Eco Friendly Christmas Ideas - From Cooking to Christmas Crackers
Are you looking to reduce your environmental impact and have an eco friendly Christmas? Let’s make this time of the year more wonderful and less wasteful!
Best Eco Gifts/Sustainable Christmas Gifts
One of the easiest ways to have a sustainable Christmas is by changing how you think about gift giving. Buying local, as with your fruit and vegetables throughout the year, can vastly reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact.
Eco-friendly gift giving also doesn’t have to cost you a fortune! There are many cheap eco-friendly gifts and stocking fillers out there, including -
- Reusable water bottles
- Seed ‘bombs’
- Stationery – recycled paper notebooks, pencils
- Bamboo socks
- Eco friendly or sustainable personal care – Handmade soaps, body poufs, reusable make up removal pads
- ‘Adopt’ a zoo or farm animal (also doing your bit to support nature!)
When sending out your Christmas cards, consider cutting back on who you send a physical card to - did they even send you one back last year? Try eco-friendly alternatives to typical Christmas cards, such as sending e-cards.
Another green choice for your Christmas cards is plantable wildflower cards, these are unique and ideal for anyone to plant and make their garden stand out. When the flowers bloom in the spring, not only will they be a reminder of you, but they will also feed bees and increase biodiversity.
Finally, how will you wrap your gifts? Try to use recyclable wrapping paper/tape. Avoid paper that is shiny/glittery as this cannot be recycled; using brown paper wrapped with nice twine or ribbon instead can create a picture-perfect gift.
Eco-Friendly Xmas Decorations
Christmas is the perfect time to get creative!
Making your own decorations from recyclable goods can be a great, eco-friendly alternative to spending a fortune on plastic tinsel that falls apart after one Christmas. Twine, dried fruits, and pinecones are all ideal materials you can use to produce your own natural wreaths, which will stand out in your street.
There are also some great ideas around for creating unique but stylish decorations for your home.
If you feel you just don’t have the time to create your own, this doesn’t mean you can’t be eco-conscious! Try and go for baubles made from wood or paper, look for plastic free alternatives to tinsel and most importantly, aim to buy decorations that will last. One popular decoration is candles. Remember to look for beeswax alternatives as they burn longer and brighter, they are non-toxic and are renewable and hypo-allergenic.
A final swap to make is your advent calendar. Typical supermarket chocolate calendars contain plastic trays with foil that can’t be recycled and adding to the piles of rubbish sent to landfill each year. Consider investing in a reusable wooden/felt calendar, which not only boosts the festive style of your home but will save you money in the long run!
“Waste and recycling company BusinessWaste estimates there are 16.5 million advent calenders containing single-use plastics in circulation this year, enough to stretch from London to the North Pole.” – Environment Journal
Sustainable Christmas Dinner
When it comes to kitting out your dinner table, reusable placemats, napkins and tablecloths are a fantastic way to have a ‘greener’ celebration. These can be washed and reused for years on end and always look classier than plastic, throwaway options.
An obvious problem at this time of year is food waste – there is an estimated 270,000 tonnes of food waste from just the Christmas week. An easy solution to this is to only buy foods you and your family enjoy – don’t purchase bags full of Brussel sprouts if no one will eat them simply because it is ‘tradition’!
Making the most out of your leftovers is surprisingly easy, and there are delicious recipes online for some imaginative ways to use up your turkey and veg. Look at some of these recipes on BBC Good Food and Delicious Magazine.
Finally, do away with the plastic crackers! Full of harmful materials and completely disposable, the UK uses an average of 40 million crackers a year, most of which contain plastic toys and items that just clutter your house and eventually (if not immediately!) end up in landfill.
We stock our own eco friendly crackers made from grass paper with a hat, joke and wildflower seed packets as the gift, a thoughtful and plastic free swap.
We know plastic free alternatives can be more expensive, but many large retailers such as John Lewis and Waitrose have worked towards non-plastic crackers. Many companies are aiming to follow suit in the next few years.
Christmas is the time of year that friends and family can meet and spend time together without worrying about work and other commitments. However, with some straightforward swaps and consideration, we can all do our bit to make sure that our planet remains clean and safe for future generations!