Christmas may be the most joyous time, but it is not usually the most environmentally friendly time of year.
Although it may seem impossible, with a little foresight and a few tweaks to the way we shop and celebrate this holiday season with sustainable products.
We can make a positive difference while still enjoying all of the festivities.
Table of Contents
Sustainable Christmas Food Shopping
Choosing and purchasing more environmentally friendly Christmas food is an excellent first step toward reducing your carbon footprint. Why not forego the traditional turkey this Christmas and experiment with reducing your meat intake, so have Fish or try a Vegetarian option – if only for a few days during the holiday season? But if you do wish to have meat, then go Organic, and make sure that the animal had a brilliant upbringing. Not only is this good for the environment, but it will taste better too.
According to the Soil Association, people can lower their own environmental impact by eating less. “Food is the single most essential, everyday approach for people to lessen their own environmental influence.“
Organic foods are the best option because they fulfil the gold standard for environmental sustainability. These, on the other hand, might be quite pricey, so plan ahead of time and prioritise what is most important to you.
Supermarkets will almost always carry some of the most environmentally friendly meat and dairy options available. You can find organic fruit and vegetables (which means they have not been treated with pesticides) at farm shops. Supporting local growers is an excellent method to reduce food packaging and food miles and prevent food waste.
Popular national fruit and veg box programmes such as Abel & Cole, Farmdrop, and Milk & More all offer Christmas fruit and veg boxes. They contain everything you need for the festive season and are delivered to your door.
Your food waste can be reduced by planning meals in advance and resisting the temptation to over-purchase food.
Sustainable Eco Friendly Gifts
Although it is the season of giving, you can ensure that your gifts are sustainable, environmentally friendly, and sourced from ethical sources with a little forward forethought.
I think this is vitally important in this day and age due to a lot of unwanted gift giving. We buy it for the huge amount of Christmas presents instead of the sentiment behind the present.
When you shop locally, you know where your items are coming from and contributing to the local economy.
Second-hand and upcycled presents can be the perfect gift if they are selected or made with care. A meaningful ‘experience,’ like tickets to a play, wildflower seeds or a donation to a cause near to their hearts.
Eco Friendly Christmas Wrapping Paper
When it comes to Christmas, wrapping paper remains one of the most wasteful materials, so try to choose recyclable wrapping paper and gift tags instead.
Avoid anything glossy, has a plastic liner, or is embellished with glitter. These items are not eco-friendly packaging and are not recyclable.
When in doubt, use the “scrunch” test: anything that doesn’t keep its shape when crumpled into a ball isn’t a sustainable material.
Alternatively, wrap your items in brightly coloured cloth based on the concept of ‘kimono wrapping,’ which is becoming increasingly popular and Instagrammable.
- ‘Knot Wraps,’ which are reusable gift wrap.
- Brown paper
- Raffia (which is made from bark that regenerates)
- Antique ribbon
- Tissue Paper
Check the recyclability of tags, Christmas cards, and crackers, among other things. Why not even look for reusable crackers? You fill them yourself year after year. Or handmade crackers. Angel Strawbridge hollowed out old books to fill each year for that vintage Christmas Vibe.
Christmas cards are very much on the radar of wastage. So if you do want to send a handwritten card, you should look if they’re made of recycled cardboard. Or a more Eco-friendly way would be to send a text or post on social media to avoid any wastage.
Christmas Tree and Tree Decoration
The Christmas tree has been the focal point of attention for centuries when it comes to holiday decorations. However, it can be difficult to determine what is best for the environment and how to select an environmentally friendly Christmas tree.
Fake plastic trees, which can be easily stowed away, may appear to be a sustainable option. However, the manufacturing process and end-of-life of these PVC-based trees emit toxic pollutants into the environment over their lifespan.
On the other hand, real trees may not be all that much better for the environment. Every year, up to six million tonnes of waste are disposed of in landfills in the United Kingdom. Many of them are being hauled hundreds of miles from as far away as Norway.
The most eco-friendly Christmas Tree is likely to be a living tree in a pot. Afterwards, you can plant it in your garden ready next year.
Or you can now rent a tree from a local plant nursery or garden centre. This is becoming increasingly popular and has the biggest positive impact.
Another alternative is to purchase an artificial tree made of environmentally friendly materials such as wood.
How to make eco friendly Christmas crackers?
Making your own plastic-free eco crackers is a simple and enjoyable project. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started:
- Insert the cracker snap through the toilet roll tube until the snap protrudes from both ends of the tube in the same amount. Sellotape it to the inside of the tube to keep it in place.
- Carefully place the tube on top of the recycled paper and cut around it, making sure that the paper is long enough to cover both the tube and both ends of the cracker snap. Afterwards, coil the tube up in the paper and secure it with tape.
- Tie one end of the twine together, and then fill the open end with your environmentally friendly cracker treats. Don’t forget to bring paper hats and a joke with you.
- Tie the other end of the rope together. After that, decorate the cracker and attach a name tag to it.
How is Christmas bad for the environment?
We consume 80 percent more food during the Christmas season than we do during the rest of the year as a nation. As a result of our excessive waste and pollution, we are dumping 230,000 tonnes of food during the Christmas season, which is a significant amount of waste and pollution.
And that’s just food, add all the excess paper from wrapping presents and Christmas cards it’s easy to see why Christmas is sort of bad for the environment.