How To Do Christmas Sustainably This Year, Without Skipping Tradition

How To Do Christmas Sustainably This Year, Without Skipping Tradition

You’ll be on Santa’s nice list for sure with these ideas.

By Sierra Haigh | 10th December 2019

Santa Claus is comin’ to town, and this year, he’s looking for a very environmentally-friendly celebration. Whether you’re rocking around a real Christmas tree, or celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with a few nibblies and bubblies with family, there are loads of ways to make sure your festive season has a positive impact on our earth. Skip the harmful plastics and excess waste this year with any (or all) of these sustainable Christmas options. Have a holly, jolly Christmas, and give back to the planet!

Go plastic-free!
Christmas doesn’t have to involve pre-packaged food or decorations! When you’re prepping for the traditional Christmas roast, don’t be afraid to branch out! Skip the microwavable gravy sachets, try your hand at making your own homemade sauces, like this rich and creamy mushroom gravy, and opt for fresh veggies (don’t forget to use your reusable produce bags!) instead of packets of frozen greens. Don’t let your waste-free Christmas stop in the kitchen, though. Deck out your Christmas tree in plastic-free tree decorations, too. Ditch the messy, plastic tinsel, and scoop up this super cute felt garland to wrap around your tree instead. Stay on theme with your eco-friendly tree décor with glass or wooden ornaments. Want to take it that extra step further? Skip the store-bought table confetti and make your own with some cute hole-punchers and fresh leaves from the garden for an organic and au natural look this Christmas. 


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Get thrifty!
Newspapers, old maps, and even scraps of clean fabric can make for unique, trendy, and thrifty wrapping-paper alternatives. Most traditional wrapping papers contain laminate and micro-plastics to give them a glossy-sheen, so they aren’t 100% biodegradable. With the vintage and alternative scene back on-trend, it’s easy to get away with sustainable options when wrapping your presents. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to duck into your local op-shop for a little extra something when wrapping! Many people donate old posters, and the extra colour or theme can add a personal touch to your thrifty wrapping skills. Want to top off the gift with a final touch? Skip the traditional curling ribbon and pick up a ball of wool from the op-shop while you’re there. Biodegradable, colourful, and best of all, cheap!


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Enjoy a plant-based meal!
Plant-based eating isn’t just a fashionable and tasty trend, it’s the best thing you can do to preserve the environment. Many of us already pair the traditional Christmas pork, chicken, or turkey with a side of colourful veggies, but why not make them the hero of the meal, instead? Steamed, baked, or roasted greens can easily be spiced up (literally) with a bit of seasoning or sauce while a fresh summer salad can brighten up the holiday meal. Fresh veggies from your local farmers market can go a long way towards creating the ultimate plant-based meal, but if you just can’t skip the flavours of the beloved roast, swap it with a vegan “pork” roast from the plant-based meat section at your local supermarket. Keep the flavours of a traditional Christmas dinner without the environmental impact! Have a go at making your own vegan “meatloaf  to skip the plastic packaging too.


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Break out the bio-bubbles!
Who doesn’t love a cheeky drink with Christmas dinner? Raise a (sustainable) glass to the season of giving with any number of homemade or bottled options. Pour a glass of your favourite plant-based wine or become a mixologist for the day and whip up one of these vegan Christmas cocktails to enjoy an environmentally-friendly bevvy this festive season. Skipping the carbon emissions has never tasted so good, and you don’t even have to ditch the festive flavours!


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Keep your tree natural!
In Australia, we don’t always have the northern hemisphere’s luxury of bringing home a real Christmas tree each season. For our summer celebration, many of us turn to artificial options, looking to replicate that full-bodied pine tree Christmas look. Unfortunately, most artificial Christmas trees are made of plastic, and only last a few years before their thin leaves shed completely. While we can’t get a traditional pine tree for Christmas, you can hit up your local plant nursery for Aussie alternatives. Anything from Daintree pines to Queensland bottle trees will make the perfect addition to your Christmas décor, and can be dressed up the same as your old tree from Kmart. Kiss non-recyclable plastic shedding goodbye; just toss any dead leaves into the garden as compost. Best of all, the longer you have the tree, the bigger and fuller it’ll grow! After the Christmas season, move the tree outside and keep taking care of it, ready to use again next year. With each year of new growth, it’ll be like you’ve picked up a new tree every year.


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Give the gift of sustainability!
Stuck on gift ideas? Make the festive season even more environmentally-friendly by stuffing stockings and Secret Santa presents with reusable or waste-free resources. Anybody can use them! If you’re not sure where to start looking, online shops like Flora And Fauna  or Biome  have zillions of options for you to choose from, ranging from reusable shopping and produce bags, makeup, and even bathroom accessories like packaging-free shampoo and conditioner. Alternatively, if your recipient is more of a tech-head than a beauty-buff, shop the stock at Pela for compostable and biodegradable phone cases. Still stuck on ideas? Browse the racks at Brisbane’s own Cruelty Free Shop for anything from gift baskets, cookbooks, and candles.


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Article by Sierra Haigh

This story has been written by a Guest Styler for Style


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