Santa is preparing the reindeer, grandma is hunting for her fruitcake recipe, and the early birds on your street already have colourful lights hanging from their roof. It’s time to get ready for Christmas!
There’s no doubt that Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but sadly our annual silly season also brings excessive consumerism and food waste. Good news! It doesn’t have to.
This year, we’re sticking to our earth-friendly values and helping you do the same.
We know Christmas is a stressful time of year, so here are 5 easy ways to have an eco-friendly Christmas from Ethically Kate.
Gifts are a sweet way to say you care, but they can go terribly wrong without any planning. Do yourself, your family, and the planet a favour; avoid any last minute gift shopping trips that inevitably result in presents your family throw into their junk cupboards on boxing day.
Escape the malls, support local, gift meaningful presents, and save money with these tried and tested ideas.
- DIY presents such as candles, baking, bath salts, music, terrariums, plants and the Green Collective’s Complete DIY Sprouting Pack – there are so many options!
- Gift vouchers – like our Oh Natural Gift Voucher that allows you to pick your gifted amount according to your budget and your giftee can enjoy shopping for presents they know they’ll love!
- Gift packs – our selection of Gift Packs have something for everyone in your life including sample packs so they can try before committing to a full range. A great choice for someone wanting to make a shift to natural cosmetics and waste free products.
- Experiences such as massages, cooking classes, language classes, skydiving, manicures and dance classes, after all, memories last a lifetime. Kate, Oh Natural’s new owner loves a boogie on a Monday night with Shut Up & Dance. Where you can dance your heart away and live your dream of being a backup dance! Or even go the full shebang and be a pop star… No experience or coordination necessary, just fun and laughter.
- Giving back with The Good Registry and World Vision Smiles – give the gift of giving knowing you are helping make the world a better place
There are so many ways to wrap presents without spending money on gift wrapping which ultimately jumps straight into the rubbish bin. This December, begin experimenting with them!
If you’ve planned ahead, reuse the wrapping paper and gift bags that your gifts came wrapped in throughout the year. Consider covering your presents in newspaper with rustic brown string, or take a page from the Japanese who use the Furoshiki method which involves wrapping gifts in pieces of cloth. The cloth can then be reused as a tea towel, napkin, or for wrapping gifts in the future.
It is just us, or does food on Christmas day taste so much better than every other day of the year? Food is a central part of Christmas festivities, but it can also be the most wasteful. Reducing your food waste and food packaging is a great way to lower your Christmas footprint and keep your rubbish bin as empty as possible.
Your family traditions and iconic meals are important, however, you can also…
- Reduce your meat consumption and opt for organic, free range, and sustainably sourced meat
- Buy ingredients from the bulk bin store using paper bags or reusable containers
- Buy local and homemade organic produce and tasty treats
- Have reusable containers on hand to store leftovers
- Plan a menu to reduce leftovers
- Experiment with plant based recipes
- Compost and recycle your waste
It doesn’t feel like Christmas if it doesn’t look like it! Rather than popping to the shops for the classic tinsel and plastic baubles, try something new. Dried oranges, seashells, wooden baubles, and feathers make great Christmas tree decorations. Foraging for flowers in your garden is another easy way to impress your guests and brighten up the place.
Paper snowflakes, scraps of ribbon dangling from the ceiling, LED lights, and recycled paper wreaths are just a few more ways to decorate your home with Christmas spirit while holding your earth-friendly values close.
Christmas trees, both real and fake, have been a staple Christmas feature for centuries. Unfortunately, fake trees are generally made from plastic, and real trees don’t always come from sustainably farmed sources. Thankfully, over the past few years, Christmas trees have been re-imagined and re-designed to reduce waste and add creativity.
Here are some great alternatives
- Gather driftwood to create a crafty tree on your wall
- Decorate a large pot plant with Christmas decorations
- Bring a dried branch in from outside, plant it in a bucket of sand, and decorate
- Don’t love the idea of a Christmas tree? Don’t be afraid to go without
If you do buy a real tree, make sure it’s from a trusted source who farms trees sustainably. Picking up a second-hand fake tree from the op shop is another great way to reuse what already exists, and could be an alternative if you’re allergic to pine.
This Christmas, we endorse rethinking your habits in order to strive for a more natural, less wasteful, and creative Christmas that doesn’t harm the planet.
Have any more eco-friendly Christmas tips to add? We’d love to hear them, let us know in the comments below!