Many people are beginning to tire of the consumerism that now surrounds Christmas, and excessive consumption is damaging to both the environment and our wallets. But it’s perfectly possible to celebrate Christmas in a sustainable way; here are some tips to help you do just that.
Leave Turkeys (And Other Animals) Off Your Plate
Our consumption of animal products (meat, dairy and eggs) is by far the biggest driver of climate change. These products take massive quantities of water and grain to produce and use enormous amounts of land. Besides, the way turkeys are raised is extremely cruel, free-range or not. Watch this video to learn about the conditions many turkeys endure.
Luckily, there are a plethora of delicious plant-based alternatives to explore. And no, it’s not just tofu and nut roasts.
Buy Eco-Friendly Gifts
I previously made a post on this. Go check it out.
Make Your Own Christmas Crackers
Crackers usually contain tacky plastic toys which will break if you actually try to use them. Their sheer pointlessness is sometimes mind-boggling – does anyone really need a plastic shoehorn? My guess is that most of them end up in landfill sites (although I do have a friend who collects them!).
But crackers are kind of fun to pull, and it’s exciting to see what’s inside – so why not try making your own? You can do this with toilet roll tubes, tissue paper and ribbons. Put little sweets inside, or get more creative. You could even come up with some bad puns!
In a similar vein, decorations like tinsel aren’t very environmentally-friendly. Instead, try making colourful paper chains. I used to do this as a kid and it was so fun! You can also make paper snowflakes.
Wrap Your Presents Sustainably
When I was little, Christmas Day always left our living room buried under piles of scrunched up paper. We always recycled it, but it still felt pretty wasteful. Consider wrapping presents in newspaper or scraps of pretty fabric instead. Alternatively, put gifts in a bag which can be reused next year.
Don’t throw cards away – cut them up to make tags which can be used for next year’s presents.
Only Buy What You Need
This sounds kind of obvious, but many of us rush out to take advantage of post-Christmas sales without stopping to question whether we actually need anything new. This is especially true with regards to clothes, and cheap clothing is a huge problem from both an environmental and a human rights perspective.
I hope this post was helpful and gave you some inspiration. Do you have any other suggestions? If so, I’d love to hear them!