry, reindeer have excellent night vision.
Wrap it up responsibly
A well wrapped gift can show how much you care, however plastic ribbon, sticky tape, coated paper and foil wraps aren’t generally sustainably produced or easy to recycle. Always look for cards and wrapping paper made from recycled stock or at least FSC-certified paper. If you’re feeling adventurous why not upcycle your own paper or try the Japanese method of using reusable cloth wrap gift (known as furoshiki).
Big family meals are often the most exciting part of the festive season. However big meals can often lead to additional food waste which we know is bad for the planet. Work out what’s right for your particular setting, remember by shopping local, reducing packaged foods and minimising meat you will dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of your holiday feasting. Use your finest reusable plates, cups, and utensils instead of tacky disposable options.
Growing up in Australia, plastic Christmas trees were the go-to for most family homes. Unfortunately these trees don’t last as many Christmases they should and can’t be easily recycled due to the mixed materials used in production. Getting a real live, potted fir, pine or spruce tree than can be replanted is a great option or consider decorating your favourite house plant.
Consider carpooling with family or even taking public transport to reduce your carbon footprint.
If you’re traveling long distances and don’t have the flying reindeer, donating to a reputable carbon offset program is a practical option.
If you have more tips or suggestions, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.