It’s time! Let the seasonal content commence! The Christmas markets are opening soon, lights are going up, and it’s all going to be so very merry. So, I’m going to get on-board with all that and reveal to y’all my tips on how to have a sustainable Christmas this year.
I can’t pinpoint a reason why, but 2019 has been a year of awakening for me in regards to living more sustainably. I’ve made a lot of tiny changes in my life, and also noticed that I already lived quite ecologically. The new changes include things like eating less meat and quitting fast fashion shopping for good.
But big festivities like Halloween and Christmas have bothered me: the amount of waste we generate within just 2 days in a year is… depressing, to say the least. Waste in the form of food being thrown away and decorations made from non-degradable resources sent to the overflowing landfills.
So, this year I’ve been striving to provide y’all with easy and cheap ways to make your life more ecological. Because it really is all about making little changes that have a big impact. And to continue on that path I will now provide you with my tips on how to have a sustainable Christmas.
6 Easy Tips on How To Have A More Sustainable Christmas
Mindfulness has been the word of the decade, but why is it that we still can’t seem to be able to incorporate that to our holiday traditions. Instead we go overboard every time and buy whatever gifts we get our hands on, not wasting one thought on whether the recipient actually wants/needs/likes them.
Flashy bathroom product packages are soo easy to throw on top of the bulging shopping cart. Even though we know that the person in question has their own, very specific bathroom products, and probably won’t even open this package.
So, this year let’s all take a step back and do a little bit of planning before rushing to the store to buy whatever gifts to whoever. The phrase ‘less is more’ holds true when it comes to gifts: we’d all rather receive few useful and enjoyable gifts than a pile of useless junk that has absolutely nothing to do with us, right?
The ultimate rule, which you’d do well to internalize, is
Buy Less, Buy Smarter
As a child one prefers all things colourful and stimulating. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve started to really appreciate simple design at home and in my wardrobe. And now that I’m thirty it seems to apply for everything for me.
I’ve got some left-over wrapping paper in my drawer, but did you know that regular wrapping paper isn’t recyclable as paper waste? The wrapping paper is often laminated (= plastic), and the glitter and textures on it aren’t paper, of course. So, don’t contaminate your paper recycling bin anymore!
Instead, opt for something more ecological: there are unlaminated, colourful and paper-based wrapping papers available. But I’ll be going one step further. Gifts wrapped in plain brown paper really appeal to my eye this year!
It doesn’t sound very glamorous, does it? But being such a simplistic material, transforming it into a beautiful gift takes no effort whatsoever. And using yarn instead of plastic gift string is cost effective and beautiful. In addition, we all have ribbons and random strings laying around the house, so here’s your chance to get some use out of them.
Decorate the packet with leaves and pine sprigs. If there’s no forest close by for getting such materials, just pop by the nearest florist’s. They’ll be happy to give you materials that were left out from the making of a Christmas wreath or a bouquet.
EXTRA TIP: I came across another idea in the vast world of Internet in regards to gift wrapping: buying scarves, old maps and kitchen towels from an antiques store and using them as gift wrap. That’s a gift wrapped in a gift!
I’m a stationery-lover but have always struggled to understand the point of sending Christmas cards. They’re just pieces of paper with pre-written greetings, under which people just scribble their names, and post them in their dozens. Only to be trashed after the holidays.
I’d appreciate a card with an actual, personal message for me, but who has time for such? Well, I found out I do! I was approached by a gorgeous brand that provides the opportunity to design your own greeting cards, message and all.
Paperless Post is an online platform where you can design customizable online stationery, invitations, and greeting cards. Their design library includes designs by such big names as Kate Spade New York and Oscar de la Renta. I mean, talk about stylish greeting cards, eh?
I got to experiment with creating my own Christmas greeting cards, and oops, all of a sudden I had spent almost 2 hours playing around with different designs for the card and the envelope. But it was time well spent. It’s so much fun! Much more fun than buying a stack of cards and scribbling your name on them like you’re a celebrity signing autographs.
You can send your designs ecologically online to each recipient, or if you wish, you can also print them out and mail them. The choice to have a sustainable Christmas is all yours.
Let me ask you something: do decorations actually need to be made out of plastic? All them braids you like to wrap around the staircase banister and lay across the mantelpiece, is there no other option than the plastic shite you waste your money on?
It certainly isn’t the only option! And guess what? The alternative is completely FREE.
Make a little field trip with the family to the nearest woods on the weekend, pack some lunch along and find yourself the most unique and ecological assembly of Christmas decorations. There’s nothing as beautiful as the nature we’re surrounded by, so it’s finally time to learn to enjoy and value it!
Gather fallen leaves, hay, pine cones, chestnuts, fallen branches and sprigs. Whatever you see and can get your hands on. At home assemble them in jars and bowls, position them around the house, hang them up with string, lay them on the mantelpiece, get creative.
This way you’ll have a nice day out with the family, get the house decorated and get the wonderful smell from the pine sprigs wafting around the house as a bonus. No plastic decoration will bring you that sort of Christmas atmosphere.
Probably the holiest thing in any celebration: the food! Christmas is the one time in a year when we have very strict and clear traditions on what will go on the table. All countries differ in this tradition, but in most cases Christmas is about abundance in regards to eating.
Due to all that abundance, Christmas is also the time when we throw the most food away. So, this is where we should really consider whether there are some things that we could do differently, in order to have a sustainable Christmas. It’s all quite straight forward, actually.
Adding the amount of vegetarian options, for example, is much easier and more delicious than you may think. And even though meat and fish courses are a necessary part of the whole tradition for many of us, there’s no need to fret: buy your turkey, ham and fish from local producers! Or if that is not possible, prefer organic.
This way you know that what you’re putting on the table is much cleaner than the antibiotic-filled supermarket shite. It’s all also much tastier because the animal wasn’t grown in intolerable conditions under constant stress.
Reduce and Recycle
As mentioned, Christmas is one of the seasons when humankind creates the most waste within a year. But the fact is, it doesn’t need to be that way!
All previous 5 tips come down to this all-encompassing necessity in our lives in the 21st century: we need to REDUCE consumption of unnecessary goods and RECYCLE correctly and wherever we can.
Whether it’s about food, wrapping paper, unwanted gifts, or Christmas cards, we all need to do better! There’s literally no space in landfills anymore, and we have no right to send our shit to other countries.
Instead, we all have the technology and ability to recycle what we already have, and be more mindful about the things we want versus the things we actually need.
After all, you’re not bringing anyone any joy by gifting them something they really don’t give a damn about. So, let’s do better this year! Let’s buy gifts people actually like, wrap them ecologically, and decorate and eat sustainably.
What do you think, would you like to have a sustainable Christmas this year? Or is it too much bother, and you’d rather stick to what you’ve done for years?
I’d love to hear your views on these tips, and whether you’d add something! ♥
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