This year is the perfect time to have your most eco-friendly Christmas yet! The good news is that making the holiday season more sustainable is not only fun but can also save you money. It’s also a great time to get together and make things that kids will love to be involved with.
Here are 6 very easy tips for having an eco-friendly family Christmas:
Make your own Christmas crackers
Creating your own crackers is a great family activity as it keeps little hands busy and helps to avoid plastic. Not only that but it’s a great way to use up any crafty bits and recycle gift bags. If you don’t have time to do that then several supermarkets are now selling plastic-free crackers, check their websites before you go.
Replace wrapping paper and sticky tape
A lot of shiny wrapping paper contains plastic and can’t be recycled, the same with most sticky tape. Plastic-free tape and brown paper is now widely available and can be decorated by kids once it’s wrapped. You can even create wrapping for free by using newspapers, magazines or even old books which look pretty funky. To save money and waste you can also reuse old gift bags.
Reduce your consumption of animal products
Eating meat, fish, dairy and eggs are all big contributors to a family’s carbon footprint. Try swapping out pigs in blankets for vegetarian sausages or cook potatoes in olive oil instead of goose fat. There are loads of great veggie and vegan substitutes now that cater to everyone’s tastes!
Make the most of leftovers
Save all your leftover food to turn into a delicious boxing day buffet! It’s always hard to get through an entire Christmas dinner, but the beauty of it is that it tastes just as good the next day. Leftovers taste great in soup, sandwiches and salads. Make sure to compost any vegetable skins so that you can use them for planting in the new year.
Buy secondhand or handmade
We’ve come a long way since car boot sales as there are now many ways to buy wonderful secondhand products online. Try sites like eBay, Depop, Preloved and Etsy that all sell great handmade, vintage and preowned goods. Small local shops and sellers will also welcome your custom as there are so many brilliant makers and crafters that use upcycled materials. You can even go on freecycle or join Facebook groups to get great gifts for free.
Rent a Christmas tree
If you love a real Christmas tree then consider getting one in a pot instead of one that has been cut down. Green-fingered people can keep a tree outside and bring it in for Christmas and it will grow year on year. For those that are less confident, you can rent one which means that someone else will look after it and you can get a different one each year.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips for a greener family Christmas! We all deserve a wonderful holiday season this year and I hope that you enjoy every minute of it.
Jen Sizeland is a British writer and producer based in Manchester in the UK. Her travel blog is called Land of Size and it focuses on ethical living and eco-friendly travel.