National Pyjama Day 2023

Have yourself a sustainable little Christmas

Have yourself a sustainable little Christmas
sustainable

With the festive season in full swing, it can be hard to find the time to consider the environment. But it’s not an exaggeration to say that Christmas, as well as being the ‘most wonderful time of the year’, is also one of the most wasteful times of the year. Luckily, being sustainable can actually save us a few bob, as we remember that being creative and spending time making things with our children is actually all they ever really want – Christmas or otherwise!

In this blog we’ll explore a few ways you can cut down on waste at Christmas.

Green-ify your Christmas cards

It’s not an overstatement to say that each year billions of Christmas cards are thrown away. However, the sentiment of sending a card is very dear to my heart – connecting with others (as close as my neighbour and as far away as my cousins in Australia) is one of my favourite parts of the season. So, to solve this problem I’m making “plant-able” Christmas cards this year. The best part is that my 3-year old will be making them with me and my School Age child will do the writing so we all get to be involved. All you need to make a plant-able card is a sheet of (non-coloured) paper, a few seeds (I save my sunflower seeds at the end of autumn) and some glue. You can paste the seeds onto the card in the shape of a tree or a wreath or anything you prefer and then let the recipient know they can plant the card after the festive season and it will sprout a beautiful flower the following year.

Eco-friendly Christmas crackers

Another great place to cut down on waste is Christmas crackers. Making the crackers themselves is very easy, all you need is some kitchen towel cardboard tubes, some crepe paper and some ribbon – plus you need something fun to put inside. I like putting parts of a board game or puzzle into mine so people have to snap several to get all the parts.

Re-inventing wrapping paper

One of the biggest culprits when it comes to Christmas waste is wrapping paper and really, it’s a very easy option to cut back on. These days people are wrapping their presents in upcycled newspapers and magazine and fancy cloths, but there’s a way to bring the creativity even further. Why not make a Christmas sack with your little ones? All that’s required is a sack of any kind – an old pillow case does the job.* You can get creative with making a stamp for the sack and let your little one create their own pattern on it. Then use a ribbon to tie the sack up. The important part of this is that it will become a tradition to use this sack, making it a sustainable replacement for wrapping paper in the years to come.

*If you’re wrapping a bike you might need an old duvet 😊

Turn off the lights

This is another easy one to do and will definitely save you money. At Christmas we light our houses, our gardens, and our trees – and with good reason. The cold, dark nights are made much more enjoyable by the festive cheer the lights bring. But those lights come at a great cost. Battery-operated lights contribute to the thousands of tons of batteries that are disposed of each year. Using electric lights and a timer to turn them off at times when you’re not home can make a significant dent in the problem.

If you want to take it a step further, why not try turning off the main lights altogether and just leave the Christmas tree lights on. Children love sitting in front of the tree with the soft glow and listening to Christmas stories whilst sipping warm drinks. This is a great opportunity to share the real spirit of Christmas whilst improving your carbon footprint too.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate Christmas, being mindful of your priorities is important.  Thinking sustainability will almost certainly allow you to place attention more on the relationships and the time spent together and less on the chaotic Christmas spending spree that can be so overwhelming.

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