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5 Easy Actions to Make Your Holiday Season More Sustainable

You want your holiday season to be merry and bright but for a future that’s merry and bright too we need to put a little thought into the Christmas period.

Small child in knitted hat and jumper in the snow surrounded by conifers looking thoughtful

At this time of year so much seems to be in excess, some of which is great. Extra time with family and friends, more laughter, more generosity – wonderful! On the flip side of that more indulgence, more waste, buying a new dress for one event knowing the rest of the year it will sit in the back of your wardrobe – not so wonderful.


With a little consideration and thought you can easily cut down your festive season environmental impact by taking on these five actions.


Three different fabric advent calendars that can be reused annually.

1. If you have a little one (or a not so little one) that likes to count down the days until Christmas, do so with a reusable advent calendar. Typically made out of fabric or wood you can fill the pockets or drawers with whatever you choose year on year. We are alternating between Hershey Kisses and Acts of Kindness this year. When the countdown is finished you can store your calendar away until next year and not get left with the paper and plastic waste of disposable calendars.


2. Wrap your gifts with fabric. If you sew I am sure you have a drawer or two filled with suitable fabric remnants that you haven’t found a use for yet. Alternatively, use a scarf or teatowel. This eliminates a huge amount of paper waste and provides an additional and useful bonus gift as the receiver can use the wrapping!


3. Consider your food purchases. With so much food waste at Christmas time you can make a difference by only buying what you need and can eat. If you do like to buy extra during the holiday season make room in the freezer for left overs so you can freeze what you don’t get through without wasting it. Buying from local producers and purchasing product with less packaging are additional actions that lessen your impact on the environment.


4. At last, an invite to a holiday party! It could have been a while since you were last at a gathering and I understand that you may feel the need to go out and buy a new outfit to mark the occasion. Before making the purchase ask yourself if you would honestly have the occasion to wear the outfit numerous times, if no then it is not a sustainable choice. A great solution is to buy an outfit that can be styled a variety of ways. I love shift dresses for this, so easy to dress up with heels and jewellery and dress down over a pair of jeans with runners and a scarf.


5. Be a considerate gift-giver. If someone is on your Christmas list buy them something they need and want and if you don’t know what that is then it’s best to ask for suggestions. Do you find yourself buying for a lot of adults in your family? Consider a family Secret Santa or set a gifting challenge where all items have to be handmade, from a second-hand store or support a local business – you can set the parameters that are best for your family and friend group. A lot of family and friends value you and your time more than any physical gift you can give.


Three generations of a happy family spending time at Christmas together.

So there it is, five super easy actions you can take this holiday season to reduce your environmental impact. Comment below to let me know which of these actions you will take on this year. We are building community so tell us about other actions you undertake to reduce your environmental impact over the festive season, I would love to know!


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