33 Eco-friendly Christmas Ideas to Celebrate Nature this Festive Season

33 Eco-friendly Christmas Ideas to Celebrate Nature this Festive Season

‘Tis the season to be merry, celebrate togetherness and give back to nature. 

Christmas is undoubtedly the most wonderful time of the year. Sadly, we cannot say the same for our planet. 

With enormous waste generated every year, the season of giving turns into the season of discarding. According to EPA, household waste increases by 25% during the holiday season. 

However, that doesn’t mean you have to go cold turkey on making merry. 

Here are some eco-friendly ideas to add a ‘green’ twist to your Christmas tradition:

Pick ‘Green’ Christmas Tree

real christmas tree

Well, stating the obvious except, by green, we mean eco-friendly. 

If you’re facing the dilemma of real versus artificial Christmas tree, we’d suggest you go with a real one. No matter how many years artificial trees last, they end up in a landfill eventually. Here’s an interesting take on the same. 

However, do not buy a fresh new tree if you already have an old artificial one at home. Make the most use of it before tossing it in the trash. 

Follow these tips to make sure you leave minimum eco-footprint of your real Christmas tree:

#1 Check if your tree supplier is FSC certified

Forest Stewardship Council or FSC certification ensures that the tree supplier uses sustainable practices and offers environmental benefits when growing trees. 

#2 Buy a living tree with roots 

Visit a local tree farm and choose a tree with roots that you can grow in your garden or yard after the festival is over. Not only it will go easy on your pockets, but it is also an environment-friendly idea to use the full-grown tree next year again.

#3 Give a second life to your tree

Once Christmas is over, do not simply throw away your tree into the trash. Christmas trees can be recycled to use as mulch in the garden, soil erosion barriers, fish feeders, paths for hiking trails, and other purposes. There are several local recycling options, like curbside pickup, drop-off recycling centers, and non-profit pickup. 

Sites like earth911 and springs preserve are an extensive resource to locate a recycling center near you.

#4 Use it as a compost pile

Trim the branches and use them as the base in your compost pile. Add a layer of thin branches for four to six inches. It will provide airflow in the bottom section of the compost bin.  

In case you decide to go with an artificial Christmas tree, make sure you follow these tips to reduce the environmental impact: 

#5 Shop secondhand

Why not buy an artificial tree that already exists and limit the waste to landfill? You can easily find secondhand tree sellers on websites like eBay, Amazon, and Gumtree.

#6 Choose the one that stays with you a lifetime

If you are investing in a brand new tree, pick the best quality to ensure it lasts for years down the line.

Choose Sustainable theme for Decoration

eco-friendly christmas decoration

Christmas would feel incomplete without decking the halls. It’s a magical feeling to decorate the holiday home into a winter wonderland. However, it doesn’t have to be all glittery and plastic. 

Check out these ideas to add an eco-friendly aesthetic to your Christmas decoration:

#7 Swap plastic with recyclable decor

Use materials like wood, burlap, fabric, glass, and cotton for decoration. They can be recycled as opposed to plastic or PVC.

#8 Prefer timeless over trendy

You will never get bored with classic decoration items. They can be used again for the next celebrations to come. 

#9 Invite nature to your indoors

Not only this is organic but also cost-saving! Replace glitter, tinsel, plastic wreath, and other non-recyclable decoration with natural foilage. 

You can make use of holly branches, ivy, berries, eucalyptus, pine boughs, seashells, and river stones. 

Here are some eco-friendly decoration ideas to help you get started. Unleash your creativity this holiday season! 

#10 Light up your room with eco-friendly candles

Regular candles are made from paraffin wax that releases toxic carcinogens like benzene and toluene. Switch to a sustainable alternative: soy or beeswax candles. 

Apart from ensuring safety from pollution, beeswax candles are also known to purify indoor air.

#11 Curb energy use with LED Christmas lights

Switch to LED fairy lights to sparkle up your Christmas in eco-conscious style. 

They are just as bright while consuming 75% less energy than traditional bulbs. Moreover, LED lights last 10 times more than incandescent bulbs. 

If you still wish to take it up a notch, try using solar-powered fairy lights.

#14 Limit the lightning

Be it Christmas tree strands or outdoor lights, turn them on only when you’re in the room. Also, remember to switch off all the decoration lights before you go to sleep or use a light timer to get the work done for you.  

Gift consciously

eco-friendly gifts for Christmas

Eco-friendly Christmas gifts are a great way to express love for nature and your closed ones. Keep these tips in mind when deciding your gifts: 

#15 Sustainable Secret Santa gift exchange

Set rules to choose only fair-trade and eco-friendly gifts for your friends and family. This will stop you from going overboard with Christmas gifts and let you invest in a nice nature-friendly present.

#16 Spread Christmas cheer to the less fortunate

This is your chance to make someone’s Christmas merry by donating to charity. It is the greatest gift you can give someone. 

Check out these popular charity websites that help people celebrate holly jolly Christmas: 

The Salvation Army, Angel Tree by Prison Fellowship, Trees for Troops, and Toys for Tots

#17 Shop online from eco-friendly brands

Look for ethical brands online and get access to a multitude of sustainable gifts within couple of clicks. It is both time-saving and energy-saving. 

You won’t have to drive around looking for the perfect gift, thus, cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. Gift-giving couldn’t have been better! 

#18 Have some homemade holiday fun

Nothing shows more love than preparing a handmade gift for your loved ones. It doesn’t always have to be something artistic or out-of-the-box. Simple ornaments, baked goods, photo frames, knitting, or anything else would do the magic.

You can create an organic hamper or present your handmade item in this beautiful eco-friendly jute tray. It is foldable and occupies minimal space when not in use.

jute tray organic hamper

Wrapping Up (the gifts)

eco-friendly gift wrapping for Christmas

#19 Avoid glitter, foil, or anything shiny

As attractive bows, ribbons, and glitter wrapping paper look, they’re terribly wasteful. You cannot recycle them. Try reusable gift wrapping materials instead.

#20 Present gifts in reusable gift bags

They are eco-friendly and look incredibly beautiful when presented to someone. Plus, you do not have to go through all the pain of finding the perfect wrapping paper, tag, or ribbons. Simply put your gift in the bag and you’re done! 

The best thing about gift bags is that you can use them for shopping, or weekend getaways too. 

Here are some elegant holiday bags that you can buy:

#21 Wrap your gift with an elegant scarf

You can easily get your hands on a fabric scarf in secondhand stores. 

Simply wrap it around your gift and voila! It’s like giving a little surprise gift alongside the main item. Everybody loves it!

#22 Go with the beautifully brown wrapping paper

The classic brown wrapping paper looks simplistic yet sophisticated. Tie the paper with a string. You can add a natural finish with a sprig of holly or pine tree. 

#23 Dig into your old stuff

Look into your treasure trove of old gift wrapping items and use whatever goes with the gift. Reuse old ribbons, bags, papers, and even boxes in case you are planning to ship the item.

Send Christmas Cards Sustainably

Christmas card with recycled paper

Christmas cards are much more than sending holiday wishes. It’s about reconnecting with your loved ones. However, is that nostalgia worth sending 2.65 billion cards every Christmas? We don’t think so. 

Here’s what you can do about it:

#24 Go digital

Send an e-card or email to wish your friends and family. You can even do a video call to catch up with people you’re really close to. 

With one card saved by each of us, we can together save 50,000 cubic yards of paper. 

#25 Send snail mails responsibly

Choose a Christmas card that is made using recycled paper. Even better, make your own DIY eco-friendly cards or send a family picture with holiday wishes written at the backside.

Go Zero-waste for Christmas Dinner

zero waste Christmas dinner

#26 Plan beforehand for your dinner on the big day

Keep food waste under control by planning everything in advance. 

Write a list of things you will need and the estimated quantity before heading out for grocery shopping. Start off with this helpful guide on zero waste grocery shopping

#27 Ditch the disposables

Now is the time to show off your fancy dinnerware to the guests. Also, replace dinner tissue napkins with reusable cloth napkins. 

#28 Feast upon vegan delicacies

Take a break from meat this holiday season. Tickle your taste buds with veggie dishes that are healthy for you and the planet. Besides, veganism has gotten a lot tastier with mouth-watering holiday recipes like risottos, casseroles, lasagna, and more.

#29 Buy local and organic food

It’s crucial to know where your food is being sourced from, whether its cultivation process involved the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers.  

Visit a local farmer’s market near you and shop for locally grown vegetables over there.

In case you’re planning to include meat in your meal, make sure it is organic too.

#30 Give a delicious makeover to leftovers

Do not throw away the leftover food from Christmas eve. Turn it into a soup, or something tastier. You can easily get a recipe to make the most of your leftover online.

#31 Compost unwanted food scraps

Leftovers that are not good enough to eat can be put to another good use: composting. 

Add them to your compost heap and help your garden thrive.

#32 Serve finest organic tipple 

Organic alcohol is healthier and causes a lesser hangover. Best bang for your buck!

#33 Set up eco-friendly Christmas tablescape

You can use pine cones, beeswax candles, red berries, evergreen branches, holly leaves, and glass jars to decorate a natural centerpiece. 

Moreover, a burlap table runner will add a finishing touch to the rustic table atmosphere. 

burlap table runner

Let’s hear from you now! What are your plans to celebrate eco-friendly Christmas? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

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