Green Tips

9 Ways to Have a “Green” Christmas

Even those who are dreaming of a white Christmas can embrace a little bit of green in their holidays. In today’s post, I’m going to be sharing a few ways to be a little bit more sustainable this holiday season, from decorating to gift wrapping and everything in between. This is the season of giving, after all, so let’s give a little something back to mother nature. Here are some tips for being eco-friendlier over the holidays that are sure to put you at the top of Santa’s nice list!

Make gifts instead of buying them

There is nothing better than homemade Christmas gifts. I love to give and receive handmade gifts over the holidays because it means that much more. Not only will making your own gifts show your loved ones how much you care, but you’ll be minimizing your footprint, reducing waste, and saving money.

Shop local

If you are going to buy some of your gifts, try to shop locally. Support small business within your community and look for companies that promote sustainable and ethical business practices. You can even look for companies that create their products from recycled materials to reduce waste and promote a circular economy. For more sustainable gift ideas check out my gift guide HERE.

Get a real tree

Instead of purchasing a fake, plastic Christmas tree, head to your local Christmas tree farm with your family and cut down your own real tree. Not only is this way more fun, but you’ll be reducing your environmental footprint by cutting down on plastic pollution and emissions required for shipping trees.

Recycle decorations

Most Christmas decorations are made from plastic products that will never be recycled properly and inevitably end up in a landfill or our oceans. I know my family has a ton of storage bins that are filled to the brim with Christmas ornaments and decorations that we’ve made and bought over the years. We try our best to always reuse what we have instead of buying new ones that contribute to a lot of plastic waste. Plus, it’s always fun to make those elementary school crafts last into adulthood!

Make your own cards

Not only does hand making your own cards make your gift that much personal and save you a ton of money, but it cuts down on a lot of waste. My boyfriend and I actually have a rule that we only give each other handmade cards instead of purchasing them. This has become such a fun tradition over the holidays and something that everybody can enjoy. It’s one of the easiest switches towards a green Christmas!

Send E-Cards

If you’re looking to take your Christmas cards completely zero waste, skip the paper and mailing expenses associated with snail mail and send your friends and family e-cards. You’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint since it eliminates the fuel used for mail transport!

Find alternatives to traditional wrapping paper

I am a sucker for cute wrapping paper, but I also know how wasteful it is and have become mindful of steering myself away from single-use products. Besides, when you actually think about how much money you spend on wrapping paper that is used only once and then quickly tossed in the trash, it’s quite absurd. Some creative alternatives to single-use paper wrapping are using wrapping paper from recycled materials, making your own gift wrap from cloth or other materials, saving wrapping paper from previous gifts, and reusing boxes from shipping rather than buying new ones.

Skip disposable place settings

Instead of using plastic cutlery and paper plates at your Christmas party this year, use your own silverware to cut down on waste. If you don’t want to trust your guests with the good silverware, make it fun by searching for mismatched place settings at your local thrift store.


It happens to everyone, you receive a gift that you don’t like or have no use for and it ends up sitting at the back of your closet for years until you feel like enough time has passed to throw it out. Instead of neglecting a perfectly good gift, take it to your local thrift shop, or even a hospital or women’s shelter, where someone else is sure to appreciate it.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Rosie December 21, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Great tips, Emily. It’s funny that for years I thought buying a real tree was the worst option and that a plastic tree was better for the environment. The more you know, eh?

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