Eco-friendly Christmas inspiration

Annika Collins

December 12, 2022

Christmas is fast approaching, and it can be one of the busiest and most expensive times of the year. For many it can also be very wasteful!

Family visits, work Christmas parties, teacher gifts and endless secret Santa’s, can leave us feeling overwhelmed and pressured to excessively buy, potentially resulting in many unwanted gifts. It isn’t our intention to dampen or discourage the festive cheer but the cost of living is soaring; therefore it is sensible to consider how to cut costs and be more environmentally efficient.

There are the obvious tips, such as making sure what we buy is reusable, from decorations to advent calendars, sending e-cards or buying locally sourced, sustainable items or goods. The Environment Agency has shared some shocking facts on Christmas waste as well as some simple steps on how we can all make more sustainable choices.

Christmas gifts and secret Santa

Before making a list of endless gifts to buy, it’s always worth having the conversation to see if it’s expected. You wouldn’t want to give to receive, and it could leave someone feeling obligated to spend money they don’t have, for you to accept something you didn’t want! That’s why the best gift is sometimes releasing someone from the obligation of having to buy for you in the first place.

If you have signed up to be part of a work or family secret Santa, there’s several things you can do to be more sustainable and spread the cheer:

  • You could re-gift something. It might not have been your cup of tea, but you may have found a more suitable candidate that will happily make use of it
  • Donate on their behalf to a local charity or food bank
  • Visit charity shops or their online stores, you might get your hands on a very reusable hidden treasure
  • Buy sustainable. Many gifts can be found that have been made from recycled goods. Or buy them something that can be reused repeatedly!
  • Give them a gift that is homemade, Christmas cookies, a door wreath. If you can sew or knit, you could even make a scarf or Christmas cushion
  • For those of you that aren’t crafty or don’t have the time, you could buy a voucher to allow the recipient to choose something they want or you could create a handmade voucher with a promise to spend time together, such as meeting up for cake in the New Year

In a nut (cracker) shell

Don’t put yourself and the environment under any extra pressure. Even if you follow just one of the sustainable choices outline above, you will be making a difference and will help the festive season to be a little less wasteful. You can have a green Christmas and not miss out on a single thing and get a warm glow from being zero waste warriors.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog represent those of the author, Annika Collins, and are not those of recycle-more, Valpak Limited or any other organisation.