Ideas for an Eco Christmas

As we approach the Christmas season, here are a few ideas to make this time a little more gentle on the environment.

  • Left over wrapping paper can be made into paper chains,
  • If you are buying a plastic Christmas tree, make sure to use it for at least 10 years because of the carbon footprint.  Or, why not rent a real Christmas tree?
  • If you are buying new Christmas lights, get LED bulbs to use less energy.
  • Would you like a new Christmas jumper or party clothes?  Try the charity shops!
  • Try to choose useful gifts.  Aim for quality, not quantity, so they last a long time.
  • If buying wood or paper gifts, check they are made from recycled or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) materials.
  • Look for cards and wrap that are made of recycled or FSC certified paper.
  • Fastening wrap with ribbon or string may keep paper looking nicer and therefore easier to re-use.
  • Consider second-hand or ‘vintage’ gifts.
  • Charity gifts can be a fun alternative to a physical present.  Match the gift to the recipient’s likes, sense of humour or passions, e.g. chickens, goats, education, clean water.  Hopefully you’ll please your frend, and the charity also benefits.
  • Try making a homemade coupon book, with promises – e.g. ‘I promise to cook a meal’, ‘I promise to do some ironing’, ‘I promise to do some gardening’ etc!
  • If you are staying with family or friends, could you use public transport to reach them?  (NB – trains generally finish early on Christmas Eve and don’t run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.  Check also for planned engineering work!)
  • Eat seasonal vegetables.
  • Go for a local walk.

Remember the ‘reason for the season’ – as we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us also try to care for God’s earth.

Some of the above are from ‘Top Tips for a Sustainable Christmas’ by the WWF.

See also ‘Our 12 Tips for a Greener Christmas’ by A Rocha