12 Ways to Make Your Christmas Eco-Friendly

By Natalie Brooks | Most Popular, Sustainable Living

Finding ways to make your Christmas eco-friendly will do the following three things:

1. Save you money.

2. Earn you the admiration of your friends and family.

3. Make you more grateful for what you have helping you be happier and healthier.

For those of us who are making steps towards a greener and brighter future, Christmas is somewhat of a bittersweet time of year. We all have our own traditions and fond memories that we want to maintain. But as we get older and are exposed to more yuletide waste awareness, we need to look for ways to adjust our traditions to incorporate sustainability.

And it isn’t really that hard it just means you need to switch off autopilot and consciously make smarter decisions. So in the spirit of giving, we’ve rounded up some of the things we at PowerHouse Growers have done this year and shared them with you here. Merry Christmas!


Christmas Eco-Friendly Options

1. Create a budget.

Sometimes I find it hard to stick to an actual dollar budget at Christmas time because there always seems to be last minute items you had forgotten about. Instead of constraining yourself in spending, set yourself an item limit. This way you are ensuring that you’re only consuming so much and contributing to a limited amount of waste. You’ll find that you will end up saving money this way as well!

2. Recycle your Christmas tree.

There are many ways to properly dispose of a cut Christmas tree. Many cities have Christmas tree recycling programs that run until the end of January. Such programs include curbside pick-up and community chipping events.

3. Decorate a houseplant.

An even more eco-friendly (but maybe a little less traditional) option is to take a current houseplant (or 5) and add decorations to it. This prevents your household from contributing to the unnecessary waste of cutting a live tree. Plus your plants will thank you for incorporating them into your Christmas celebration!

4. LED lighting.

If you’re going to put up lights make sure you switch your old strands out for the new and improved LED options. This form of lighting uses far less energy and the bulbs last longer so you will get more seasons out of them.

5. Use less wrapping paper.

Seriously. I tried it this year and it’s amazing how much I saved. I didn’t use bows and I didn’t use ribbon. Yes, it looks less fancy but I also feel way better giving it to my friends and family knowing I consumed less.

6. Use gift bags.

If you still want it to look as though you went all out with your gift wrapping then I suggest using gift bags instead. The gift recipient is much more likely to reuse your bag than your wrapping paper.


7. Send Christmas cards made from recycled paper.

When you purchase your box of Christmas wishes to send to friends and family, make sure the cards were printed on recycled paper. This way you know that the card producer didn’t waste brand new paper.

8. Send e-cards.

What’s better than sending cards made from recycled paper? Not sending any at all! There are tons of really nice and funny e-card templates available online. Have fun with them. A PowerHouse Growers favorite is Elf-Yourself.

9. Re-gifting.

I know this is a sore spot for many because of the perceived poor etiquette. But really it just makes sense. If you received something you have no use for, just keep it and give it to someone who will use it. There are ways you can do it so that the original gifter doesn’t find out. It’s not cheap. It’s smart.

10. Have a stocking-only Christmas.

This one is along the same lines as #1 in that it limits the amount of stuff you buy. Among family members you can set a sort-of challenge whereby you only purchase items for each other that would fit in the stocking. It cuts down incredibly on waste and spending.

11. Organic or locally-made gifts.

Give a plant, a soy candle, an artisan stained glass piece, a bottle of organically crafted wine or brewed beer. Get creative! Your gift recipient will appreciate the extra thought.

12. Organic and local Christmas dinner.

This one could be the most important one because of the growing global food crisis. So many families around the world do not get to experience a Christmas meal. Let’s be grateful to have the option to buy locally and eat healthier. Choose a local free range turkey and veggies from local stores or farmers’ markets.

Of course there are plenty more ways to make your holiday season much more eco-friendly and sustainable. The important thing is to make at least one small effort each year to work towards a greener future.

What eco-friendly Christmas advice can you share with us? Send your tips to [email protected]

For more information on reducing your carbon footprint check out Eco-Friendly Office.

About The Author

Natalie Brooks
Natalie is an avid blogger and writer with a passion for sharing her stories and ideas about sustainable design and integrated urban agriculture. Her motto: "Green is beautiful!"