As one of the most busy times of the year, that is Christmastime! If you don’t want your Christmas tree to end up in a landfill this year, make sure it is recycled. With the green movement and climate change, Christmas has transformed into a season that is devoted to conspicuous consumption. The focus on trees might be number one, but that does not make it a green holiday. With high wasteful purchases and non-recyclable wrapping paper, the holiday season does take a toll on the environment. There are various solution to reduce these wastage by shopping local, crafting your own gifts, upcycling, and reducing waste where you can surely make Christmas more sustainable and have a positive impact on the community.
If you are hyped by these ideas, then here are some more reasons to opt for a green Christmas:
- Gift and Gift Wrappers – Do make your gifts stand out by wrapping them in eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton, hemp or silk and tied with some twine. You can use a container which could be a part of your gift, if you are packing a gift inside of a clay flower pot. It is also known that old maps and calendars make great wrapping paper, so are newspapers.
- Make your own wreath – Crowns are very easy to make and can be composed entirely of compostable materials. Collect a few branches of conifers, pineapples, berries and discarded apples to make a very tasteful wreath for your front door or office. Wreaths can also serve as bird feeders and may attract some winter birds to your door.
- Turn your recyclable materials into decorations – Instead of buying decorations, be creative with your recyclable materials. Vodka, wine and even beer bottles can easily be reused as table decorations and candle-holders. You can make origami using old Christmas cards.
- Don’t forget to recycle and reduce waste – Refrigerate the leftovers and use them before they explode. Buy flowers and compostable materials to decorate instead of tinsel and plastic.
- Give “experiences” as gifts – Think of giving an experience as a gift instead of an object. A great idea for that fussy family member or friend who doesn’t approve of your taste in chocolates, clothes or even soaps. Try something that creates a good memory to replace the physical object you might otherwise buy. Buy cooking classes or a day out and take pictures.
- Ethical gifts – Christmas is here, and whether you’re ready for it or not, you don’t have to compromise your ethics to make it special. Giving away fair trade supplies can be a great way to promote the movement and make family and friends aware of your power to behave ethically. A wide range of chocolates, teas and coffees are available. Remember to look for the fair trade logo on the left.
- Make a list and check it twice – Planning is the key to reducing waste this Christmas. Sit down and make some calculations about how much food you will need. Make a list, check it twice and stick to it. Remember that gifts mean a lot to people and showing your passion for the environment by choosing fair trade products and sustainable gift wrapping can make your gift stand out.
- Choosing a gift that lasts – At Christmas, it can be tempting to panic when buying gifts, especially when we simply don’t know what to choose. Avoid buying too many things that will end up being thrown away or unused. When it comes to selecting gifts, why not opt for something like a potted houseplant. Not only is it kind to the planet, but it means that the recipient will find joy in the gift long after the decorations have fallen down.
- Get a plantable Christmas cards – A zero waste alternative is plantable Christmas cards. When biodegradable paper is planted in a pot of soil, the seeds will grow and eventually the paper will decompose.