This holiday season is going to be a bit different this year. With limited numbers at Christmas parties and only having the selected few around on Christmas day. Why not use this year to create some new traditions. Traditions that will have a lower environmental impact. Here is a list to help you have a greener Christmas. We are not saying you have to tick every box, you will be making a difference by adopting even a few.
1. USE SUSTAINABLE HOLIDAY GIFT WRAP
What looks beautiful under your tree, is decidedly less so elsewhere: most mass-produced wrapping paper and gift bags are printed with unsustainable inks and coated with shiny foils — which are not recyclable. Get creative and wrap gifts with materials you have around the house, like old maps, newspapers, or even the kids artwork. You can also use any pretty, clean fabric like scarves, bandannas, or dish towels for a totally reusable wrapping. Create your own bows from strips of colourful paper and accessorise with twine, pressed leaves or flowers.
2. PREPARE AN ECO FRIENDLY FEAST
While planning your favourite Christmas feast, try to support local farmers that grow sustainable meat and produce. Not only does fresh taste better but you will be giving your money to the local community, and supporting those who may have been hit by COVID-related economic shutdowns. Finally, a local, sustainably farmed roast or ham is much better for the environment than factory farm meat grown 1,000 miles away.
3. GET A REAL TREE
Real Christmas trees are friendlier on the environment than fake ones, which are made from plastic and will take hundreds of years to break down. But don’t get just any tree. Some growers use up to 40 different pesticides and even add chemical colourants! Ask your local Christmas tree seller about their practices or search for a sustainable farm near you. Besides using less pesticides, a sustainable farm will plant more trees than they cut down each year. And those that they do harvest will be selectively cut in patches to maintain healthy forests. When Christmas is over you can turn your tree into mulch!
4. SWITCH TO LED HOLIDAY LIGHTS
While Christmas lights don’t use as much electricity as other things, switching to LED lights can save you money because they use 90% less energy. LEDs release very little heat and last about 200,000 hours, so you won’t have to replace them for a loooong time.
5. GIVE SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS GIFTS
Keep your holiday footprint small by purchasing locally crafted gifts from family businesses. Not everything that your little rugrats have put on their Christmas list can be purchased from a small business but when you can why not? You will not only be giving something original and super thoughtful but you will also be supporting the little guy.
6. MAKE SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
Get creative and use things you have around the house to create your own unique, adorable Christmas decorations. This can be extra special if you use items from a deceased loved one to create a memento ornament that will remind you of all the beautiful Christmas memories you shared with them. It’s also a great project to keep kids busy.
7. SEND A TREE CARD!
As the holidays draw near, many wish to send a card to commemorate the season. And this year, when most of us won't be seeing each other face to face, sending a greeting card may feel especially important. But as appreciated as they are, many cards get thrown away once the season is over. The solution? Send an eco-friendly greeting card that’s made from recycled or recyclable paper — or, choose from one of our several e-card options to go zero waste and plant a tree to boot!
8. HANDCRAFT SOME AWESOME DIY GIFTS
Most people will appreciate when you put extra thought into their gift. If you have the time try creating a gift basket filled with homemade body care products like soaps, lotions, bath bombs, or body scrubs. Or for a sweet tooth, one filled with holiday cookies, fudge, slices or rum balls. Add some special touches like homemade ornaments, a favourite bottle of wine, or a book you loved this year, and it’s bound to please! And the best part? Homemade gifts can be as fun to make and give as they are to receive.
9. MAKE A DONATION FOR YOUR GIFTEE
Having trouble finding something for that certain person on your list that has everything? There are so many awesome non-profits and charities out there, so find one that resonates with them, and make a donation in their name!
10. DITCH THE JUNKY STOCKING STUFFERS
Often, stockings are filled with cheap plastic items that end up broken, lost, or in the garbage once the holiday season ends. Instead, fill them with delicious homemade treats and a few small, thoughtfully chosen gifts to round it out. Stockings are a fun part of the Christmas tradition, and with a little thought, they can be transformed from wasteful to awesome!
These awesome tips and tricks to 'have yourself a greener Christmas' were sourced by One Tree Planted. The wonderful organisation that we support, making this planet greener day by day.