Ways To Have A More Conscious Christmas
Two things to know about me is that I love Christmas and I also try to be as Eco friendly as possible. Therefore, this year, I have been wondering how I and others can have a more conscious Christmas. The festive season sees more waste than usual, including something like 2 million turkeys and six million Christmas trees (I read this online and its from back in 2016 so who knows, it could be even more. I also read that in the UK 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away every year, how crazy is that? Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas but these days, we overdo everything and it becomes pretty stressful, do you not think? It becomes a less sustainable occasion, where there is a lot of unwanted presents wrapped in tonnes of wrapping paper and plastic tape, a lot of cards sent out and a whole load of food purchased that doesn’t get eaten.
As you may of may not know, I try to live plastic free most of the time, so I thought as I’m trying to have a little more of a conscious Christmas, I would share some sustainable gift ideas and ways that you can keep your conscience clean during this years festive season!
Invest in eco Christmas cards or send e-cards. You’ll be surprised how many you can find online, I got my eco ones from the link below and they were about $25.00 for a pack of 10, which is actually probably cheaper than in shops. https://www.earthgreetings.com.au/
Make it yourself - DIY gifts and cards are not only a great way to save some money but they are also thoughtful and sustainable compared to store bought gifts. It makes the process a lot more fun, put aside one afternoon to design and make your own Christmas cards at home. This year for some friends and colleagues, I made a big batch of home cooked vegan cookies and put them in a cute mini eco friendly bag and they went down a treat.
Avoid conventional wrapping, reuse your old wrapping paper or newspaper or be sure to buy eco friendly. Another idea that I like is to buy gift bags instead of paper, this way people can reuse them in the future. Most wrapping paper we buy from our local shops is non recyclable and creates a ton of waste, if we all try to reduce the amount we use, we can help limit the amount that is thrown away every year. Like I say a lot, every little change helps. If you get given presents in gift bags, be sure to put them away somewhere safe so you can reuse them next year.
Present recycling is a fun way to re-gift stuff that you don't use or don't need or you may not have ever opened we definitely all have way too much stuff for our own good. Another benefit of this is that it also saves you pennies. So instead of going out and buying heaps, see what you have at home!
Avoid plastic where you can. Try to buy presents for people that are not packaged in plastic, there are some out there I promise. Also ask your family and friends that if they’re buying you a present to make sure it is also not packaged in plastic, it will be feel so good when you receive it!
Here’s a few conscious' gift ideas below:
Books on green living
Gift certificates to health food stores or organic restaurants
Membership in an organic farm or co-op
Donations to organisations that support the environment
Keep cup for all your coffee loving family/friends.
Recyclable drink bottles
Skin care that cares, LUSH do some amazing little gift sets and they even recycle all their bottles.
If you know someone who has a kindle, be sure to buy them a book for that instead of paperback ones.
Energy saving items and vegan goodies from https://www.floraandfauna.com.au/, some off the products on here are perfect little stocking fillings or gifts for under the tree.
Homemade present idea’s include:
Baked goods - mince pies, cookies, gingerbread men, Christmas cakes etc
Paintings and photographs.
Pottery and ceramics
Sewing and knitting items
Substitute the animals on your plate for something far more light on the planet and without the torture - check out Suzy Spoons Vegetarian Butcher for some ideas, whether you want to buy the goods or make your own using recipes. https://www.ssvb.com.au/.
Heres a few other ideas for getting those vegan christmas food items you’ve all been looking for. My top picks.
Just wholefoods sage & onion stuffing
Booja Booka around midnight espresso truffles
Sprout & Kernel Peppercorn nut cheese.
I’ve posted some of my favourite sweet vegan christmas recipes here and also be sure to check out both Jamie Olivers and The Minimalist baker’s vegan christmas recipes, theres something here for EVERYONE and you will definitely thank me after trying some ha ha!
Be sure to buy glass food storage containers for all your left over food for you to enjoy on the days after Christmas.
Think Green when its comes to your Christmas Tree - As I mentioned above, back in 2016 there were around six million Christmas trees wasted. Here in Australia, most Christmas tree’s are plantation grown under sustainable forestry systems. Now next time you go to select your Christmas tree for your house, be sure to lookout for an organic seasonal tree farms or live trees. Make sure the trees have their roots attached so they can be planted after the season is over, and with them being live and fresh, they can be recycled after the holidays. By recycling your trees every year we’re all making an impact as we’re reducing the production of greenhouse glasses which contributes to climate change. So this is one option for you to consider, another is you can hire a Christmas tree for the festive period.Yes there are places that actually let you hire them for a certain amount of time, you just hire the tree, send it back after the Christmas period and it will be replanted until the following year.
Try and use energy saving fairy lights to decorate the tree and your house.
Recycle your no longer wanted newspaper or wrapping paper and use it to make your own Christmas paper decorations. https://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/handmade/how-to-make-christmas-paper-star-decorations
Make your own Christmas crackers. Heres a few ideas of how you can do so and personally I think they look amazing. https://www.northshoremums.com.au/how-to-make-your-own-christmas-crackers/. If you don’t want to do crackers, I like making our own little goodies for the table. Make a homemade little goodie bag for everyone around the table, write down your own jokes and pop them into the bag along with some homemade goodies like chocolates or cookies.
Recycle your glass jars at home and get creative with them - use them as decorations and pop your eco friendly fairly lights into them, pop a candle into them or you an use them to put homemade chocolates in.