Wrapping paper, plastic packaging, plastic decorations, too much food and many unwanted gifts... These are just some of the ways the holiday season contributes to waste.
However, it doesn't have to be that way...
There are plenty of things you can do to make the holiday season sustainable.
You just have to know how & where to start!
We wish you zero waste and maximum cheer 😅🎄
Christmas doesn't have to be about physical gifts.
You can gift experiences, which encourage quality-time and discourages single-use plastics too!
Here's a few ideas:
We understand that there are times where you might need to give something tangible - whether it's for Secret Santa or a more traditional Christmas approach.
Here are some ideas for physical gifts:
Homemade jam, pickles, and chutney make a thoughtful gift which your giftee can consume.
To make it more special, add some cute wrapping. Cut out rounds of gingham fabric, wrap the top of the jar and secure with twine. You can then add a hanging paper tag stamped with holiday greetings to complete the look.
Remember - you don't have to buy new. There are plenty of great-quality options available at second-hand shops, and you may even find something vintage & valuable!
Teenagers are notoriously hard to buy for.
But today's teenagers are paying attention to the zero waste movement and will appreciate a sustainable gift more than anyone else.
Here are some ideas:
Great for both genders. They have a nice weight and luxurious feel.
Plus, they cut out the need for disposable razors saving plastic and money.
Every year, my parents give me a pair of socks in my stocking. They are useful and fun - make sure you choose a sustainable material, like bamboo, cotton, or hemp.
Made from a mix of coconut & soy wax - these smell amazing, burn slowly, and can be reused as coconut bowls after!
Wrapping paper isn't necessary but it's fun and can be half the experience of getting a gift.
You can still gift beautiful presents without the ugly waste. Instead try:
PS: Whatever wrapping paper you do use can easily be recycled and used again.
Glittery and glossy cards often can't be recycled - so while they look dazzling, they aren't good for the environment.
If you want to send Christmas cards, here are some options:
You can also reuse old cards to create gift tags.
Decorations can be made simply and sustainably.
Better yet - making your own decorations is a great activity to do with the whole family! Here are some ideas of things you can make at home:
These snow flakes can be made by each family member. Here is a 3-minute instructional video that can help. Make sure you use recycled paper or old paper :)
You can also swap decorations with family members and friends to get "new" decorations, without having to buy anything.
Don't forget to donate any decorations that were not used, and just keep your favorites for next year.
When it comes to Christmas trees - you can either get an:
While an artificial tree is often made of plastic, they can last 20+ years so there's an argument for these being the more-sustainable option.
However, sometimes there's nothing better than the festive smell of a locally-grown tree. Just make sure you support your local farms that grow their own trees nearby and can then be composted back in the grounds after Christmas.
Pro Tip: Search "local Christmas trees near me" or "Christmas trees in [city]" to try to find locally-grown trees grown near you.
We cook in abundance for the holiday season, and while leftovers are great, food waste is not.
Throwing food away can be easily avoided.
So here's a few tips to help reduce food waste:
And finally, if you don’t want to do Christmas, don’t.
Don’t let expectations from others get in the way of your peace and quiet.
Christmas has become so commercialized with a lot of focus on the material things... rather than the time you spend with your friends and family.
For me, the best thing about Christmas is gathering around the locally-grown Christmas tree, eating leftovers on Boxing Day, and enjoying a classic film with my family in front of the fire, with my dog on my lap.
However you spend the holiday season, we wish you so much joy and happiness.
Writer, baker, and lover of nature.
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