How to Stay Sustainable This Christmas

Presents wrapped in plain brown paper and string with small twigs and leaves.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A wonderful time to watch our consumption and reduce our carbon footprint.

This time of year is often associated with flashy lunches, lavish gifts and high consumption. It’s also the time of year we spend the most money.

Christmas is just around the corner and presents are already being purchased and wrapped.

A lot of these gifts will be unwanted, unused or regifted, and others will be encased in over-the-top packaging.

There are a multitude of ways we can go green this Christmas and reduce our excessiveness over the December period. 

Feeling overwhelmed by an extensive gift list?

The best way to streamline the gift-giving ritual is through Secret Santa. A tradition that many families and colleagues participate in every year.

The way it works is that each person is randomly assigned one name to buy a gift for. 

By doing this the focus of present-giving is only towards one individual which in turn significantly reduces the odds of receiving unwanted gifts from multiple people. 

Secret Santa is also a great way to place a budget on gifts for those who are looking to save some coin this Christmas.

For a sustainable and vintage look, try wrapping presents in newspaper and string. Not only will this look aesthetic, it will also save money and single-use paper.

Beautiful Christmas gifts that are sustainably wrapped

On top of how much people are spending on gifts, it’s important to consider what they’re buying too. It’s important to understand the impact gift purchases have on the environment – go for sustainable beauty brands.

It’s hard to go wrong when purchasing someone a unique and memorable experience whereas stocking stuffers have a higher chance of gathering dust after Christmas morning.

A massage voucher, cheese and wine tasting, concert ticket, open-air cinema, sky-diving, boat ride around the harbour, fortune teller reading, pottery class, cork and canvas class are all great experiences to give this Christmas. 

Aside from gifts, this time of year chews into many other facets of living. 

Christmas is physically manifested over the country through extravagant light displays.

Extravagant Christmas light display

When deciding to put up Christmas lights this year opt into solar-powered decorations instead or even led lights that use up to 95% less energy than traditional bulbs.

Have set times that light displays run for and ensure they’re switched off for bedtime.

For Christmas lunches and dinners, it’s all too easy to go overboard and cook a meal large enough to feed a group twice the size. 

When we waste food, we also waste the resources used to grow and transport it – water, soil and energy. 

Plan out how much needs to be bought at the supermarket and allocate a dish to each family member.

Of course, everyone has their holiday traditions and some of these methods will be easier to incorporate than others. 

Start by adjusting just one of your yearly traditions to become more sustainable and the rest will follow in no time. 

Claudia Remedios

If Claudia isn't working one of her three jobs, you can find her lifting weights, practicing yoga, or getting experimental in the kitchen. With an interest in media and film and all things foreign, Claudia hopes to find herself in a production role overseas in the not too distant future - New York, London, Los Angeles...who knows.

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