Christmas is a beautiful time. The most beautiful, in my opinion. The whole world comes together in a moment, people thousands of miles away connected through a single celebration. It is the time of the year I look forward to the most.
However, the environmental impact Christmas has each year is devastating. Millions worth of Christmas gifts end up in landfills every year, contributing to destroying the environment. Our carbon footprint as humans indents harder during the festive season. By making small changes to our celebrations and festivities, we can change this narrative and enjoy a more sustainable Christmas!
One of the main causes of environmental pollution is the gifts given. Even though we gift out of love and compassion, our consequences negate our intentions. Here are some sustainable alternatives we can gift this year!
- Gift a subscription to a certain entertainment platform such as Netflix! Not only is this plastic and packaging-free but it also gives the person long-term enjoyment.
- Reusable essentials such as cups and straws! Help someone make the first step towards sustainability.
- Gift an experience such as a baking course or a hiking trip!
- Handmade recycled presents such as jewellery, art or homeware.
- Do they love all things tech? Gift energy-efficient products like a solar USB charger or smart LED lightbulbs.
- Make a donation to a charity in their name! Accomplish two good deeds in one go.
- Do they love nature? Gift a houseplant to bring nature into their homes.
In addition to gifting, it is also important to keep your own Christmas festivities sustainable. Many mass-produced Christmas decorations contain a lot of plastic. Whenever you can, try and recycle decorations from previous years! If you need new decorations, try to look for those made out of recycled glass or wood.
Millions of rolls of Christmas gift wrapping ends up in landfills every year. Most wrappings are not sustainable. Switch to a paper alternative this year, and avoid foil or plastic wrappings. Tape is not sustainable either so wrap your presents with some string!
Our diet can make a big difference to the environmental impact we have during Christmas. Buy local produce, avoid plastic packaging and try to consume less meat. All these precautions lessen our carbon footprint.
Most importantly, support local and independent shops this season! With the spirit of giving comes the responsibility of protecting the environment. It is our job to save our only planet and through these small changes, we can contribute greatly to spreading sustainability through Christmas!