Including eco-friendly Christmas gifts and eco friendly Christmas wrapping paper
We all have a responsibility to try and go more eco-friendly this Christmas. It’s not an easy task if you’ve never tried it before as without knowing what you are looking for, how do you know what is eco friendly and what isn’t?
This post walks you through how to have a more eco-friendly Christmas with just very small changes to your normal festive season.
By making your Christmas more sustainable, you could be reducing your carbon footprint and helping the planet.
From shopping smarter and using the latest technology, going green for Christmas has never been easier.
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13 Sustainable Christmas Ideas for 2020
Here are thirteen simple ways that you can go eco-friendly this Christmas which includes sourcing your Christmas lunch and renting your Christmas tree.
Eco-friendly Christmas trees
Having a real Christmas tree is far more eco-friendly than having a plastic fake tree. It’s been shown that you would have had your plastic Christmas tree for over twenty years to make it sustainable. Owning a real Christmas tree means that you can re-use it every year by planting it back into your garden every year.
If you do like this idea that make sure that your Christmas tree has been sourced as locally as possible. There are loads of websites that can help you find a retailer that has grown locally sourced trees. Have a look for the ‘Grown in Britain’ label or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ‘seal of approval’ as well.
If you don’t have a garden and can’t replant your Christmas tree then many cancel tips do take them and recycle them into chopped wood or even use them for new habitats for the local wildlife.
You could also rent a Christmas tree. Many local farms grow then rent out their Christmas trees. You look after the tree during the festive season and in January the farm will come and pick it back up. It’s a win-win!
Christmas wrapping paper
Did you know that a lot of Christmas wrapping paper can not be recycled? This is because it’s made of a mixture of foil, glitter and plastic.
If you are unsure if your paper can be recycled then give it scrunch up. If it stays in a ball then it should be fine to recycle. If it doesn’t, and it un-wraps itself then it probably can’t be recycled.
Why not change to brown paper? You can decorate it yourself with colourful ribbon that can be used again.
Keep all your gift bags that you receive and reuse them. This is a great way to give gifts to your loved ones without spending a penny either.
There are also sites that sell reused Christmas wrapping paper. It looks like new and has some great designs for all ages and family members.
You could also wrap with fabric. Buy some beautiful scarves to wrap bigger gifts with that can be reused or Christmas fabric for smaller items.
There are loads of ways that we can buy and send Christmas cards that don’t hurt the planet. One way is to start sending your seasons greetings online. There are loads of websites that help you make the best card and they will send it via email for you. Some are really creative and go all out.
If you prefer a traditional card then make sure that it has the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mark on it so you know that the paper has been sourced responsibly. These cards should also be able to be recycled too.
You could also make your own card. This could involve you printing it off yourself or even making cards from hand. The personal touch is great and you know that it can be recycled.
Sticking Christmas labels on wrapping paper could make the wrapping paper un-recyclable. Making your own Christmas labels out of last years Christmas cards is a great way to save money and use up your old cards that can’t be recycled.
Disposable advent calendars can not be recycled as they are normally full of foil.
Owning your own reusable advent calendar means that you can use it year in year out and add your own chocolates or toys to it.
You could also make your own with fabric and pegs. Make little envelopes out of fabric and hide something inside and attach them with pegs. It’s a great way to have a little gift and something you can use every year.
Our top favorite reusable advent calendars are:
Felt Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
This felt Christmas tree advent calendar is great for kids or adults. You can fill it with your own choice of item and decorate it yourself with the little ornaments.
Buy this Felt Christmas Tree Advent Calendar here*
Gingerbread House Advent Calendar
This is a cardboard advent calendar that can be used every year. It can fit small chocolates in and each draw just slides out.
Buy Gingerbread House Advent Calendar here*
Pre-Lit Wooden Advent Calendar
This advent calendar can be decorated to your style. It’s pre-lit and can look as Christmasy as you like.
Buy Pre-Lit Wooden Advent Calendar here*
Fabric Advent Calendar
This advent calendar is fabric and is great for all ages. The pockets are quite big and it can hang on your wall easily.
Buy Fabric Advent Calendar here*
Wine Tree Advent Calendar
This wooden advent calendar is great for adults who love wine. Use it every year and pack it full of your favorites wine to enjoy over the Christmas season.
Buy the Wine Tree Advent Calendar here*
You can also make your own without food. Print off or draw Santa and add buttons or cotton wool to the picture every day in December. It makes a great Christmas craft and is really cheap to make while counting down the days to Christmas.
Your traditional Christmas crackers can not be recycled but by making your own you can use them again and again.
We make our crackers using a toilet roll insert, Christmas fabric and some ribbon. Yes, you can’t pull them, but everyone gets to unwrap them and gets a little gift inside.
Buying plastic free gifts isn’t easy but there are loads of items and there that can be brought that also help the planet.
Before you buy anything, make sure it has one or more of these labels on:
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS)
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Palm Oil Free
Our plastic-free gifts ideas are:
Everyone loves a new power tool and gadget. This year, go green. Buy a propane weed trimmer and leaf blower. It’s a holiday gift that saves you money and saves the planet too!
With all the attention of” going green,” eco-friendly industries are coming with a residential cordless alternative to gas-powered equipment.
Propane Lawn Mowers
Eco-friendly lawn care industries began introducing propane alternatives to gas-powered equipment; commercial grade lawn mowers became available. Now, the same kind of planet-saving efficiency is being developed for personal residential lawn care.
This would be a good choice for someone who has a large yard to tend to. Buying, mixing, and storing gasoline and oil mixtures are eliminated. Propane is easily accessible. It can be home delivered or picked up at local retailers.
The benefits of using propane equipment include an 80% reduction in toxic emissions compared with diesel and gasoline, and propane is about 30% cheaper per gallon. Propane burns cleaner than gasoline and may reduce repair and maintenance costs on the lawnmower. There are less dirt and contaminants in the fuel. The oil in the equipment stays cleaner. It could last longer. Internal engine parts will also stay cleaner and more efficient due to the cleaner oil and fuel.
Studies indicate that because propane is cheaper and more efficient, using a propane lawn mower can double cutting time before refueling. Also, extra fuel can be stored on the lawnmower, eliminating the need to return to the shed or garage for a refuel.
This wonderful new equipment is not cheap right now. Push mowers that run on propane are costing about $4,000. Riding lawn mowers are starting at £7,000. However, to get started in the eco-friendly direction, inexpensive conversion kits are available to convert a gas-powered lawnmower into propane using a model.
Propane Weed Trimmers
For those looking for a smaller, less expensive gift this year, consider a Lehr propane weed eater. These are getting great reviews. They retail for about $200 at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s. They may also be found on eBay.
This is a good choice if the individual has a large area to trim and weed. It’s lightweight, runs on less fuel, and additional small tanks can be carried along for fast refuel. This particular model is very powerful and can handle tall grass and tough weeds easily.
Several companies are developing more environmentally friendly products. For lawn care, Lehr and Neuton have become the forerunners. Neuton was the first to develop a battery-operated cordless lawnmower. Now, consumers can purchase eco-friendly lawn mowers, weed trimmers, and leaf blowers.
The newest leaf blower is also a mulcher and a lawn vacuum. Consumers will also see more solar-powered gadgets developed in years to come as industries look for more ways to save money and natural resources.
There are loads of eco-friendly gifts for women that can be used over and over again. Our favorites are anything from Beewax food wraps to metal bottles to fabric bags
If you are looking for more eco-friendly gift ideas for the whole family then have a look at 13 Eco-Friendly Gifts For Grown-Ups This Christmas
Making your own decorations that you can use year after year not only helps the planet but is a great way to actually have the decorations you want at a cheaper price.
You can buy clay baubles and decorate them and use them every year.
Locally sourced food
Christmas dinner is a huge deal in our house and making sure that the food is sourced locally is a must when going eco or green.
Have a look at your local butchers and see what you can source. Could you pick your own vegetables from the local farm or purchase them from a local farm shop?
The local your food is the better. Making sure it has less packaging and hasn’t had to travel helps keeps your carbon footprint low.
Think about buying extra for leftovers too. Sometimes buying a bigger joint costs less per KG and then can be used for the next few days meals, again, reducing your carbon footprint.
Food waste is still a big issue throughout the UK and can cause a big leap in our carbon footprint. Have a think about how you could use up what you have.
There are loads of food sharing apps that are free to use too. All you do is post a picture of what you have and someone local will pop around and collect it from you.
LED Christmas lights
Did you know that LED lights are a lot better for the environment and produce less CO2 then conventional Christmas lights? You could also switch to solar-powered lights that charge up while the sun is out.
This is a hard one as it’s not easy to find out how your clothes are made. To help, why not buy a second hand from charity shops or shop clothes with your friends?
Once you have finished with an item donate it or swap it to get a brand new wardrobe for less money and hardly any carbon footprint.
We all use more energy at Christmas as we are all indoors more. Having a smart meter installed means that you can easily track how much energy you are using which could help you save money and save the planet.
If you have enjoyed this post and would like some more eco living ideas then have a look at the Eco Living section here on My Beautiful Mess. While you’re here why not pop over to Pinterest and follow my Eco Friendly Home Board or my Eco Friendly Products Board which will give you loads more ways you can go green quickly and easily.
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