The holiday season is a time for gathering with loved ones, reflecting on the past year, and looking forward to the new year ahead. It's also a time when consumption spikes - from gift giving to holiday meals to travel and more. This year, challenge yourself to have a more sustainable Christmas by following these eco-friendly tips. From decorations to meals, let's see how we can celebrate the holiday season while lowering our impact on the environment.
Decorate sustainably by reusing what you already have. Last year's decor has plenty of life left for another holiday season. Swap out a few well-loved ornaments for some thrifted vintage finds to freshen up your look. Opt for LED lights which use up to 80% less energy than traditional bulbs. And skip the disposable decor like plastic banners and tinsel. If you're looking for sustainable decorations, check The Paper Party Bag Shop which is also listed on Ganddee!
Instead of buying new gifts, consider giving second-hand and vintage items. Shopping at charity shops, antique stores, and used goods sites keeps pre-loved items in circulation and reduces waste. You'll also save money by not paying retail prices. Donating lightly used clothes and household goods you no longer need is another great gift option that reduces clutter.
For wrapping gifts, reuse old newspapers, maps, or journals. Those old Evening Standards you'll never read again make quirky and memorable wrapping paper. It's a great way to reminisce on funny memories from the past years too! (Whose gifts will be wrapped in the edition covering the Chris Rock–Will Smith slapping incident? Whose gifts will be wrapped in the newspapers covering the King's coronation? 😄) If purchasing wrap, look for paper with the FSC certification which ensures it comes from responsibly managed forests.
The holidays generate tons of extra food waste. Plan meals wisely and shop only for what you need. Use leftovers creatively. Compost food scraps if possible. And consider reducing meat consumption by making more plant-based dishes which can reduce emissions by up to 75% compared to meat-heavy meals.
If visiting loved ones this season, choose trains, buses, shared rides or your own two feet over air travel when possible.
Through mindful gifting, decoration, eating and travel habits this holiday season, we can celebrate Christmas cheerfully while keeping sustainability and conservation at the heart.
For more guidance about how to spend a sustainable Christmas holiday, check out Ganddee! We help you discover many second hand shops (e.g. online shops like Backmarket for electronics, charity shops for clothes and accessories, book stores etc.) so you can shop more ethically (and save more money) this Christmas.