10 Steps towards a Sustainable and Ethical Christmas

It’s that time of year when I start to get excited yet stressed about Christmas.

I want to enjoy Christmas and the preparation of it while knowing that I haven’t over-consumed (products as well as food) and that my actions won’t have a negative impact on the environment.

Can I say that without sounding like a Christmas kill-joy?

If you feel the same way here are ten ideas to get you started on a sustainable and ethical Christmas.

  1. Organise Your Christmas Shopping… Now!
    Having to sit down and think about what to buy for people, where to get it from and when to actually buy it all seems a bit too hard sometimes. Set aside thirty minutes and follow my tips here to get your Christmas gift giving organised.
    If you need more help try Checking It Twice an online service that helps you find products that are good for the planet, people and animals.
  2. Start Your Shopping… Now!
    If you are wanting to purchase pre-loved pressies, or find something local and unique from a market now is the time to start looking. Use your ALC Christmas Gift Giving Planner to keep you on track.
    If you are purchasing an experience gift online why not get it now and that could be several of your presents done already.
  3. Make Your Own Christmas Cards
    I’m not normally a huge Christmas card giver but I do love to make a few cards for family and friends with the kids. It is lots of fun (and surprisingly relaxing) to sit, colour in candy canes, snowmen, Santas and the like and chat about who is going to receive our beautiful handmade cards and how much they will love them.
    For some homemade Christmas cards with a difference click here.
  4. Find Your Eco Christmas Wrapping Paper
    Lose yourself in Pinterest and find some amazing ways to wrap your Christmas gifts without heading to the shops. Using newspaper, music sheets, kids paintings, sewing patterns, material, photos, you name it, Pinterest shows other people’s brilliant and original ideas that will make your gift stand out.
    If you have to send products to family interstate or overseas check out Green Wrap for Eco Friendly Packaging.
  5. Download Your Gift Tags
    Every year I go out and buy my Christmas gift tags to attach to my presents and then somehow I find the wad I didn’t use from the year before. This year I’m going to use up what I have and if I need extra I am going to print some off on recycled paper.
  6. Do You Need To Make A Gift?
    Sometimes at Christmas there are those people you like to give a small gift to, a teacher, a friend, someone who’s helped you out during the year. I also like the kids to make something that can be from them on Christmas day so at present time they have something to give rather than just receiving. Click here for some ideas on easy edible Christmas gift ideas. Work out what you are going to make now and what you need to do to make it happen.
  7. Plan Your Christmas Menu
    Do you have a set menu that is the same every year? Why not mix it up this year with a few vegetarian dishes? If anyone gets upset at the changes… um, actually I don’t know what to do… tell them to stick up their jumper? But politely so you don’t start a fight at Christmas lunch.
    Start researching where you will buy your sustainable seafood and make sure you plan your holiday period so you have minimal food waste. Why not celebrate National Leftovers Day on Boxing Day and cook up something amazing with your leftovers?
  8. Build The Excitement
    With three kids aged six and under it is difficult to get the message through that Christmas isn’t just about Santa, presents, fizzy drinks, presents, ice-cream and more presents. For Easter we light candles in the four weeks leading up to the main event and talk about things we are grateful for like friends and family. For Christmas this year I might try something similar as the advent calendar with a chocolate every night always ends in tears… always.
  9. Decorations
    I love to add one tacky decoration to my Christmas decoration stash every year; oven mitts, TV trays, lolly bowls, you name it, all gaudily decorated with Santa, Mrs Claus, Rudolph and the like. I find an abundance of them in second-hand stores, I guess because people eventually find them too tacky? Now is a great time to start shopping around for any pre-loved decorations (sophisticated or tacky, your choice), or if you can’t find what you want, why not make your own?
  10. Have a giggle
    If you need to be kind to yourself and take a break from the Christmas prep head over to mockumentary What Would Jesus Buy? and see what Reverand Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir have to say.

Is there anything you do in the lead up to Christmas to keep you sustainable hat firmly on?

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