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25 ideas for an ethical Christmas

December is here and the countdown to Christmas is on! Here are 25 ways you can have a sustainable festive season.

29 Nov 2022

Pinecones, twine and scissors on a wooden desk (Roman Kraft via Unsplash)

Activities & festivities!

  • Check online for free local events – you might be surprised by the festivities you find right round the corner. Save on travel across town by going local.
  • Host a party that's free from single-use plastic and get your friends and family in on the challenge. 
  • You might not be able to book a sleigh ride, but if you’re travelling over Christmas, why not go by train?
  • Get some friends together for a Christmas craft evening, using only items you are upcycling or recycling. 
  • Time to refresh your wardrobe? How about holding a Christmas clothes swap to find a new festive outfit?
  • Deck the halls

    • Make recycled bunting made from old magazine, cards, books and fliers. This is great for getting young ones involved.
    • Make your own wreath out of old fabric or foliage from the garden.
    • Did you know that you can rent a Christmas tree from some garden centres and plant nurseries? Often they’ll even deliver and collect the tree, and it can carry on growing it after it’s returned.
    • Share some festive cheer by decorating your house with solar lights.
    • Rather than buying new ones, why not make your own tree decorations?

    Christmas Tree with small red decoration (Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

    Give good gifts

    • Go waste-free by gifting someone an experience they’ll love. Cooking classes? Golf lessons? Tickets to a show? 
    • Give a fair trade gift: check out these Traidcraft Christmas gift ideas for 2019
    • Get crafty and upcycle some old, unused or tired items into a one-of-a-kind gift. 
    • Forage in your local charity shops for second-hand gift inspiration and decorations.
    • How about a waste-reducing gift that keeps on giving? You could give a reusable cup or bottle, or buy someone a shampoo bar to introduce them to the joys of plastic-free toiletries. 

    Food, glorious food

    • As always, try to buy loose vegetables and buy ingredients from bulk bins, to avoid plastic packaging. Take containers or reusable fabric bags with you to start your food plans with a waste-reducing win!
    • If you’re going away for the holidays, clear out the fridge first by holding a food-waste Christmas feast. 
    • Unleash your inner Masterchef by using up your Christmas leftovers in one of these leftover recipes.
    • Have yourself a veggie little Christmas by swapping your meat for butternut squash wellington or a nut roast.
    • Why not try making your own edible gifts, like some gingerbread treats?

    Christmas cookies in the shape of stars (Lydia Matzal via Unsplash)

    That’s a wrap...

    • Sellotape and wrapping paper often can’t be recycled, so why not wrap up your gifts in recycled/recyclable wrapping paper? 
    • Make your own Christmas cards using recycled paper to cut back on paper waste. Or embrace technology and send a digital e-card. 
    • Don’t forget to take your reusable shopping bags for any last-minute dashes to the supermarket.
    • Why not take some technology-free time today reflecting and praying to get ready to celebrate Jesus, the reason for the season?
    • Finally, remember to rest and enjoy the day. Have a very merry Christmas! 

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