Christmas is a time where we rightfully want to treat ourselves and our loved ones to all we deserve, but this can often come at great cost to the planet. From plastic toys, packaging and food waste, to travelling across the globe to be near our friends and family – the holidays are often a sustainability disaster. Here are seven ideas for making your plans a little kinder to the planet:
1. Rent an eco-friendly Christmas tree
If you celebrate Christmas and like to decorate your home with a real Christmas tree, let us introduce you to the more sustainable option: renting a tree! Instead of cutting a different tree down every year and ending its life there and then, you can rent live, potted Christmas trees and look after them while they’re in your home. When the holidays are over, your tree will be picked up by the rental company to keep on growing and be rented out again over the years to come. This way you’ll reduce waste, and the tree will be able to keep reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for much longer.
2. Planet-friendly gifting
Gift-giving brings a whole lot of joy to the holiday season and allow us to show our appreciation for loved ones. There are so many ways you can make gifts more eco-friendly, including gifting donations, experiences, or something homemade! In this blog we discuss eco-friendly gifts in more detail, check it out for inspiration.
3. Make compostable decorations
If you already own decorations, there’s no need to switch up your look every year. Instead, choose decorations that feel timeless to you and that you’ll be excited to unbox year on year. Alternatively, you could give making these DIY, compostable tree decorations out of Natracare tampons and panty liners a go!
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4. Plan ahead and don’t overbuy
You might be used to buying a couple of extra gifts each year (just in case you forget someone) or finishing the holidays with enough leftovers to feed the 5,000 – this year’s your chance to break this habit. Failing to plan is planning to fail, so get organised ahead of time in deciding your holiday season menu, and your gift or card list. This will mean you have plenty of time to rethink and make edits, and you won’t be struck with the last-minute panic when it comes to December.
5. Put your leftovers to good use
No matter how much you plan, sometimes you’ll still end up with lots of leftovers (it happens to the best of us!). Put them to good use and make a plan of what to do with them. Think:
- Can you donate them to your local foodbank?
- Do you have a recipe for using up leftovers?
- Can you send guests home with leftover portions or freeze them to be used at a later date?
Get your plan in place before the holidays, so you know exactly what needs to be done at the time.
6. Rethink your lights
What is the holiday season without it’s twinkly lights shining through the darkness of winter? They sure do look pretty, but have you ever stopped to think about the amount of energy being used to keep our homes sparkling? Keeping your decorative lights running throughout the holiday season can use a lot of energy, but by switching to LED lights, you can make the decorations up to 90% more energy efficient than using traditional incandescent lights.
7. Dare to re-wear
Christmas and the holidays can be a time filled with social occasions and events where you’d like to dress up. And we know that fast fashion is the world’s second largest polluter, after the oil industry. This year, make a statement in favour of the planet by re-wearing something you already own and love or renting something new. Fast fashion culture has created a fear around outfit repeating – if it’s been on the Instagram grid it goes in the bin, right? WRONG! It’s time to glorify wearing your clothes as they’re meant to be worn – again and again and again.
Have you got any more tips for more sustainable festivities? Tell us in the comments below!