Christmas is a time of excess. All too often, we get all wrapped up in a consumer Christmas and forget to look at the bigger picture.
Relax! We've listed our easy-to-follow sustainable Christmas tips right here.
Here at Seastraws we're all about thinking big (and small!). By making small changes, like switching away from disposable straws or cups, we can all play our role in tackling the current problems we face.
But we want to go further, which is why we've put together this list of our favourite sustainable Christmas tips in 2019.
We hope to help you enjoy the festive season without harming people or planet. Think big this Christmas. Think about how you can ensure a very merry Christmas – not just for you and your family, but for the wider world. Consider how you can help its wildlife and ecosystems and all the people who call it home.
Here we go!
1. Aim for a Zero Waste, Sustainable Christmas with the five R's
Christmas can be a very wasteful time of year. As an eco-conscious business, we seek to help you move away from a wasteful way of life.
In our current culture, we are used to a linear model. We buy, we throw away, we buy again. For a better future, we need to transition to a circular economy.
Ideally, we'd love to have a world where waste does not exist. A world where what goes around comes around, and all surplus, and items at the end of their useful life, are returned to the system.
So, what can be done to enjoy a zero (or at least less) waste, sustainable Christmas this year?
For starters, we can follow the five 'R's of sustainability: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, and Recycle. We can:
REFUSE to buy anything but fully sustainable, eco-friendly, reusable and recyclable products.
REDUCE the overall amount that we buy – thinking carefully about whether each item is something we really need and want.
REUSE what we do have for as long as possible.
REPAIR items we own to improve their longevity or give them a new lease of life.
RECYCLE wherever we can, both within our own homes, and using municipal recycling systems.
2. Buy Less, Buy Better For a Sustainable Christmas
Christmas tends to be a time when many people buy A LOT (of unnecessary sh*t, if you ask us).
To have a sustainable Christmas we need to buy less, and buy better.
To BUY LESS, we should all consider:
MAKING YOUR OWN green Christmas gifts for friends and family. DIY Christmas presents can be lovely, thoughtful ways to show how much you care.
Gifting PRE-LOVED or VINTAGE ITEMS – perhaps upcycling things we already own or making use of other items that would otherwise be thrown away.
Gifting EXPERIENCES rather than things.
Shopping with a list, to avoid over-buying for the holiday season.
To BUY BETTER, we should:
Choose items made from natural materials and avoid plastics wherever possible.
Buy from local, sustainable businesses to reduce the miles things have to travel and cut our carbon footprint.
Be more aware of processes and supply chains. And choose only ethical, sustainable options, whatever we buy.
3. Choose Sustainable Food For Family and Friends
We tend to over-buy over Christmas, not only when it comes to gifts, but also when it comes to food.
Many of us like to enjoy a little over-eating and indulge ourselves around the holidays. But, we should think carefully about what we buy and consume if we want to have a more sustainable Christmas.
Not only should we think about buying less, but we should also think about:
Eating less meat, and considering vegetarian or vegan options.
Choosing locally grown, seasonal produce.
Opting for organic options whenever we can.
Reducing the food we buy in plastic packaging.
Buying wholesale, and choosing whole foods and cooking from scratch rather than buying pre-packaged, processed items.
4. Travel Less & Choose Eco-Travel Options This Festive Season
Many of us will be travelling this Christmas. This is a busy time of year to travel as people head to spend time with loved ones.
Of course, the less we travel, the less impact we will have. Opting for a 'staycation' this Christmas could be the ideal option.
But, since travel is often necessary at this time of year, we should do what we can to choose eco-travel options. Generally speaking, the slower you go, the more sustainable travel will be. Walking, cycling etc. are (obviously) the greenest travel options. But if you are going further, try to:
Avoid flying whenever you can.
Take a train or other public transport where this is available.
Consider hiring an electric or hybrid vehicle for your Christmas trip (if you do not already own one).
Think about whether you can car-share for your trip, to reduce the impact of a car journey.
5. Be Prepared To Go Green – Take Reusable Items Out and About
You might be travelling home for Christmas, heading out for Christmas parties or other festive get-togethers, or just out getting some gifts.
Wherever you find yourself, make sure you are prepared to go green. Take Seastraws' reusable items with you wherever you go.
6. Choose Sustainable Decorations for a Christmas Party
If you are staying home, and throwing a Christmas party or having the relatives 'round, a sustainable Christmas also involves thinking carefully about how you decorate your home. For example, you can:
Choose real, living Christmas trees and other festive plants instead of cut or artificial trees. Select options that grow well where you live so you can keep them alive and bring them inside again next year.
Opt for natural, sustainable Christmas decorations, whether you buy them or make your own. Avoid harmful glitter, tinsel and other plastic products.
7. Give Back To People and Planet This Christmas
You might be staying home, heading to the beach, or even camping this Christmas. But wherever you are and whatever you do, you should always spare a thought for people and planet.
Ask yourself – "How can I give back?"
Having a sustainable Christmas is a great place to begin. But you could also consider:
Donating your time and participating in a beach clean or conservation project over the festive season.
Donating money to a worthy environmental cause. For example, why not consider a Christmas donation to the Great Barrier Reef Legacy?
Most of us won't have a white Christmas this year. But you could make yours greener.
Try to do what you can to enjoy a more sustainable Christmas this year. Trust us, it's not going to ruin the fun but only make it better! The journey to a better future begins with a single step (and we just listed seven for you to try😉 ).