In this article we’ll look at ways to have a more eco-friendly Christmas – including more ecofriendly Christmas gifts – because Christmas doesn’t have to be about excess or waste. These ideas will show that you care – for the recipient and the environment.
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7 Simple Ways to have a more ecofriendly Christmas
Here are 7 ways to reduce your environmental impact this Christmas and have a more ecofriendly Christmas.
1) Slow Fashion – Ecofriendly Christmas Gifts
If you’re going to buy clothes this Christmas, think slow fashion. Buying clothes made from sustainable-grown material by people who were paid fairly may cost more, but at least you know your money hasn’t further contributed to environmental degradation (at least as much as “fast fashion” does).
Patagonia – example of good quality slow fashion
Patagonia has been making rugged clothes for a long time. And they are one of the driving forces behind a new kind of certification called “Regenerative Organic Certified.” To be certified a company’s practices have to consider three things: soil health, animal welfare and social fairness.
They are a company that makes clothes for people to get out and explore the environment, and they want to make sure they help preserve the earth so there are still natural environments to explore. (Smart business move.)
Pact Clothing Brand
The clothing company Pact is a B corporation dedicated to using organic cotton and making quality clothes. You can actually get some of their clothes – like this cami tank top – on Amazon.
2) Buy from Companies that Care
Clothing companies aren’t the only ones with environmental pledges.
Dr. Bronner’s Company
Dr. Bronner’s is another company involved with the Regenerative Organic Certified movement. They want to minimize their environmental impact while still providing a great and useful cleaning products and personal care products for you.
3) Buy from Companies that Give Back
TenTree – this Canadian company plants 10 trees for every product sold.
Uncommon Goods – a certified B Corporation selling unique goods made by crafters and makers and they have pledgtes to the environment, charitable organization and their workers.
Tatcha – this skincare and cosmetics company partners with “Room to Read” to help provide education to girls around the world. Why girls education? And how does educating girls relate to the environment? Well, Project Drawdown concluded in their book Drawdown that Educating Girls is the 6th best solution to climate change in their list of solutions.
4) Give Experiences Instead of Gifts
Instead of buying material items, is there an experience that your recipient would love and appreciate? For some inspiration check out this article on giving experiences instead of gifts. (13 experience and service ideas.)
5) Buy Second-Hand
The second of the 3 R’s is reuse. And that is exactly what buying second-hand is. You are reusing an item instead of its first owner tossing it out.
When you buy second hand you can get good products made by great brands that you may never be able to afford new. For instance, an espresso machine may be new for $700, but you may be able to find it used for $50. Give it a clean and polish and you have a great second-hand gift.
6) Make Handmade Gifts
This is a classic way to show someone on your Christmas list that you care enough about them that you spent the time to make something for them.
But you have to make sure your handmade gift suits the person.
For instance, if you’re going to knit your dad a scarf, trying knitting one with the colors and logo of his favorite sports team. (Then your gift is tailored to the recipient.)
And with each handmade gift, include a handwritten note describing why that person is important to you and why you thought they’d like your gift.
Examples of Eco-friendly Handmade Christmas Gifts you could make:
- Christmas baking
- Handmade soaps, lotions, bath bombs, other personal care items
- Frozen dinner meals
- Dry soup mixes in a jar (wrapped with a pretty, re-used ribbon)
- Needlecrafts like crochet and embroidery
- Knitted item (scarf, socks, sweater, coffee mug sleeve, etc…)
- Woodwork gifts (like wood toys, table coasters, picture frames, cool shelves, etc…)
- Homegrown and homemade Cannabis products like bath bombs, lotions, oils (if legal in your area of course)
As you can see there are a lot of handmade items you could make for friends and family.
Depending on when you’re reading this you may not have time to make some of these items – it may be too close to Christmas to knit a sweater. But could you spend an afternoon making soup mixes and baking cookies?
I think it would be great to receive homemade freezer dinners. This would be such a time-saving gift to have delicious meals just waiting to be heated up: perfect for busy weeknights.
7) Ecofriendly Christmas wrapping
I agree that they make some very cute Christmas wrapping paper. But you can avoid this waste of buying virgin paper (new paper) just to recycle it a day later.
Ecofriendly Wrapping Ideas for Christmas
100% Post-consumer Recycled Paper
You could buy wrapping paper that is made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. (In the book DrawDown they concluded that Recycled Paper is ranked 70th in their overall list of ways to reduce climate change and help draw down carbon from the atmosphere.)
You may want to check out ecoenclose.com to see what recycled options they carry.
Reuse Gift Bags, Bows, and Ribbons from Previous Years
We keep a bag of gift bags in order to reuse.
It is good way to cut down on waste, and it’s great for someone like me who isn’t great at wrapping presents anyway.
Use Fabric to wrap your presents
You can use fabric to wrap your presents like the Japanese do with their craft called furoshiki.
Use Newspaper to wrap your presents
You can use newspaper to wrap your presents thereby reusing the paper and avoiding using new wrapping paper to do the same job.
Use Natural Materials to enhance the festive look of the presents
There is something special about adding a natural touch to your gift wrapping. Perhaps a holly branch and berries for some color, natural twine instead of plastic ribbon, or a small pine bough.
It’ll remind the recipients of a beautiful, rustic Christmases from years past.
I hope you have found some inspiring ideas and ways to have a more ecofriendly Christmas this year and some ideas for more ecofriendly Christmas gifts.
What to give instead of gifts? (13 experiences and services they’ll love)
Have a safe and happy Christmas and holidays.