10 Tips For A Waste-Free Christmas
Info (Amala Earth)
Dec 13, 2021

Christmas is just around the corner, and most of us have already started preparations in full swing. As we select gifts for our loved ones and wrap them in exquisite wrapping paper or redecorate our homes and plan our Christmas parties, we generate a lot of waste - knowingly or unknowingly. 

We are here to help you reduce any negative impacts and become a more conscientious consumer during this holiday season. Read and follow these ten tips for a greener Christmas this year!

  1. Recycle or Reuse Wrapping Paper

Every Christmas, most of the wrapping paper we use for our gifts ends up in the trash. There are many ways to avoid this; all it takes is a little reusing, recycling, and becoming creative with wrapping paper.

When you receive a gift, try to open it carefully to reuse the wrapping for other gifting occasions. You can also purchase wrapping paper created from recycled resources.

To wrap a gift, you don't even need wrapping paper; go through your cupboards and drawers to see what you can find: maps, newspapers, magazines—anything! Brown paper has grown fairly popular; it is inexpensive, widely available, and looks fantastic!

  1. Go For The Most Sustainable Christmas Tree Option

There's nothing quite like the fresh aroma of pine at Christmas time. But if you do decide to buy a traditional tree, make sure to recycle it after the holidays are over. You can also choose to repurpose the wood for something else, such as firewood.

Artificial trees are an excellent alternative if you can't recycle your tree. Artificial trees can be reused several times, but they must be utilised for at least 20 years before becoming more environmentally beneficial than actual trees.

  1. Creativity With Decoration 

Decorations are another considerable contributor to the plastic waste you generate over the Christmas season. You can reduce them as much as possible by going for minimal decor. Avoid plastic and glitter, and decorate consciously. Natural decorations are plastic-free and biodegradable. Seek inspiration from the natural world. There are many things you can gather outside, such as holly sprigs, pine cones, oranges, and cinnamon sticks, that not only smell great but also look festive.

Consider solar-powered lights whenever you can, and don’t forget to turn them off when you're out or asleep.

  1. Go for Handmade Gifts

Giving personal and distinctive presents allows you to give better while spending less. While younger children may prefer the bright, sparkly store-bought objects, most adults value thoughtfulness in any form.

When preparing something by hand, try to get your raw ingredients from bulk markets to eliminate plastic packaging (or anywhere that will let you bring your container). Do you have a knack for cooking or baking? Cakes, chilli oil, bliss balls, Christmas cookies, Limoncello, jams, and chutneys (and many more such ingredients) can be used to make useful and thoughtful gifts while also reducing food waste.

  1. Cut Down Your Gifting List

No, we aren’t actually asking you to stop sending gifts to that NRI cousin who’s coming back home after long. 

Reduce waste and save money by holding a Secret Santa with your loved ones. Make a hat with your family members' or friends' names. Now, all of you can choose the name of your gift recipient by picking a name. For an added element of fun, keep the pick a secret.

By doing this, you have shortened the adult gift list for your family to just one! Instead of having to look for the right gift for everyone, you are now able to focus on a special gift for the person whose name you got. And you save some money and the planet along the way. A win-win!

  1. Choose Green And Long-lasting Gifts 

By simply using recycled materials, many small businesses create fascinating products. Supporting these enterprises helps to minimise waste while also promoting the idea of making the most of what is available.

You may also create lasting memories with loved ones by gifting an experience rather than material objects as a present. Take your friends and family ice skating, go out for a drink after work, or participate in an escape room adventure.

If you really want to offer material presents, though, be careful to purchase things that are created in a sustainable manner and are of high quality.

  1. Try Re-gifting 

Many of us may be given an undesirable present this Christmas and will be too polite to ask to exchange it. In this case, we recommend re-gifting it or donating it to charity if you know someone who would appreciate it more than you!

The etiquette of re-gifting trend is constantly a topic of debate. For the most part, though, re-gifting sounds like a good plan. Of course, re-gifting should be done in a manner that doesn’t offend the original gift giver, but storing a gift you don't need is a waste.

  1. Reduce the Waste Created By Christmas Cards

Although giving Christmas cards is a popular holiday ritual, it has a negative impact on the environment. Sending electronic cards instead of paper cards is a great approach to save waste. You can also make them more personal by including a family portrait, for example. Sending a joyful video message to loved ones is also a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

For those who feel incomplete without sharing paper cards, try homemade ones instead of store-bought cards that consume a huge amount of natural resources. Along with being more eco-friendly, they are more personal and loved. 

  1. Combat Food Waste

During the holiday season, a lot of our delicious food goes to waste. To avoid accidentally overbuying, plan your meals before going grocery shopping and bring a list with you.

Even if you prepare ahead, leftovers are unavoidable at this time of year; what matters is what you do with them. Simply put it all in the freezer for a great supper later on, or use it to make another dish.

  1. Revamp Outfits

Many of us have succumbed to the fast-fashion habit of buying a new dress for every occasion. Try to be more cautious of your fashion selections this Christmas while still acing your party wardrobe by combining and revamping your outfits. You can also organise a clothing swap with your buddies.

Even after following these guidelines, if you still end up with some waste, try to reuse or recycle it rather than sending it to the landfill. In the end, any waste reduction is preferable to none at all!

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