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It’s that wonderful time of the year and we’re so excited to bring in all the Christmas cheer, ‘cause we know that the year 2020 could really use it!

As we step into the much-awaited holiday season, we’re thinking of thoughtful ways to make it easy on the environment, and absolutely low on waste. But wait, it’s the holiday season, and we should be allowed to indulge a little, right? A study by the Environmental Protection Agency stated that an average American household’s waste increases by a whopping 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. And so, to be more mindful of this, we’ve put together ideas for the Christmas season that can help reduce our carbon footprint, without really compromising on all that festive fun!

These recommendations are incredibly simple to follow — so if you’re someone who doesn’t lead an eco-friendly lifestyle yet but intends to, this might be the perfect way to get started!

Eco-friendly Christmas tree ideas

Christmas without a Christmas tree? We certainly can’t imagine one! So, how can you make an environmentally smart choice with your X-mas tree? Here are some ideas.

Faux tree

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While a faux Christmas tree is most likely made of plastic and may have to be shipped via an airplane and a delivery truck to your doorstep, it might be a smart choice to invest in one if you plan on re-using the tree for many years to come!

A real tree, as a potted plant

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If you fancy a real tree, you could bring it home as a potted plant instead. While this may not be as big as your regular Christmas tree, you won’t have to throw it away post-Christmas. Simply include it as part of your house plants or add it to your backyard or balcony’s plant collection. We’re all in for this idea ‘cause it’ll make it seem like Christmas stayed forever!

Sustainable Christmas decor

Reusing is always a good idea

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When it comes to holiday decor, we recommend reusing pieces from the previous years or upcycling them in inventive ways!

We also think it might be a nice idea to ask family or friends if they’re looking to do away with any of their old Christmas decor. Bring it home, and reuse it instead of having it all go to waste. You could also creatively source decor from pre-loved, second-hand stores too, instead of buying something new.

Go the natural route

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Christmas decorations don’t have to be extensive — you could always pick up foliage from your backyard and get creative. Pine cones and evergreen branches could be used to create a DIY wreath. We also love the idea of using cranberries or cinnamon sticks in a jar for a quick table centerpiece or fireplace mantle decor. The best part about using natural items as decor is that they can be composted later, instead of merely mounting up as waste. Super eco-friendly and super pretty too!

Say hello to paperless holiday cards

Instead of sending a greeting card which may in all likelihood use both paper and plastic, we think going paperless with e-cards is a lovely idea. Companies like Greenvelope help you create personalized holiday-themed e-cards and invitations; they also happen to donate a percentage of every sale to a non-profit organization that maintains forests.

Pick smarter, eco-friendly Christmas presents

Gifts, especially the ones you didn’t really have the need for, can lead to a ton of waste during the holiday season. Here are clever ways to avoid this:

Give the gift of consumables

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If you’re gifting a loved one, chances are you know what their favorites are. Give them a bottle of wine, an assorted selection of tea, or for a truly personal touch, bake them a box of cookies!

Gift an experience

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Experiences make for the most unforgettable gifts! You could opt for a fun virtual cooking class or a staycation at a quaint destination. We think this is a perfectly nice zero-waste gift that’ll be cherished forever.

Plan gifting in advance

It’s totally okay to ask your friends and family what they’d like as a gift, to make sure you aren’t giving them something they don’t want. You can also encourage everyone to share their Amazon gift registry, so you don’t go wrong with their gifts.

Recyclable gift wrapping paper

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When it comes to wrapping up presents, try and use only recyclable materials, such as newspapers or brown paper. Wrap it with a little twine and adorn it with a leaf or a flower for a chic, festive look! If you’re the kind of person who saves pretty gift wrapping paper, now is the perfect time to repurpose it.

Have a plan for leftovers

Whipping up a Christmas meal for your guests? Be sure to account for those leftovers well in advance! You could ask your guests to carry glass containers to take home leftovers. Alternatively, you could plan out recipes to make most of your leftovers after Christmas Day!

By being conscious of the environment, you can make Christmas 2020 an even more joyous occasion! Liked our recommendations? We’d love to hear from you — share your ideas to make the holiday season a more eco-friendly one in the comment section below.

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