I absolutely love the festive season! The spirit of giving, the smell of mince pies and the sound of Michael Bublé is my definition of perfection. This year I’ve been on an incredible journey learning how to live a more sustainable life and so I decided I absolutely needed to find ways to have a more sustainable, eco-friendly green Christmas.
I’ve listed all of the beautiful things that I found (and made!!), with all the links so you can jump onto the sustainable Christmas bandwagon too!
My Green Christmas list includes:
- Wooden twig Christmas Tree
- Decorations & Ornaments
- Christmas Crackers
- Fairy lights & Tree lights
- Nativity Set
- Greeting Cards
- Wrapping Paper
1. Wooden Twig Christmas Trees
Now, I’m not saying you can’t have your traditional natural tree! If you can get your hands on a real one that was responsibly sourced from your local area, then that should be what you’re going for!
However, this year I thought I’d try something new. I remember seeing a picture of a tree like this one on Instagram and being in awe at how something so simple could be so beautiful. Even though it’s not traditional, it somehow still embodies everything that Christmas is about.
Plastic trees may be green, but they are the opposite of Green! Even if you keep your plastic trees for a few years, at the end of their lifetimes, they’re still plastic. Wherever they end up as garbage, it’ll still take them decades to vanish from the earth, plenty of time to cause endless havoc on the planet.
I found this beautiful wooden tree on Not On The High Street and I absolutely fell in love with it! You can turn all of the bits round to make it any shape you fancy and its a perfect canvas for you to have a fabulous time decorating it. They do international shipping too!
GET YOUR BEAUTIFUL Alternative Oak Christmas Tree HERE!
2. Decorations & Ornaments
The majority of Christmas ornaments that stores put out every year are made from a cheap plastic that breaks very easily and you will probably end up throwing away. If you’re buying new ornaments every year this can have a disastrous effect on the environment. Although, I do know that a lot of families keep their ornaments for many years. Here are some sustainable Christmas decoration ideas:
I bought these rustic silver dangling ornaments from protectheplanet.co.uk. They’re handmade from recycled glass and tied together with recycled material. They’ve got some more beautiful glass dangling ornaments and tons of other beautiful eco-friendly lifestyle bits and pieces, it’s not limited to Christmas stuff!
ii. DIY natural garlands and ornaments
Using things like driftwood, pinecones, recycled glass and some twine, there’s an endless possibility of things you can create to hang on your tree. Take a look at Pinterest to get all the inspiration you need!
I made these ones with dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks and some red seeds! I found most of my craft supplies here on Amazon!
I don’t even have to tell you how amazing the flat smells with these around!
Whether your tree is natural or wooden like mine, these kind of natural ornaments are so simple that they add something almost magical to your tree.
Amazon has a huge selection of different shapes and colours for your individual styles.
Check out their Eco-friendly Christmas Ornaments !
I love anything that has lights in them so when I saw this I fell in love with it! This sign will sit perfectly on your windowsill and it’s made from a sturdy wood which will add character to your Christmas displays and won’t get damaged easily.
Christmas crackers in the tree and on the dinner table was a big thing in our family so Christmas is not complete without them!
You should as much as possible be looking for crackers made of card or paper and ones which aren’t filled with plastic gifts that we all know will be entertaining for 5 minutes and never used again.
It’s cool if they’re got utility things in them like nail clippers or a tape measure because that’s stuff that can actually be used.
It’s always so encouraging when you see bigger brands and retailers supporting an environmentally friendly festive season.
These crackers are made from recycled wrapping and are filled with a paper hat, a little motto and a utility gift like a set of marbles or a set of pencils to name a few.
These are not your traditional cracker! They don’t have a snap so they won’t make a pop, but they’re made from natural linen embroidered with satin thread with a satin ribbon. The inside of the cracker is lined with a durable plastic inner tube which means that you don’t just use it for this Christmas, but for many Christmases to come.
The idea is you fill them up with something yourself which you can then gift, or use them to decorate your Christmas table.
These crackers do contain a snap so you can tug away! They’re made from recycled carton and each contains an eco gift, an eco hat and a joke.
iv. DIY Christmas Crackers
If you’re a crafsty person and you want to get creative, you could always try making your own crackers!
Get the kids and the whole family involved and make it into an experience, it could be a beautiful bonding moment and the start of a super fun tradition.
Fairy Lights & Tree Lights
I’m the biggest fan of fairy lights so my festive season is full of them! In order to be eco-friendly, it’s advised to invest in LED lights since they use up less energy, are better for the environment and they last longer.
You should check at your local home and garden store for the most eco-friendly lights they have, you may be surprised at what you can find when you’re looking hard enough.
Given that I have a wooden tree this year, I wanted to go all out with the rustic effect. These whitewashed star lights create such a cozy glow when wrapped around the tree and really warm up the whole living room!
The detail on this gorgeous garland adds something so much more special to the house as opposed to a single coloured plastic garland. It’s got character and it just creates that homely ambiance that Christmas is meant to emenate.
These are perfect for wrapping around your lush green natural tree for a warm golden glow.
If you want more of that colourful effect on your tree, with lights bouncing off the walls and shining on all the glass decorations, these are perfect and will last you for many years!
A Nativity Set you can keep forever
If you’re a Catholic, then Christmas is all about little baby Jesus alseep in his manger. Growing up we had a beautiful glass nativity set that we carefully unwrapped from sheathes of wrapping paper every year, and carefully lay on the hay topped tree skirt under the tree.
Glass Nativity Set
I found a similar glass nativity set from Waterford on Amazon to the one I had growing up that I think is absolutely stunning and you’ll keep it for years to come.
(Warning: it’s a bit on the pricey side but thats because it’s something you’ll keep forever)
Wooden Nativity Set
An environmentally friendly option would also be to buy a carved or painted wooden set.
Now this one is a little different. We must never forget that Christmas is about giving back and thinking about those in the world who aren’t as fortunate as we are.
So in keeping with this spirit, I thought I’d share with you these Unicef Charity Christmas cards. Each set of cards that you buy goes towards a different cause. For example, a single set of cards could go towards 4 doses of the measles vaccine or enough vaccine to protect 8 children against polio.
They’ve got 26 different Christmas card designs at the moment so head on over to their website and help make sure that a less fortunate child will have a healthy and hopefully happier Christmas.
Christmas is the season of giving, but we all know that on Christmas morning, that wrapping paper that you spend hours perfectly folding and taping together is going to get mercilessly shredded and tossed aside.
So just imagine that amount of waste that goes on if the paper we use isn’t easily disposed of after the celebrations.
Here are some stores that make wrapping paper out of recycled materials using environmentally friendly vegetable inks.
This company has quite a wide selection of gift wraps for all occasions but their festive collection is filled with different colours and patterns, all made in an eco-friendly and sustainable environment with natural products.
This collection is full of brighter and more quirky prints including snowmen and polar bears in Christmas jumpers, check them out to give your gifts a little something extra!
The UK based store does more than just festive items but their small selection of wrapping paper is selling out fast so you’ll want to get your hands on them ASAP!
But of course, you can always get your hands dirty and work some magic with some brown paper, some old magazines or calendars, some fabric, some markers and some twine.
Instead of using ribbon, you can wrap your gifts with some Twine and some holly leaves. Stick on some orange slices, draw some fun pictures or write some quotes and make the gift that much more personalised.
Coming soon: Gift Guide for your Environmentally Conscious Friend
You don’t have to implement every single one of these to have a sustainable Christmas, just one of these things could go a long way to reduce the negative impact of the festive season on the planet. You don’t have to do it all, take it bit by bit and do the best that you can.
You may just end up loving Christmas more knowing that you were able to enjoy it while making environmentally conscious decisions.
Remember that at the end of the day, Christmas is not about the material things. It’s about loved ones and family, it’s about giving back and it’s about teching the children kindness. It’s about a tiny bit of magic in an often crazy and scary world.
Sit back, grab some minced pies and I can’t wait to see what this festive season has to offer us next.