Christmas, green Christmas, sustainable Christmas, sustainable gifts

As we’re looking forward to the excitement of the holiday season, let’s be more mindful this year of what and how much we buy and consume. It’ll be good for the environment and it’ll no doubt be good for our wallets. Check out these tips to get you started with your efforts for a more sustainable Christmas.

Decorating your home

1. Choose a real over artificial Christmas tree or, even better, a potted pine that you can use for years to come.

RELATED: The Christmas Tree Decision: Real Or Fake?

2. Choose solar powered Christmas lights. In Australia we’re lucky to have plenty of sunshine around Christmas time, so let’s make use of it.

3. Make decorations with your kids out of recycled materials.

Greener giving

4. Minimise your gift list. For example, in our extended family not everyone gets a present. We’ve all agreed to only buy gifts for the kids.

5. Get everyone’s wish list and get gifts that will be used.

6. Skip the cheap plastic gifts that will break 5 minutes after kids start playing with them and buy better quality gifts instead. If the cost gets too high, combine presents with other family members.

7. Consider giving a gift certificate for services, such as massage, restaurant or house cleaning, or tickets for concerts and events.

8. Buy local to minimise resources used for transport.

9. Buy gifts from natural materials.

10. Give battery-free gifts.

11. Ask your friends to not give you a gift this year, but make a donation to a charity instead.

12. Consider making your own cards from recycled materials especially if you have kids, who will not only do a great job, but will also be very excited about it.

13. Reuse Christmas wrapping paper from last year

14. Use kids’ artwork as wrapping paper.

Greener food

15. Avoid disposable plates, cups and utensils. Even if you’re celebrating outdoors, there’re good quality reusable party goodies you can get that you’ll be able to use again and again.

16. If you have to use disposable plates and cups, choose paper over plastic.

17. Plan your food well. According to foodwise.com.au, Australians discard up to 20% of the food they purchase and this number is probably higher during holidays when we usually follow the guideline of “More is better”. Remember how much leftovers you had last time you hosted a party and prepare less this time.

18. Buy local food.

19. Chose loose over pre-packed fruit and veggies, and buy what’s in season.

20. Consider buying organic where possible.

And remember it’s not all or nothing! Don’t give up on a greener Christmas only because the thought of implementing all of these tips stresses you out. Even if you just focus on one little part of your celebrations and make it more sustainable this year, it all counts.

Image by LloydTheVoid via pixabay.com