How to have an environmentally friendly Christmas without giving up festive cheer

How to have an environmentally friendly Christmas without giving up festive cheer

Without being a Scrooge, you can still have a green holiday by choosing sustainable products that could be found right under your roof.

You’ve got two more windows to open on your advent calendar and a Christmas dinner later this week that you’ve hardly had time to prep for. Before you run to the stores in a panic for last-minute supplies and decorations, stop and take a look around your flat for things you could use for your party instead. You might already have everything you need.


Presents

Let’s face it; getting your Christmas present shopping done before the big day is an impossible task, and there’s always at least one person who you find out will be coming over but have forgotten to buy a gift for. No, the answer to your problem is not at the mall. If you look hard enough, we’re sure you can find a suitable gift right under your roof.

Try the kitchen. Edible gifts like cookies or hot chocolate mix in a jar are always a hit, and you can make them in big batches to divide between your friends. If cooking is not your thing, you can always raid your room for something you can give away. Maybe a book you never got around to reading or a hat you received last year that didn’t quite suit you. There is no shame in re-gifting, and no need for those to go to waste when someone else could be making good use of them.

Gift-wrapping 

Uh-oh, out of wrapping paper and ribbon? Grab a couple of sheets of newspaper or an old scarf and wrap your gift in those instead. Trust us; you will gain more points for being eco-friendly than you might lose on wrapping finesse. There’s also no harm in putting your present in a paper bag from a store; it’s a fun way to throw the friends who love to guess what you got them off the scent.

If you think your present looks a little plain, you can embellish it with some twine from your kitchen, or colourful rubber bands. You could also take a trip outside and collect some fallen leafy branches to attach to your gift.

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Food 

It’s the holidays, so you’re allowed to indulge. But perhaps this holiday season, you can indulge in more plant-based foods. You can still have your fill with mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, baked sweet potato, and buttered spouts. Remember, dessert is meat-free, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on Christmas pudding this year.

Decorations 

As much as you want to set a festive mood, there’s no point in buying Christmas decorations for your home that you’ll only use once a year. Instead, light a few tea lights around your flat to create a warm and cosy atmosphere.

To decorate your tree, swap tinsel and plastic baubles for ornaments made of sugar cookies or dried orange slices, and add a popcorn garland for an extra touch. If you haven’t bought a tree yet, you can always decorate a house plant or build a tree out of newspaper like we did a couple years ago (check out our video on YouTube!).

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Outfit 

You may feel the urge to shop for a new outfit to wear to your gathering. But how many wears are you really going to get out of your Christmas jumper or sequin dress? There’s really no need to shell out on new clothing when you’ve got a wardrobe full of perfectly suitable pieces to wear. An all-white outfit or any jumper in green or red would do just fine.

Edited by M. J. Premaratne

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Festive cheer without costing the earth

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