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How to have an as eco friendly as possible Christmas?

(97 Posts)
EyeEyeCaptainCaptain Tue 08-Oct-19 21:51:05

I really want to try and make this Christmas much much more eco friendly. We've managed to make lots of little changes this year to our day to day lives so I'm feeling ready to also tackle Christmas but I don't want to make it any less special or have to change any traditions.

I thought it might be a good idea to have a thread where we can all share tips and ideas of small or big changes you can make.

My first one is not buying pointless filler gifts. Only buying stuff that I know is wanted/will be used/will be appreciated.

I am also going to try and work out how to wrap presents without sellotape which I will probably really struggle with as mine look awful even with sellotape!

OP’s posts: |
gaggiagirl Tue 08-Oct-19 21:55:27

I'm making my own cardboard crackers this year. Fully recyclable , I think the snap would be too. I'm filling them with useful things or homemade chocolates. Great thread idea.

WannabeGlamper Tue 08-Oct-19 21:57:41

Great idea for a thread.

No unnecessary plastic tat in stocking
2nd hand plastic tat in stocking if deemed necessary 😄
Wrap stocking gifts in tissue paper, no sellotape
Wrap other gifts in brown paper with re-useable ribbon / similar

gaggiagirl Tue 08-Oct-19 21:59:08

Also doing the Xmas movie advent calendar. I'll randomly select a different movie each day and pull a piece of paper out of a bag to reveal it. There are probably loads better ways of doing this though!

MothershipG Tue 08-Oct-19 21:59:30

You can use cheap Christmas fabric as reusable wrapping, it's very effective, not hard and there are loads of tutorials online.

I got some completely recyclable crackers in Dunelm, the gifts are origami animals, so just paper.

Obviously avoid shiny & glittery wrapping paper and tie with cotton string, fiddly but pretty.

DarkDarkNight Tue 08-Oct-19 22:00:45

If you’re going to send cards and wrap gifts don’t choose wrapping paper/cards with glitter or foil as these can’t be recycled.

WannabeGlamper Tue 08-Oct-19 22:03:25

I've got a Merry Christmas stamp so I can wrap gifts in brown paper, then decorate them.

reluctantbrit Tue 08-Oct-19 22:07:45

You could check if seal was is an alternative, I came across it in a book which was set in the early twenties and the character told about wrapping presents and using wax to seal it.

Real tree as always, our borough converts them into mulch for the public parks and gardens. Similar no fake decorations inside the house, at least not bought new, DD’s little tree will stay.

No new decorations unless necessary and then glass, wood or metal only.

No cards apart from elderly relatives.

Baking my own biscuits and stollen/cake

I stopped buying the big present boxes with smelliest, far too much packaging and overly expensive. I got my mum single items and box them up or wrapped them in a big scarve as a separate present instead.

The only thing I absolute struggle are the chocolates. Coming from Germany we do a large plate with lots of individual wrapped little chocolates like the Lindt teddies or the tree chocolate and balls all wrapped in foil. We eat this over the who,e period until the New Year so I just cannot leave unwrapped chocolates open for several days.

Aus84 Tue 08-Oct-19 22:10:11

We've done homemade crackers before. Used the sides of cereal boxes for the tube bit. Way better than store bought as you can choose what you want to put inside.

My family buy a lot for my children each year so I'm going to ask them to source second hand where possible. Books are very good for that.

We are very fortunate that we have everything we want and need so I don't want presents for the sake of presents. Our adult present to each other is everyone contributing something to Christmas lunch.

Great thread smile

Finfintytint Tue 08-Oct-19 22:10:32

I’ve set myself the challenge of trying to buy only organic and local for the food ( and more veggie than in previous years).

Browniee Tue 08-Oct-19 22:13:57

Great thread idea! I like the brown paper idea, but also worry about my sellotape-less wrapping skills as they’re pretty poor with tape...
I’ve been having a think about this recently so don’t know if any of these ideas might work for anyone else.
I’m going to go totally cold turkey (no pun intended) with Christmas cards and not send/write any. Any we receive I’ll save and cut up to use for gift tags for next year.
I’m on maternity leave and my SIL will be too, so also going to have a frugal Christmas on that side of the family - we’re going to do secret Santa between us. Hopefully it’ll reduce the amount of filler crap we buy one another every year and just each have a special gift.

Another thing I’m going to try and do is buy as many gifts second hand/from charity shops but I think I’m going to find it tough...lots of charity shops round us but I never seem to be able to find many nice bits in them. Second hand books might be my saviour though!

Natural collection (not the boots own brand) is a nice website with lots of environmentally friendly and fair trade items which make nice gifts.
Also not doing advent calendars this year!
Watching what other people come up with interest ☺️

AmIAWeed Tue 08-Oct-19 22:22:26

We have a real tree but I'd encourage people to look for a tree farm nearby where you can select and cut your own. Not only do you know it hasn't travelled hundreds of miles but you know excessive trees haven't been cut down.

AmIAWeed Tue 08-Oct-19 22:23:54

Oh, we used to have a thing called scouts mail, whereby you bought stamps from Cubs, beavers and scouts and they delivered local cards.
Great for fundraising for them and all the kids walked delivering them

WannabeGlamper Tue 08-Oct-19 22:27:52

Another idea is to give consumable gifts, rather than gifts that might not be used.

SpringIsSprung1 Tue 08-Oct-19 22:38:33

WannabeGlamper Yes to consumables. Am making chutneys, jams and sloe gingrin

WannabeGlamper Tue 08-Oct-19 22:41:54

Oh, nice 😋.

RedLemon Tue 08-Oct-19 22:49:18

Great thread idea! I use brown paper “sellotape”. Get it from our local- wonderful- dry goods shop. It still has sticky on it obviously but is recyclable.

For Christmas presents this year I do really like the idea of brown paper and twine with a sprig of holly stuck in the knot to make it look festive though!

Also going to buy more home-made and “experience” presents- so dinner voucher at favourite restaurant for DB and SIL, tickets to local gig for parents, mince pies on a nice for-keeps plate and bottles of homemade cordial to be used with tonic or prosecco for friends.

DC are trickier but I am steering them away from plastic crap presents and towards books, jigsaws etc. Yeah, good luck with that Red.

midlifecrash Tue 08-Oct-19 22:59:13

shiny coloured leaflets that come through the door - despite all signs - make pretty paper chains - recycle afterwards

WannabeGlamper Tue 08-Oct-19 23:12:49

I've got another one 😄 - DH and I will probably have a relatively low budget for one another. Wallet- and environment-friendly!

newmummalion Tue 08-Oct-19 23:19:01

I'm going to try and do homemade gifts as much as possible. Pickles, truffles etc. And I crochet, so that makes it easier. I've also got a few things I can regift and will look in the charity shops.

Also brown paper and string for wrapping!

Will also not over buy on food. Soo much waste!

Barbarara Wed 09-Oct-19 00:02:58

Gifts look a million times more amazing with ribbons than with sellotape.

Fold paper around parcel one way and tie a string with a bow resting on an edge to hold that in place before attempting to fold the ends. Use string to hold the folds in place while you tie the bow then loosen the string and pull it off.

Boxes are easiest to wrap. I’ve often used cereal boxes/biscuit boxes for awkward gifts.

You can cut your own ribbons from clean fabrics and clothes if you want to recycle. I find most people either return or reuse ribbons but I am more careful now when buying new to choose ones that can be recycled eventually.

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Wed 09-Oct-19 02:52:35

Oh great thread, I’d love some ideas!

We have my parents staying for 2 weeks (we live abroad) so lots of plans around Christmas light showings and carol concerts so a bit part of our joint presents are going to all of those

We’ve decided between the 6 of us (DParents, me, DH and 2 D.C.) we’re making one home made present each per person. D.C. decided on theirs today and I’m trying to do homemade gifts that involve not buying more stuff. I wasn’t going to do edible but PP are making me rethink this.

Over the years I’ve been holding onto the amazon gift bags and have a few more fabric gift bags and last year was our first Christmas with no wrapping at all - we have all the bags ready for this year already and within-my family we’re trying to do the same for birthday presents so the gift bags just get circulated.

Real tree (mainly because I bloody LOVE them)

I’m pre-planning, making and freezing a lot of meals to cut down on food waste

We have a severe lack of decorations though and I’d love some ideas please

1300cakes Wed 09-Oct-19 02:59:55

Gift amnesty announced well in advance.

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Wed 09-Oct-19 03:00:56

Home made gifts we’re making so far are:
- Tie dyed pj’s for my niece and nephew from D.C.
- Car-map massage t shirt for my DBro by the D.C.
- I have my D.C. old picture books (their cousins are younger) and am recording myself reading them and sticking a QR code linking to the recording so my DB can have me read them bedtime stories from hand me down books (I’m a voice director of audiobooks so know what I’m doing but it’s pretty simple to do!)
- DD has hundreds of those Hama beads so she’s making a Minecraft head pencil pot for her brother and little fruit and veg garden labels for her grandpa
- imprinted air dried clay bowl for my DM (we need to get the clay anyway for another project)
- DS wants to make bath bombs for his sister and we actually have all the material we need! We’re also going to make some for DSIL
- DS is creating a vintage looking t shirt for DH using one of his current plain t shirts and some bleach
- DD wants to make bacon salt for DH
- DD wants to do cross-stitch for her Grandmother, this we only have needles so I will have to go and buy materials
- I’m going to make a Lego clock for DS, need to buy the mechanism but we have Lego coming out of our ears so can use that already
- DS is going to make beeswax sheet candles for his grandfather, we have a local beekeeper at the farmers market we can buy from and support
- DS is making a stop motion movie for his grandmother

DH is going to be difficult, might be all edible stuff!

SquintEastwood Wed 09-Oct-19 07:24:32

One of the biggest things we can do is just to stop buying things that aren't wanted/needed just for the sake of it.

I've noticed some people will buy ANYTHING if it's a bargain - even if they have no use for it!

Ask people if they want/need anything and stick to it. The less we buy, the less waste there is.

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