“The most wonderful time of the year” for many, is unfortunately also the most damaging time of the year for our planet.
What if we told you there was a way to keep the joy of Christmas for you and your loved ones while creating an environment for all life to thrive, that supports plenty of positive Christmases going forward?
The Better Century community have been working on some ideas to double the joy of Christmas, making it better for the world.
This guide has some top tips to tone down the Christmas impact. You can reduce waste around Christmas. Eco-friendly present suggestions are here to help you. The way you decorate your house, tree and table doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Top tips on influencing your family to tone down the Christmas impact
Emphasising Christmas as family time rather than the gimmick and the gifts
- Baking competitions
- Movie marathons
- Family nature-trails (Check out Treasure Trails)
Create gift registries
- This way you can ensure the gifts you give and receive will not go to waste, and can also opt for sustainable gift options…
Eco-friendly present ideas
- Lifeorme yoga mat
- Silicone stretch lids
- Bamboo straws
- Metal straws
Pela phone cases
- Biodegradable and % donated to Ocean Clean-up with every purchase
- Reduce washing detergent
Gubby Bag /Cora Ball
- Prevents microplastics from going down the drain after washing
- Reusable cotton pad for removing makeup (working wonders for the environment AND tightening pores)
Gift experiences rather than things (which will get thrown away)
- Preferably experiences which don’t contribute to air pollution, such as drag racing!
Great sites to shop for Christmas Inspiration
- Eco-friendly, vegan, and cruelty free wellness and cosmetic products (400+ products for all ages and both genders)
- Good on You
- We are Earth
Funky Soap Shop
- Encourage people to stop using shampoo and shower gel in bottles
A Fine Choice
- Toothbrushes, soaps, and other great products
- Has tonnes of clothing and accessories which are sustainable
- Buy some really funky t-shirts and other organic cotton clothing products
Ways in which less waste can be generated around the Christmas period
Household in Britain throw away 54 million plates of food during the holiday season.
- Drop your leftover food to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen
- Find your local one here
- Try to be as vegan as possible
- If meat is not negotiable, make it organic and free-range
- Brown paper
- Boutique newspaper style
- Decorate with ribbon (bonus points for reusing next year!)
- Decorate with ink stamps
- Scrap the Christmas cards and write your wishes on to your paper wrapping
- Recyclable Christmas cards
The iconic Christmas staple which is unfortunately the root of the problem
6 million real Christmas trees are thrown away in the UK rather than being recycled.
- Buy a real Christmas tree from a local, sustainable grower
- Make sure that it’ Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified
- Recycle your Christmas tree are your nearest plant recycling centre
- Get in touch with your local council to organise sending out recyclable bins
- Tree hire
- Return it to the garden centre who will put it back in the ground to grow another year!
- LED fairy lights
- These uses 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs
- Avoid plastic and PVC decorations
- Arbonne do mini cosmetic baubles made of recyclable material
- Eco-friendly (personalised!) crackers
Try to use a couple of these tips in the lead up to this Christmas and let us know how they go!
Got tips of your own and want to help others?
We’re updating this guide throughout the festive period. If you have ideas to help us improve this guide then reply below and let us know what you think will help make a more sustainable Christmas.
Please share this guide by hitting the symbol below and let your friends know through facebook or twitter.
If you want to be a Christmas Hero then start a new topic and let us know your story. Tag it ‘Better_Christmas’ so we can find all the stories together!
Finally. If you want to be involved in making guides just like this and want to motivate others about how we can make things better for the future. Come and join us at Better Century. We’re currently talking about what New Years Resolutions we should promote!