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Christmas can be, for those who celebrate it, the most wonderful time of the year. But the waste associated with it, from food to gifts to decorations, can leave our eco-aware selves wondering about the toll it can have on the environment.

It is the season to be jolly though, so we gathered some tips (and product ideas) to help make this Christmas as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.

Plan ahead

Tough, we know… it wouldn’t be Christmas without a little bit of preparation stress! But the good news is that an eco-friendly Christmas can be easier than you think. It can also save you time, money and contribute to a better future. The key thing is to think of ways to reduce the amount of work you’ll have, the amount of waste you’ll produce and ultimately, the amount of damage to the environment.  Here are a few tips to get you started.

Make a list of what you’ll need

Write down everything you need to do and/or get: decorations, cards, food, list of gifts, etc.

Prioritise your list

What needs to be done first? What can be done later?

Re-evaluate your list

Do you need all those gifts? Do you need a 4 meal course for Christmas dinner? It’s all about making sure you don’t have more than you need (not loads more at least).

Christmas decorations

From the wreath on the front door to the beautiful tree in the living room, decorations are key to get in the Christmas mood. They can also be a huge source of waste. How can we reduce that?

Reuse and upcycle

Don’t buy new Christmas decorations every year, reuse what you already have. Maybe you can be creative and upcycle some items you already have at home.

Do it yourself

Put your skills into practise and make them noticed. Browse around to get some eco-friendly ideas. They can come from all sorts of places: online, magazines, books, friends and even Ecollecty! Do some origami decor while sipping mulled wine, create baubles from cardboard, leaves or pine cones. There is so much that can be done and most things are fairly simple to do.

Buy things that will last

If you need to invest in new items choose sustainable options. Good quality things you can reuse and keep for at least a few Christmasses. Here are some ideas we’ve selected for you:

Mindful Gifting

Buying the right gifts… this can be the trickiest part of Christmas. Will people like the gifts we got? Do they actually need those things? Will they use them or forget about them after a couple of days? So. Many. Doubts. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Be thoughtful and practical

The key thing is trying to find a gift that will be loved, appreciated and used for many years. Think about what people like as well as what they need. Cross-reference those two and you’ll get a perfect gift.

Consider buying second-hand, experiences or supporting good causes

Why not get a second-hand item as a Christmas present? You’ll be giving an existing product a new life and reducing your carbon footprint.

Likewise, experiences can be wonderful gifts. Something that creates memories that can last a lifetime, whilst also avoiding carbon emissions from production of products (just be mindful of the experience: some can be very harmful to the environment).

Another great alternative is a gift donation to a good cause in someone else’s name.

Buy small, but meaningful

Christmas presents don’t have to be huge or expensive. There are plenty of small gifts that can have big meaning and make someone you love just as happy. Check our secret Santa ideas to get you inspired. 

Buy less, but better quality

If you still want to spend a bit more on a gift, the most important thing is to buy better quality. Things that will last for a long time will usually have a smaller impact on the environment. As well, check the sustainability of the product, how it was made, from what materials, etc.

Have a lovely Christmas x