Christmas is one of the busiest shopping times of the year. While this is good for businesses, it can be bad for the environment. Fortunately, there are a few ways to keep your waste down as you shop and participate in holiday events. In this post, I have compiled a few ideas to spread cheer AND sustainability this Christmas!
I have happily seen a few other bloggers I follow post sustainable Christmas posts (or sustainable posts in general), so I have featured a few of my favorites throughout this post as well!
Give gifts that encourage sustainability.
Hear me out: I am not saying that you should give someone a gift that consists solely of reusable straws, bags, “save the whales” shirts, etc. (although that might be a good gift for the environmental activist in your life, you don’t want to push your family member/friend away from sustainability before they even get the chance to learn about it). It can be a great thing to add though, especially if they previously expressed interest in carrying a reusable straw around.
For example, for my mom’s birthday, I gave her a reusable water bottle. I actually wasn’t even thinking of including one in her gift, but the design was a mint green and floral, so I knew she would love it. Along with the design, she now LOVES using the bottle because it keeps her water cold!
You could also look for sustainable items in a category that your family member/friend loves. If they love makeup, maybe gift them a new product to try from an ethical company that uses biodegradable material (you can find great sustainable beauty guides at both The Newbury Girl and GirlyVeganBlog).
Reuse Christmas decorations.
Decorations are a huge aspect of Christmas, but they can be wasteful. If you can, try to reuse to the decorations from previous years instead of throwing them out when the season ends. This can also be useful to keep in mind when purchasing new decorations…are you going to want to keep it for next year, or are you going to immediately get rid of it in January? Add the durable Christmas decorations to your collection, but leave out the ones you don’t want to use long-term.
Send digital cards.
Cards are usually essential for the holidays, whether it’s to send out holiday greetings or Christmas party invites. If you are not set on sending out physical cards, you can always go online! I tried out Paperless Post, and I’m sure there are plenty of other inexpensive digital card options out there as well. Online cards are a quick and easy way to send out cards, and there are so many digital design options out there to choose from.
If you’re set on Christmas cards, that’s okay too! If you are looking to be more sustainable that way, you can look for cards made out of recyclable material and recycle them instead of tossing them in the trash.
Conserve wrapping paper.
Nowadays there are many options for wrapping paper. There are some that are made out of recycled or biodegradable material, which is a lot more environmentally-friendly than the regular wrapping paper covered in dye and glitter. Gemma goes more in detail on this on her “Have Yourself a Sustainable Christmas” post on EnterMyWorld, and she talks more about the types of wrapping paper to use that are more recyclable.
Another fun idea? Give your gift in a cute reusable bag! It can be a nice and inexpensive addition to a gift; plus, the receiver can use it throughout the year when they go shopping/travel! I even found a few small bags
Small local businesses likely use local suppliers for their products and do not have to send the products far to get to you, so it cuts down on transportation. Plus, they could probably use the money more than a huge corporation. Small businesses generally emphasize community, and communities generally want the surrounding nature to thrive. Most of the local shops I see market sustainable products too!
The holidays are a time for giving, so why not put together some old clothes and items that you no longer use and donate them? Someone else might really need them, and it will clear up space for any gifts you may receive for the holidays.