After thoroughly disconcerting 2020 most of us are looking forward to celebrating Christmas. While it is hard to predict things will be much different, Christmas will still be the most wonderful time of the year.
However, the same cannot be said about our environment. Annually, the festive period sees an additional 30% of rubbish produced and discarded when equated with the rest of the year.
In figures, this is what an added 30% trash means:
- 54 million platefuls of food
- 500 tonnes of Christmas lights
- 15 million used Christmas trees.
- 108 rolls of wrapping paper
- 100 million black bags full of packaging from toys and gifts
- 38,000 miles of ribbon, enough to wrap around the planet (and some for a bow)
- $11 billion worth of packing material.
If this doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, you need to take a look at those stats again.
But the good thing is that Earth gives us countless chances to right our wrongs and an eco-friendly Christmas is just what we need this time around.
So, to help you get started on a sustainable way of celebrating the holidays, we have some inspiration on how to make this Christmas eco-friendly!
In this blog we are going to give you a rundown of our tried and tested ideas to make your Christmas experience sustainable and green.
Let’s talk about:
Sustainable food and less food wastage
Eco-friendly Christmas gifts
Eco-friendly Christmas décor and packaging
Eco-friendly Christmas cards
And let’s touch base on a few other things to consider while organizing your festivities in 2020- the Pandemic era.
Sustainable Food And Less Food Wastage
Along with the greatest meal of the year usually comes an equally high amount of waste. Food waste during the holidays doesn’t just comprise off leftovers and food that’s gone bad, but the amount of plastic packaging is tremendous too.
Our top tips to keep your Christmas meals sustainable and ecofriendly are:
Shop from local, organic producers rather than large chains whenever possible. Check out our local Texan farms and farmers markets here to get your Christmas food shopping in order.
Carry your own cloth bags for your produce.
Plan your food needs in advance and only shop for what you need.
Don’t buy excessive quantities of fresh groceries.
Check out this blog here to make the best of your Christmas food leftovers.
Freeze extra batches of food while it is still fresh, so you can eat it over the weekend or even later.
Looking to dodge the excess sugar which comes along with the holidays? Here are some tips!
Eco Friendly Christmas Gifts Ideas
Arguably the top of everyone’s Christmas list is the Christmas gift shopping.
The first thing to make this mountainous task a lot easier is to organize your gift purchasing plan of action,
Chalk out a checklist!
This checklist will have names of all the people you’re purchasing gifts for, and an overall budget. You may think you have all the names in your head, but having them physically in front of you makes your thinking much clearer.
It is also easy to see if you have a reasonable budget set for each person.
When looking for sustainable gifts, try to avoid plastic, as plastic is the #1 pollutant, finding its way into the food we eat and the water we drink. BPA in plastic toys is harmful for children.
There are now many plastic free gift options available for children and adults that provide more value and substance than their plastic counterparts.
As a mom to three, adopting ecofriendly ways of living is very important as the choices I make practically show my children the value of our environment and the significance behind caring for it.
With kids of different ages and choices, I have done my homework to find meaningful, sustainable and ecofriendly Christmas gifts this year. Here are some of my top picks:
This Green Tool set, is a best seller and with good reason. Not only are they manufactured with recycled milk bottles, but the toys are also durable for years of play by kids of all age. Available in different colors this sustainable and ecofriendly try tool set can be a great Christmas gift for little ones.
Green Toys products do not contain BPA, PVC or phthalates and you don’t have to worry about kids putting toys in their mouth, because they meet FDA food contact standards and meet U.S. and international toy safety standards. Check out their collection for an exciting and sustainable Christmas gift option for your kids.
This bamboo dining set by Bamboozle is a great starter kit for your little one beginning their solid food journey. Packaged in beautiful, recycled craft paper boxes that can be recycled again, the dishes are made of biodegradable, dishwasher safe and durable bamboo fiber.
Plan toys is a sustainable toy company that has durable toys made from sustainably harvested rubberwood trees. The toys are held together with non-formaldehyde glue and painted with nontoxic water-based colors. Doll houses, kitchen and food sets, vehicle play sets and wooden baby toys, there is a gift here for all ages.
My little one is obsessed with rocks currently, picks all the little pebbles when we are out for our walks, and will literally walk with pockets full of them. This Crayon Rocks set reminded me of those rocks she loves to carry.
It comes in two combos- 4 each, of 16 colors for a total of 64 crayons, and the other has 2 each, of 32 colors for a total of 64 crayons.
These eco-friendly crayons are made with non-toxic powdered pigments and processed soy wax instead of the conventional petroleum paraffin wax.
Unfortunately, today a lot of art supplies for children contain hidden toxic ingredients. Face paint, playdough, and kinetic sand with harmful ingredients like lead can cause undesirable health side effects.
Eco Kids is a company that makes an attractive variety of all natural and nontoxic art supplies. They have art pads, finger-paints, sidewalk chalk, origami kits, natural candle making kits, and beeswax crayon sticks among others.
Green Kid Crafts have a collection of monthly subscription educational STEAM boxes that you can choose according to your child’s age. These monthly boxes have four to six educator approved art and science projects that are a whole lot of fun along with learning. In addition to having ecofriendly and green materials in the box, Green Kid Crafts also collaborate with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every order online.
For some screen free learning and experimenting, these subscription boxes are simply perfect.
Move over plastic toys, sustainable and ecofriendly wooden toys are here to stay. EverEarth is a family owned wooden toy brand which produces high-quality toys using sustainable practices.
EverEarth is a part of plant tree initiative, account being that allows families to participate in forest renewal. you can do this too simply by purchasing an ever earth toy, and a personal tree will be planted in the earth FSC certified forest. how cool is that! Check out their website for their toys made from recycled and eco friendly material!
Eco Friendly Christmas Décor And Packaging
Eco Friendly Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas
Ribbons and bows add not only to the charm of your Christmas gifts, but also to the already excessive plastic waste. This year make use of materials in your home to create customized wrapping for your presents. A sprig of holly, some twine, or even lace from old dresses can make beautiful ecofriendly bows for Christmas gifts.
If creativity is your forte, you have enough time on your hands to learn a beautiful Japanese wrapping technique called Furoshiki. Furoshiki is known to use fabrics for wrapping presents, which in my opinion sounds like a wonderful solution to reduce waste in landfills each year.
Eco Friendly Christmas Decoration Ideas
The best way to create an interior design that is seasonal, inviting and sustainable is to make the most of the gifts nature has to offer. Swap glitter and tinsel for natural foliage, and your Christmas décor will look much warmer and authentic. Use berries, ivy, pine cones or holly branches from your garden to add to the Christmas aesthetic instead of that shiny, one time use plastic decorations.
Using indoor LED fairy lights is a great way to curb energy usage and also light up your Christmas tree. LED lights use up to 80% lesser energy than conventional incandescent lights, so go ahead and light em up!
Eco Friendly Christmas Card Ideas
Our top ecofriendly tip for festive cards remains,
We do understand if you would prefer sending paper-based Christmas greetings. But instead of purchasing the conventional Christmas cards, why not go for cards made from sustainably sourced, recycled, and reusable paper? Ditch glitter, as glitter is extremely hard to recycle and is an alarming environmental hazard.
A fun & festive activity for your family and a way to cut down on card expenses is to make your own Christmas cards. While it may not look perfect, the value handmade cards hold is priceless!
Another beautiful and ecofriendly option is the seed card. Seed cards actually have seeds infused within the paper, which means if you ‘plant’ the paper in some soil, you could actually get flowers out of it! A gift and a card? Talk about getting two birds with one stone!
Many local organizations, like Plant it Forward, also have their own brands of Christmas cards and purchasing from them means your efforts go back into the local economy.
Some card companies also offer to plant a tree for every X number of cards sold, and this is another way, your Christmas greetings will benefit the environment.
Eco Friendly Christmas Stocking Filler Ideas
One of the most exciting things about Christmas for kids is waking up to open their stockings.
Stocking fillers contain plenty of plastic, and it is best that we lookout for ecofriendly options to fill those stockings.
If you’re thinking about adding confectionery, visit your local sweet shop and ask for sweets in paper bags. Fresh and local confectionaries Like Manna Reign Chocolates offer healthier choices for sweet indulgences, with lots of scope for your dietary preferences.
Deodorants and candles that find their way into Christmas stockings contain combinations of steel, aluminum and plastic. Not to mention the chemicals in these products themselves, aren’t very environment friendly either.
Switch to natural perfumes that have cardboard packaging.
SweetNes Honey Apiaries and Beetique carry a line of organic soaps and lip balms made from natural beeswax that can make a fun stocking filler.
The reality is that Christmas is a time of spending for much of the world, and the result is an environmental impact.
But steps as an individual and as a family, to reduce the impact on the world really can make a difference.
Choosing sustainability at Christmas can add a bit more excitement and thoughtfulness to the whole thing, which your family will love.
So, won’t you turn this Christmas green?