How to have a more eco-friendly Christmas

Sustainability, environmentally friendly, eco-friendly, are a few words used to describe something that is quickly becoming a very public discussion. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fully-fledged eco-warrior or someone who is just starting out on their journey to living more sustainably, Christmas can one of the bigger challenges. It is, after all, a time that is associated with higher levels of consumption than throughout the year. So, wherever you are in your sustainability journey, what can you do to try and have an eco-friendlier Christmas?

Choose gifts that will last

A nice houseplant, or tree for the garden/balcony, books, pictures, etc. Things that will never go old or out of fashion or get thrown away in a few month’s time. buymeonce.com is a shopping platform that finds and showcases products designed to last a lifetime – whether that’s with lifetime guarantees, repair options or just great quality design.

Keep it local

Not only will you be supporting local businesses and therefore your local economy. Plus, if when you try and buy locally-made items, you’ll also be saving on the effect of round-the-world delivery.

Choose recycled materials where you can

We’re seeing a huge increase in businesses and individuals creating great products from recycled materials – anything from rugs to socks, to stuffed animals and all that’s in between. Sites such as biome.com.au or upcyclestudio.com.au are great places to start if you’re looking for ideas.

Be conscious of your wrapping

It’s paper so is recyclable, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, a lot of mass-produced wrapping paper is coated in things which make it non-recyclable. So, if you can choose recyclable wrapping paper or even brown paper and twine, you’ll be saving a heap of wrapping from landfill. You can also use last year’s Christmas cards instead of tags.  

Use your hands

The thought is always the thing that counts, and what’s more thoughtful than a gift which you (or your children) have spent their own time and effort creating? I don’t think there’s many grandparents or great aunts who wouldn’t see the beauty in a handmade card or some homemade Christmas cookies.

Have fun with a secret

Instead of buying individual gifts for the whole family, choose Secret Santa and set a budget. This means that everyone can get one nice gift, instead of lots of meaningless ones. There are also websites out there to help you organise it, like secretsanta.com – just put everyone’s names in and then it draws the names for everyone.

Choose decorations that will last

Try to decorate using things that will last and not be thrown away at the end of the season. Also trying to shop ethically, so using brands that are taking steps to be better will also help. And if you can, find locally hand-made decorations from locally-owned businesses. Good on you is an app which helps you to see who the ethical fashion brands are

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