Christmas can be a hectic time. Shops are packed, kids are on holidays, trying to wrap up work for the year (if you can), maybe preparing for family to arrive. So I wanted to provide an easy list of actions you can take to have a more people and planet friendly Christmas this year. Including being kinder to yourself by slowing down, cutting out some of the stress points and being able to be present with your loved ones and really enjoy the holidays.
1. Shop locally – shopping locally not only supports local business but also cuts down on the emissions taken to receive items via post. Unless like us, businesses are using a carbon neutral delivery service ;)
2. Gift experiences, donations or gifts like audio books, yoga sessions, farm visits, fruit picking, massages or gym memberships.
3. Gift items that are second hand or made from recycled materials like our recycled bucket hats which are also perfect for this summer!
4. Use the tree you own, if you don’t own one why not style a houseplant or buy a potted tree?
5. Gift wrap with scrap materials or scarves instead of paper and plastic.
6. Buy only what you need for Christmas meals. We all know the dread of supermarket shopping for Christmas time, packed lines and busy isles. Only buy what we need and simplify things to create less food waste.
7. Buy items that have no (or less) plastic packaging. This can relate to physical presents, cards and food too.
8. Need table decorations? Why not have little pots of herbs or plant cuttings in water vessels for a cute and sustainable touch.
9. Use greeting cards that can be planted to grow native flowers like these awesome ones from Planet Go Round.
10. Use proper plates and cutlery and avoid disposables.
11. Have some vegan or vegetarian options for Christmas meals
12. Make decorations from scrap paper, toilet paper rolls, etc. This can also be a fun activity for the kids to do.
13. Buy from ethical and sustainable businesses.
14. Slow down – in years to come, kids aren’t going to remember the present they unwrapped, but they will remember the memories you all had together. Where you can, cut down the busyness so you can be present in the moment with your loved ones.
15. Do Secret Santa instead of everyone buying everyone gifts this = less stress, less money spent, one more meaningful or useful present, less time shopping.
16. Create eco-friendly stockings – sign up to our email list so you can stay tuned for more tips on this later this week!
17. Have a plan for food waste – can you remake it into something else? A Christmas leftover pie or pizza perhaps? Could someone you know benefit from a meal? Maybe you can reach out through a community Facebook group? Do you have a compost or access to one, maybe you can ask a friend or family member to use theirs? A worm farm or chickens?
18. Make presents – do you have some old teacups that need a new life? Why not make them into a cute candle.
19. Make your own Christmas crackers. The typical Christmas crackers often have elements that mean they can’t be recycled. Instead you could make your own from recyclable materials or buy reusable crackers that can be loved for many Christmas’s to come.
20. Make your own advent calendar. I might be a little late to the party with this one but save the idea for next year, it’s a good one! For each day write an action or activity to do on the day. I write the activities on a little piece of paper and roll it up like a scroll and tie with ribbon. We open one each day and get to do something Christmassy! I’ve included some examples but the best thing is you can make it your very own and suit your family.
- Dance to Christmas carols
- Put the Christmas tree up
- Make a Christmas treat
- Help someone in need
- Pay it forward
- Facetime a loved one
- Watch a Christmas movie
- Bake gingerbread men
There you have my top 20 tips! I've also created a checklist so you have an easy reference guide through the holidays. Click here to receive this handy download.
Don’t forget the most important tip of all, slow down, be kind to yourself and others and take the time to be present with your loved ones. As they say ‘the days are long and the years are short’. Let’s enjoy each precious moment.
Happy holidays legends!