Christmas is a time of joy, celebration and giving. But in all the excitement and desire to create magical moments, it’s easy to get carried away. So how can you spread eco-friendly cheer this December?
At this time of year, many feel a pressure to fulfil expectations of a ‘perfect’ Christmas. From elaborate decorations to excessive gift-buying and indulgent feasts, the charm of the festive season can encourage overconsumption and considerable waste.
With enticing sales and promotions, and an undeniable emphasis on extravagance, it can be easy to lose sight of sustainable practices and unknowingly contribute to the season’s carbon footprint.
So we’ve put together a simple list of swaps for more eco-friendly festivities, for many years to come. From the great Christmas tree debate (real or fake!?) to the gift wrap you choose, we’ve rounded up five ways to have an eco-friendly Christmas.
But today, we focus on mindful gifting. That’s because, when buying Christmas presents, there are a whole range of considerations that can be made to ensure you’re doing your bit for the planet:
- Sustainable Materials: Choose gifts made from sustainable, eco-friendly materials. Look for items crafted from organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, recycled materials or other sustainable resources. Aim to avoid products made from single-use plastics or materials which are harmful to the environment.
- Durability & Longevity: Opt for gifts that are durable and built to last. Items of higher quality tend to have a longer lifespan, reducing the need for replacements and ultimately lessening waste. Sharing a long-lasting item may just be the gift that keeps on giving.
- Excess Packaging: Try to select gifts which are minimally packaged. Excessive packaging contributes significantly to waste, so choosing items with minimal packaging – ideally recyclable, biodegradable or compostable – helps to reduce environmental impact over the festive period.
- Utility & Necessity: Select gifts that the recipient will use and appreciate. Consider practical items that fulfil a need or bring value to someone’s life, reducing the likelihood of them ending up unused or discarded. Also, think about multi-use gifts that serve various purposes or have versatile uses.
- Sustainable & Small Business: Look for gifts from brands or businesses that prioritise green, ethical practices and social responsibility. Supporting small businesses promotes sustainability, boosts the local economy and celebrates handcrafted, unique products and makers.
- Gift Experiences: Consider gifting experiences rather than physical items. Experiences like tickets to events, workshops, memberships or vouchers for activities can create lasting memories without contributing to material consumption.
- DIY & Upcycled Gifts: Get creative and make homemade gifts or upcycle existing items to give them new life – for example, make candles from glass jamjars or wax wraps from old bedsheets. Handmade gift soften carry sentimental value and represent time and effort spent for loved ones.
- Shipping Impact: Every purchase we make involves transportation from manufacturer to retailer or directly to our homes. Try to consolidate purchases to minimise shipping emissions, or better yet, choose local or nearby options which reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation.
- Eco Certifications: Look for earth-conscious labels which indicate that the product meets specific environmental standards or certifications, such as Fair Trade, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Organic, Rainforest Alliance, Cradle to Cradle, B Corp and many more.
By considering these factors when buying Christmas presents, you can make conscious decisions that contribute positively to the planet, while still bringing joy to your loved ones during the holiday season.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out our green gift sets. At Peace With The Wild, you’ll discover a whole array of thoughtfully curated gift ideas – from sustainable skincare to unique homewares, plastic-free toys and vegan treats – that not only spread cheer but align with eco-friendly values.
By making more mindful choices, you can ensure a joyful and triumphant Christmas while treading lightly on our planet. This December, let’s make a difference by embracing sustainability in all celebrations.