Sustainability has become a major global issue this year as well as a popular interior design concept. There have been so many news stories about the deteriorating state of our planet and what we can do to help. With many companies banning single-use plastics, people are being prompted to make positive changes. Christmas is a time of year that is typically bad for the environment. This is mostly due to excess waste, increased electricity use and transportation costs. However, there are lots of easy ways to make your Christmas more sustainable. Here are my top tips.
Lower the impact of Christmas lights
Christmas lights definitely make your home look and feel more festive, however, it is easy to go overboard. A smaller display of lights can still be eye-catching and they have the added benefit of saving electricity.
Another way to cut down the impact of your Christmas lights is to turn them off at night. It’s a waste of energy to leave the holiday lights on at night after everyone’s gone to sleep. It’s also unnecessary as you aren’t getting the benefit of seeing them. To be even more sustainable consider LED (Light Emitting Diode) Christmas lights as they use up to 95% less energy than traditional holiday bulbs.
Choose a real tree
There is a lot of debate about whether real or fake Christmas trees are better for the environment. Although plastic Christmas trees are reusable from year to year, real trees are the more sustainable choice. Plastic trees are made of PVC and use up resources in both the manufacture and shipping. While artificial trees theoretically last forever, research shows that many are discarded every year. Discarded artificial trees then go to landfills, where their plastic content makes them last forever.
Live trees, on the other hand, are a renewable resource grown on tree farms, that are replanted regularly. They contribute to air quality while growing and they can be recycled into mulch. Live trees are usually locally grown and sold, saving both transportation costs and added air pollution. Although live trees can be expensive, the environmental benefits more than makeup for it. Live trees also have a beautiful festive smell!
Use Eco-friendly wrapping paper
Metallic wrapping paper is the worst. This kind of ‘paper’ is difficult to recycle due to the heavy metals used in the foil paper. Foil wrapping paper is also harder to reuse since it wrinkles and creases easily when the gift is being unwrapped. You can do a beautifully wrapping job for your gifts by using eco-friendly wrapping paper.
If you have any wrapping paper left from previous years, make sure to use that before buying more rolls.
Look for Locally Made Gifts
This is a point that a lot of people don’t think about. Many gifts from highstreet and online retailers come from halfway around the world. The impact of transportation significantly contributes to greenhouse emissions and global warming. Local craft fairs, Christmas markets and small businesses are a good source for gifts that come without the added costs of transportation. Plus, small businesses will always appreciate more sales around the festive season.
Cut Down on food waste
I don’t know about you, but Christmas dinner is my favourite part of Christmas Day! However, people often cook too much food and have to bin a lot of it. If you end up over-catering, don’t just bin what’s left. Transforming leftovers can be a great way to create new meals, save money and cut waste.
One more tip is to try and choose things that are have packaging that can be recycled, or buy loose items.
I hope you have found these tips helpful. What will you be doing this year to make your Christmas more sustainable? Let me know in the comments ↓
Plus, pin this graphic to save this post for later:
I’ve got one more Christmas post that I’ll be posting very soon. It’s all about last minute budget-friendly Christmas decorations. It was such a fun post to make so I really hope you enjoy it.
21 thoughts on “How To Have A More Sustainable Christmas”
With so many people at home, there isn’t ever any food left to be wasted! it is all eaten! we always go for a real tree. it’s more festive
That’s what I like to hear! All of our food always gets eaten too.
I love the idea of a more sustainable Christmas and you make it sound so easy! I hadn’t know that plastic trees are less sustainable, that came as a surprise to me.
It came as a surprise to me too, I only found out when I was researching.
We ordered some eco friendly wrapping paper this year and it has made the world of difference! These tips are amazing!
Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan
That’s great Amy! Well done for making a positive change.
You’ve got some great tips here, Eve. The wrapping paper one reminds me of my mother, who used to iron used wrapping paper and reuse it all the time! And we always get a real Christmas tree and then give it to our farming friends after Christmas for their goats, so that’s a way of recyling too 🙂 Thank you for sharing, loved reading this! x
Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com
Thank you Lisa. I’ve heard about people ironing their wrapping paper before. I always get real trees too – I love how you recycle yours though!
These are really great tips. We have used the same wrapping paper for years, since we don’t wrap a lot of presents to begin one. My mom has wanted a fake Christmas tree but I think a real one is better
That’s great Lupe! Thanks for reading.
Eco-friendly wrapping paper is such a brilliant idea! Christmas markets always have such unique items and it is great to support independent businesses too. Thanks for sharing your tips Eve, such a great post! <3 xx
Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com
I don’t think many people think about eco-friendly wrapping paper but it is a great idea. Yes, I love looking for cool small businesses at Christmas markets, they always appreciate sales. Thanks Bexa!
Great post. We have a fake tree because we can’t afford a real one. But we’ve had it for years and it’s not like we replace it very often (it only comes out once a year anyway!) But we’ve swapped to brown paper instead of non-recyclable wrapping this year instead 🙂 xxx
Brown paper is great for wrapping presents. Not only is it better for the environment, it looks really good too.
I love this list! I think it’s great that there are lots of ways to be sustainable, even during the holidays! With me, I try to finish my roll of wrapping paper before purchasing new ones and it usually takes me a good 2-3 years 🙂
☼ cabin twenty-four
Yes there are! I always make sure to use a whole roll of wrapping paper before starting a new one too.
Great post! We always get a real tree and have minimal lights. I’ve been loving seeing so many people talk about eco friendly wrapping paper this year. I think the brown stuff looks really good anyway x
Thanks Sophie. I totally agree, the brown wrapping paper looks really pretty and minimal.
Well I am pleased to see that I am already doing some of the things mentioned here. No foil wrapping paper, a big Christmas eat up to prevent waste and LED christmas lights that are switched off at night.
A few more changes for me to make but I will get there. Lovely post Eve! x