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Have a 'green' Christmas this year - let's sleigh the waste

Eco Friendly Christmas Gifts

Tis the season for joy, giving, and celebration. However, amidst the festive cheer, the environment often bears the brunt of our indulgences during the holiday season.

From excessive waste to increased energy consumption, Christmas can take a toll on the planet.

But fear not! Embracing an environmentally sustainable Christmas is easier than you think. Here are some simple yet impactful ways to make your holiday season more eco-friendly:

Mindful gifting

Consider opting for sustainable gifts such as reusable items, or homemade presents. Choose products made from natural, recycled, or upcycled materials, supporting local artisans or eco-conscious brands.

Research has shown that, in lieu of physical gifts, young people are prioritising experiences such as concerts, spa days, craft workshops, and cooking classes. These save a lot of packaging, materials, and research has shown leads to greater happiness than buying physical possessions.

Friends At Music Festival

Eco-friendly wrapping

Wrap your gifts in reusable materials like fabric, scarves, or decorative boxes instead of traditional wrapping paper. You can also explore creative alternatives like old newspapers, maps, or brown paper decorated with stamps or drawings. If you are using wrapping paper, make sure to look out for the ‘fully recyclable’ and plastic free label. Try to avoid the sparkly, tinsel-based products as although they may be festive, they are more likely to not be recyclable.

Environmentally Friendly Wrapping Paper

Energy-efficient decorations

Use LED lights for decorating your home, as they consume less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs. Embrace nature-inspired decorations like pinecones, dried fruits, or recyclable ornaments to add a sustainable touch.

Natural Christmas Decorations

Sustainable Christmas tree

If possible, choose a living tree that can be replanted after the holidays.

In Scotland, Caring Christmas Trees are all sustainably grown locally, and money raised goes into helping homeless and vulnerable people.

If you’re in England then the Forestry Commission has Christmas tree sales centres dotted around the country. Here you can buy a sustainably grown, local, and eco-friendly Christmas tree. All profits are reinvested back into the Forestry Commission’s work on maintaining forests for future generations.

Alternatively, opt for an artificial tree that can be reused for many years, reducing the demand for cutting down new trees annually. Many companies even offer the option of renting a Christmas tree to encourage a circular economy. 

Why not try making your own tree decorations rather than buying plastic ones? Check out our blog on easy Christmas crafts to make at home for some inspiration. 

Man Plants A Christmas Tree

Mindful feasting

Often Christmas can be a time for overindulgence, whilst this may affect the waistline do not let it affect the planet.

Try to reduce food waste by finding creative ways to use leftovers.

Avoiding or cutting down on meat is one of the biggest ways to reduce your carbon footprint, go heavy on the sides and explore some veggie options – there are lots of interesting recipes to check out.

Plate Of Parsnips And Carrots

Recycling and waste management

Be mindful of your waste. Recycle wrapping paper, packaging, and Christmas cards wherever possible (cut out any glitter from Christmas cards as these cannot be recycled!). Make sure you compost organic waste and properly dispose of electronic waste.

Recycling Wrapping Paper

This blog was written by Unlock Next Gen. Unlock Next Gen are a platform within Places for People aiming to influence current and future generations on climate change and sustainability. If you enjoyed reading this blog, make sure to visit their website for more similar content.