SuSTainable Holliday’s Gift and Celebration Ideas

Giving presents represents pleasure for thousands of years, even more so if the recipient knows that the gift also benefits a social purpose. But as this is the most wonderful time of the year, it is also the time when many people create more waste than usual. While preparing your Holliday’s celebrations this season have in mind to be sustainable.

As this is the most wonderful time of the year, it is also the time when many people create more waste than usual. Combatting that waste can help to reduce your overall impact on the environment and be a great example of a sustainability in your social circle.

Having a more sustainable Holliday’s can also help you spend less money, produce less waste, and raise awareness of the issues around climate change and sustainability. 

 

Giving presents represents pleasure; even more so if the recipient knows that the gift also benefits a social purpose. Even better when there is a story to tell for every present. There are many ways to find meaningful gifts. Take advantage of the offer of local shops that sell traded products.

To avoid the typical papire/plastic mountain in your home after Holliday’s season, you should avoid gift wrapping with used wrapping paper for reuse. Recycled paper or wrapping paper from environmentally friendly sources are pretty alternatives that can also be wrapped with coloured cotton cords, twine, and fir branches decorative.

You can also use paper or masking tape instead of plastic adhesive tape. Gift packaging that can be reused is a great idea. Paper boxes or beautiful cloths, in which the gifts are wrapped and tied with a ribbon, are suitable.

What looks beautiful under your tree, is decidedly less so elsewhere: most mass-produced wrapping paper and gift bags are printed with unsustainable inks and coated with shiny foils — which are not recyclable. Get creative and wrap gifts with materials you have around the house, like old maps, comics, or even original artwork. You can also use any pretty, clean fabric like scarves, bandannas, or dish towels for a totally reusable wrapping. Create your own bows from strips of colourful paper and accessorize with twine, pressed leaves, and pinecones. 

When shopping for gifts we should rethink every decision to gift away something useful for the person we are giving the gift to, so it will not end up in the bottom of the closet or worse. A simple way to be eco-friendly with your presents is to simply buy less. Did you know that there are, on average, about 70 million unwanted Christmas presents bought each year? Gift something that can be enjoyed in the future, like tickets to a rescheduled game, comedy show, play, or concert, a fun day trip, a museum membership, guitar lessons, or even a gift card to a favourite local restaurant or business. Even though this is a little harder in the time of epidemic, but you'll be supporting a local business and giving your recipient something to look forward to! Gift something that can be enjoyed in the future, like tickets to a rescheduled game, comedy show, play, or concert, a fun day trip, a museum membership, guitar lessons, or even a gift card to a favourite local restaurant or business. Even though this is a little harder in the time of epidemic, but you'll be supporting a local business and giving your recipient something to look forward to!

It is also a great idea to make a home-made gift. With supply chain issues looming large, try creating a gift basket filled with homemade body care products like soaps, lotions, bath bombs, and lip glosses — or one filled with holiday cookies, infused liquors or extracts, fudge, spiced nuts, and more. Add some special touches like homemade ornaments, a favourite bottle of wine, or a book you loved this year, and it’s bound to please! And the best part? Homemade gifts can be as fun to make and give as they are to receive. If you are more a creative type, you can also make a home-made soap, chocolate, cookies, lickers and so much more.

Most importantly give sustainable gifts.
Keep your holiday footprint small by purchasing locally crafted gifts from family businesses. And if you can’t find everything on your list close to home, check out our eco-friendly, Holliday's gift guide for plenty of great ideas! Everything on the list is produced by our partners, which means that anything you purchase will plant a tree! And from awesome tree-inspired apparel to the smoothest bourbon and beautifully produced sustainable headphones, there’s sure to be something for everyone on your list.

Prepare an eco-friendly season suitable feast

Opting for seasonal, organic food means supporting local nature-friendly farmers, who grow using fewer pesticides, on local farms that support diverse wildlife and healthy, living soils. While preparing all your favourite holiday dishes, try to support local farmers that grow sustainable meat and produce. Not only will fresh, but local ingredients also lend an extra vibrancy to your meals, the food will taste better too. As a bonus, you’ll be keeping your dollars in the local community, and supporting those who may have been hit by or are still recovering from COVID-related economic shutdowns. Finally, a local, sustainably farmed roast or ham is much better for the environment than factory farm meat grown 1,000 miles away. 

To avoid unnecessary leftovers after the Holliday’s feast, plan your Holliday’s shopping and the festive meal in a forward-looking and resource-saving way. If you want it to be a goose, make sure it comes from certified organic sources. Use leftovers sensibly: For example, you can conjure up a cheese fondue from cheese leftovers.

With leftover bread you can surprise your guests at Christmas breakfast with “Poor Knights”, a traditional fried leftover meal made from bread breaded with egg, cinnamon, and sugar. Think in good time of those who spend Christmas alone or in the cold and find out which charitable associations or tables you can donate food to. With this you make so many unknown people a special joy at the festival of love.

  

Recycle or rent you Christmas tree

Every year, over 10 million Christmas trees end up in landfills. We know that, especially when living in an urban setting, it can be challenging to properly dispose of your tree, but many municipalities offer solutions to this. So, investigate what local programs are available, like turning your tree into mulch or wood chips, or even donating it towards an environmental project like stream bank stabilization. 

You can now rent a real Christmas tree. The process begins by visiting a rental shop near you to choose your tree in person. A little research beforehand will point you towards genuine agronomists who care about where and how the trees are grown. On arrival, you will be given instructions on how to look after your tree – regular watering and keeping it away from radiators are vital. Pay a deposit, and then you can take your tree home. Once Christmas is over, return the (hopefully) healthy pine to the rental store. There, your lovely tree can continue growing.

Craft your own decorations

Rather than investing in even more plastic decorations, create your own recyclable or biodegradable options this year. From paper snowflakes and natural wreaths, created from fallen leaves and twigs, to knitted baubles and pine-cone animals, DIY decorations can be a fun project for all the family. The bonus is that if they can’t be kept until next year, they are biodegradable. The National Trust offers great tips for budding creatives, while the Creative Company also shares a whole host of crafting ideas.