Tips for an eco-friendly Christmas

Tips for an eco-friendly Christmas - Oz Importations

The spirit of Christmas is among us once again, and its magic can be felt everywhere. 

As we are decorating and planning for the celebration, many of us can feel uncomfortable with the way Christmas has unfortunatly become a consumer-driven, often stressful and wasteful time of the year... 

So how can we still celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way, with our loved ones?

Here are a few tips to an eco-friendly, harmonious and meaningful Christmas celebration:


1- The Christmas Tree... plastic, or real? 

Quintessential to a warm and beautiful holiday atmosphere, the Christmas Tree's impact on the environment is one to ponder! 

Because a natural tree can be mulched, buying one from a small local buisness has less production impact than a plastic tree that lasts only a couple of years.

This said, some good quality plastic trees can last for up to 15 years...  What could be more eco-friendly then purchasing a second-hand good quality plastic tree?  A plus on the budget as well, as you only need to buy one for a long period of time!


2- The gifts... the meaning of 'more is less':

How marvelous to see the bright eyes and beaming smiles of our loved ones as they unwrap the gifts that we carefully chose for them!  As most of us don't necessarily wish to give up this heart-warming pleasure, here are a few angles for eco-friendly gift choosing:

  • Buy local: as you choose and encourage small businesses or artisans in your area, you make a big difference for your local economy!
  • Choose quality over quantity: as durability is becoming rare, choosing one high quality, more expensive item, over a few cheaper items ensures that less of your gifts will sooner or later end up in the trash... contributing to over-consumption and pollution problems.
  • Choose sustainable:  pay attention to the materials your gifts are made of, as well as where they originate from; organic cotton, bamboo and linen are all examples of sustainable materials, and companies who use them often have ethical standards for the fabrication of their products as well.
  • Set up new rules with your family and loved ones: whether you agree on buying only one gift by person, going for a gift exchange where you draw one name, or giving only hand made gifts (from handmade scarf to home baked cookies), there are many fun ways to reduce item consumption at Christmas and still feel the joy of sharing and giving!
  • Internet shopping:  sometimes we lack time for shopping, so why not use internet wisely, and shop on the sites of local businesses?!


3- Gift wrapping:

The ritual of unwrapping gifts is certainly a very exciting one, especially for children (and our inner child as well!).  Unfortunatly, it is one of the most wasteful ritual of the year, with litterally tons of paper going into the trash (most of the shiny, glossy Christmas paper is not recyclable), all in one night.  

One of the alternatives to this is to use fabric for gift wrapping!  A wonderful japanese technique called Furoshiki is very simple and elegant:


You may want to choose sustainable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo for your wrappings, or perhaps someone you know has pieces of unused frabrics derived from another project, and you might recycle those! 

Here are a few Furoshiki methods illustrated, but you can also find many tutorials on internet!



 When al the gifts have been opened, collect the fabrics to use them again next year, or invite your family and firends to re-use them!

4- Christmas Meals:

Gathering around a Christmas table is a heart-warming tradition that we enjoy sharing with our loved ones.

There are many ways to make sure that this tradition remains eco-friendly:

  • Choose local, organic and free-range:  find a local farmer's market that offers local and/or organic items for your meal, whether it is turkey, roast, or season vegetables like squash, beets and potatoes.... These local goodies  will make a great eco-friendly dinner, and you also get to support a local business!
  • Skip the disposables:  use your regular dishes (or the fancy ones if you like!), have some cloth napkins, and let everyone help with cleaning the dishes!
  • Clean Green:  Use green cleaning products for dish washing, surface cleaning, and make sure to only start the dishwasher once it is full.
  • Compost:  make sure to leave a compost bin accessible for all your guests to dispose of the food scraps that cannot be stored as left overs in the fridge.


With all these tips in mind, make sure you get to slow down, and connect with the magic and the love that should be at the heart of a Christmas celebration.  

It is, after all, one of the few moments of the year we get to gather around with our loved ones, and no presents will ever be more precious to them...  than your presence.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!



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