25 Easy Ways to Make Christmas More Sustainable

As the festive season approaches, it’s essential to keep in mind the impact our celebrations can have on the environment.

Christmas is a time of joy, giving and togetherness, and making it more sustainable doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the magic of the season.

In fact, there are numerous simple and impactful ways to reduce your ecological footprint during the holidays. Let’s explore 25 easy ways to make Christmas more sustainable.

25 Easy Ways to Make Christmas More Sustainable

30 Easy Ways to Make Christmas More Sustainable Plantable Christmas Card

Plantable Greeting Cards

Choose holiday cards that contain seeds. After the holidays, recipients can plant the seeds, turning them into beautiful flowers or herbs.

DIY Decorations

Getting creative and making your own decorations using materials you already have at home is one of the easiest ways to make Christmas more sustainable.

This not only reduces waste but also adds a personal touch to your festive decor. Try making these beautiful sustainable paper doily snowflakes.

Opt for Eco-friendly Decorations

Choose reusable, recyclable or natural decorations instead of single-use plastic items. Consider using items like wooden ornaments, LED lights, and fabric banners to add a festive touch.

Gift Experiences

Instead of physical gifts, consider giving experiences like concert tickets, spa vouchers, yoga session or cooking classes. This reduces the demand for material goods and creates lasting memories.

Some gift experience stores we recommend include Red Balloon and We Wander.

Wrap Gifts Sustainably

Using reusable gift wrap, fabric or newspaper instead of traditional wrapping paper is one of the easiest ways to make Christmas more sustainable. Encourage recipients to reuse or recycle the wrapping to minimise waste.

Buy Local

Support local businesses and artisans when purchasing gifts. This not only boosts the local economy but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation.

Head to your local markets or find verified locally made products on website like Australian Made.

Gift Secondhand Items

Consider buying or gifting gently used items. Thrift stores and online marketplaces can be treasure troves for unique, sustainable finds.

We recommend trying Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, secondhand book stores, vintage shops and thrift stores.

Sustainable Gift Wrapping

Explore creative alternatives to traditional wrapping paper, such as using paper you might have around your home like paper shopping bags, newspaper, music paper or even old maps. This reduces waste and adds a personal touch to your presents.

30 Easy Ways to Make Christmas More Sustainable Sow 'n Sow Flower Press

Quality Over Quantity

Be conscious of the quantity of gifts exchanged. Quality over quantity ensures that each gift holds more value and reduces unnecessary waste.

Host a Potluck Dinner

Share the joy of Christmas by hosting a potluck-style gathering. This minimises food waste and allows everyone to contribute to the festive feast.

Choose Sustainable Christmas Trees

If you opt for a real Christmas tree, ensure it’s sustainably sourced and consider recycling it after the holidays. Artificial trees should be kept for several years to offset their environmental impact.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

Switch to LED lights for your Christmas decorations. They consume less energy and have a longer lifespan than traditional incandescent bulbs.

DIY Gifts

Show your love and creativity by making gifts at home. From homemade cookies to hand-knitted scarves, DIY presents can be both meaningful and sustainable.

If you know someone who loves candles, learn how to make pressed flower candles using a flower press.

Mindful Consumption

Be conscious of the quantity of gifts exchanged. Quality over quantity ensures that each gift holds more value and reduces unnecessary waste.

Hosting a Secret Santa gifting exchange is a great way to enjoy the fun of gifting but without the added pressure of having to purchase a gift for everyone.

The 5 Gift Rule is a great way to prevent you from buying too many gifts.

30 Easy Ways to Make Christmas More Sustainable Gift of Seeds Subscription

Give the Gift of Knowledge

Consider gifting books, online courses or sustainable subscriptions. Knowledge is a valuable and sustainable present that continues to benefit the recipient.

Charitable Donations

Instead of physical gifts, consider making a donation to a charity in someone’s name. This embodies the spirit of giving and makes a positive impact.

Some charities we recommend include Australian Koala Foundation, One Tree Planted and Orange Sky Laundry.

Reusable Tableware

Opt for reusable plates, cups and utensils instead of disposable ones. This small change can significantly reduce the amount of waste generated during festive meals.

If you’re celebrating Chrsitmas in a park, by a lake or at the beach, reduce unnecessary waste by taking reusable items with you too.

Low-Impact Travel

If you’re visiting loved ones during the holidays, consider carpooling, taking public transportation or using eco-friendly travel options to reduce your carbon footprint. These are all simple ways to make Christmas more sustainable.

Alternatively, consider offsetting the carbon emissions from your travel.

Mindful Shopping

Make a list before heading to the store to avoid impulse purchases. This helps reduce unnecessary consumption and minimises the environmental impact of production and transportation.

Recycle Christmas Cards

Instead of tossing old cards, recycle them into gift tags for the following year. This not only reduces waste but also adds a nostalgic touch to your future presents.

Host an Eco-Friendly Party

If you’re hosting a holiday gathering, use reusable dishes and utensils, and set up recycling and composting stations to minimise waste.

Find a great range of compost bin options below.

Mindful Meat Consumption

If you include meat in your festive meals, choose sustainably sourced options and consider incorporating more plant-based dishes to reduce the environmental impact of your holiday feast.

Find a great range of festive vegetarian recipes below.

Gifts That Keep Giving

Choose gifts that have a long lifespan or provide ongoing benefits, such as reusable water bottles, solar-powered gadgets or seeds.

Upcycled Decor

Get creative with upcycled decorations. Turn old jars into candle holders, repurpose wine corks into ornaments, and breathe new life into items that might otherwise be discarded.

Learn how to upcycle old baubles by painting them with textured paint.

Mindful Disposal

Properly dispose of electronic waste, packaging and other materials. Check with your local recycling centres to ensure you recycle items correctly.

Many landfill centres now have resource recovery systems in place to save and recycled valuable materials so they don’t end up in landfill.

We recommend researching recycling options before disposing of any item in your household rubbish bin. Planet Ark and Terracycle offer great resources to find recycling options for hard-to-recycled items.

DIY Advent Calendar

Create your own advent calendar using reusable materials. Fill it with small, thoughtful gifts or activities for a personalised and sustainable countdown to Christmas.

Try this easy DIY Seed Advent Calendar!

Ways to Make Christmas More Sustainable: The 5 Gift Rule

What is the 5 Gift Rule?

The 5 Gift Rule for Christmas is a concept that encourages a more intentional and mindful approach to gift-giving during the holiday season. The idea is to limit the number of gifts each person receives to five, with each gift falling into a specific category.

The categories typically associated with the 5 Gift Rule include:

Something They Want: This is a gift that the person has expressed a specific desire or interest in. It could be a favorite book, a gadget, or an item from their wishlist.

Something They Need: Practical gifts that fulfill a genuine need fall into this category. It could be something for their home, a useful tool, or an item that enhances their daily life.

Something to Wear: Clothing and accessories are common choices for this category. It allows for a thoughtful and personalised gift while ensuring it serves a practical purpose.

Something to Read: A book, magazine subscription, or any reading material that aligns with the recipient’s interests is a great choice for this category. It promotes knowledge, entertainment, or personal growth.

Something to Experience: Instead of a physical item, this category focuses on creating memories. It could be tickets to a concert, a spa day, a cooking class, or any experiential gift that the recipient will enjoy.

The 5 Gift Rule aims to shift the focus from excessive consumerism and materialism to more meaningful and purposeful gift-giving. By narrowing down the number of gifts and categorising them based on thoughtful considerations, it encourages people to prioritise quality over quantity and to make their gifts more meaningful and relevant to the recipients’ lives.

Gifts to Grow

Embedded and inspired by nature, Sow ’n Sow believe in purposeful gifting that doesn’t cost the planet.

From a small seed of an idea, Sow ’n Sow was dreamt up by founder Michelle Brady combining her love of gardening and flair for design in 2010.

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