A Sustainable Christmas

Onesta Journal

A Sustainable Christmas

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As the Christmas season peaks around the corner, many of us are getting excited and starting to prepare. And while the high street and online retailers make Christmas “easy” and “convenient”, we don’t want to forget to make sustainable choices!  That’s why we have put together these tips to help everyone be more sustainable this winter.  


  1. Shop small. It’s a good idea to think about the impact your purchases have on the environment. Introduce a friend to a sustainable brand that you like or use this as an opportunity to find new local businesses in your area. Support small, support sustainable!  
  2. Ask people what they want. A surprise gift may be unwanted and end up sitting around until it’s thrown away. But when you ask your loved ones what they want, your gift will be more thoughtful and well-used.   
  3. Give the gift of an experience. Some people are hard to buy for!  Why not treat them to an experience that will give you the opportunity to spend quality time with those you love and get to try something new!  
  4. Make the gift yourself. Christmas presents aren’t all about spending the most money, so why not spend time making something with your own hands. That way you will have put thought and love into every gift. Something edible like cookies is always a winner. Or, why not try out a new DIY Pinterest project!  
  5. Choose something that will last. No one wants to buy a present for someone that will just break or wear out a month later. Make sure you purchase with quality in mind, that way your gift will keep on giving for years to come. Shopping locally for handmade or small batch items is a great way to ensure quality.  
  6. Don’t discount the packaging. Try to bear in mind what your gift comes packaged in. Unnecessary plastic wrapping will just contribute to the extra 30% of rubbish that is discarded during the festive season. Look for gifts with recyclable or compostable packaging, and don’t forget that most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable because of the glitter, foils, lamination or plastic and even the embellishing bows and tape! Look for wrapping paper that is pure paper, nothing added to it.  


  1. Cut the crackers. I know we all love a silly joke and a paper hat but crackers and their contents are often plastic based and so not great for the environment. You can however get reusable crackers to put special little gifts in. Or you could forgo the crackers entirely and make your own paper hats and google some silly jokes if you still need that bit of Christmas joy. 
  2. LED Lights. Make sure you use LED lights as they are more energy efficient but also make sure that you switch them off at night for safety and to save money and the planet! 
  3. Make your own. Instead of buying new decorations each year (tempting as it may be after seeing all the lovely ones on social media). Upcycle your old ones or create brand new ones using craft supplies and things around the house.  
  4. Rent your decorations. There are companies out there that will come in and decorate your house for you with wonderful decorations and then take them away when you are ready. This not only means you get to switch up your decorations year after year without having to buy them yourself but it also saves on storage space when they aren’t in use.  


  1. Shop local food suppliers. Your local butcher or grocer will be grateful of your custom this time of year. Get your orders in early and support smaller stores. Not only does it help the local economy but shops like this tend to use less packaging than big supermarkets! 
  2. Plan your meals so there is less waste. Lots of people over stock their homes around the holidays, whether it's because they have more people than usual or they are just taking the opportunity to indulge. It is important to consider what we actually need and stretch what we have rather than buying extra of everything. The less that ends up in the bin, the better.  
  3. Eat less meat. We know that a Christmas turkey is a classic but there are alternatives that make an equally good main dish. Look out for a blog where I try out a veggie recipe that is a perfect alternative.  
  4. Leftovers galore! No matter how much planning goes into our meals, because of all those sneaky pieces of chocolate we are likely to end up with some leftovers. Don’t throw them away though, try making a soup with leftover meat and veg or make yourself a tasty sandwich. If they really are too far gone, make sure you compost it or put it in the organics bin.  


  1. Dressing for the occasion. It can be tempting to get a new outfit for the season but it is always better to re-wear something you already own. That goes for dresses, dress shirts and ugly Christmas jumpers. If you want something fresher you could do an outfit swap with friends. If you really need something new then try to shop second hand or from small sustainable brands.  
  2. Travel greener. We are all looking forward to a more normal Christmas this year with lots of family and friends travelling across the country. To make this better for the planet we should encourage people to use public transport where possible and share lifts when they can.  

Please feel free to look through these sources for other tips to keep your Christmas sustainable!