Christmas can be one of the most environmentally destructive times of the year. Reduce negative impacts by shifting to eco-friendly Christmas decor and gifts:
- Make your own decorations from natural materials gathered outdoors. Collect tree boughs, pine cones, leaves, and flowers to make wreaths and dried flower arrangements.
- Turn food into decor. String popcorn, make decorations using nutshells, or decorate blown eggs (you can use the material blown out of the eggs to make scrambled eggs, so it doesn’t have to be wasted).
- Make decorations from recycled household materials such as paper, cardboard, and last year’s gift wrap and ribbons.
- Use energy-efficient LED Christmas lights.
- Wrap gifts in reusable pieces of fabric or, if you have a talent for crafts, make your own reusable gift bags out of fabric scraps.
- Use recycled paper to make this year’s wrapping paper. Decorating it can be a fun project for the kids.
- If you love arts and crafts, you could try making your own reusable wrapping paper from scratch using recycled paper, dried flowers and leaves, and other natural materials. There are websites and videos online that provide paper-making instructions.
- Rather than giving one another things that nobody really needs, make an agreement with friends and adult family members to give charity gifts. These often come with a few goodies that can be handed over on Christmas day such as stuffed animals, photos, and other items (animal charity gift donation packages often come with some adorable swag.)
- Exchange handmade rather than store-bought gifts. Although homemade gifts use some inputs (paint, food ingredients, wood, clay, etc. depending on what is made), they only require raw materials. This removes a major step in the production process, eliminating negative environmental impacts associated with packaging and shipping finished products to stores (see this Pinterest board for homemade gift ideas).
- Purchase a real Christmas tree rather than a fake one. Studies have shown that fake trees are actually more detrimental to the environment than real ones.
For more Christmas articles and Christmas freebies (free Christmas graphics, gingerbread house templates, craft ideas, and more), visit the main Christmas page.