Some Ideas For A Christmas That Won’t Cost The Earth


“Because normal human activity is worse for nature than the greatest nuclear accident in history.” 
~ Martin Cruz Smith

Hello, Lovelies!
I’m blogging this morning with fire in my heart. 2019’s energies are nearly here (they actually kick in on December 26) and among other things the energy of 2019 supports conscious engagement with the environment, so let’s start by doing our best to have a more conscious Christmas and then flow that effort into all we do in the coming year, and for the rest of our lives. 

Here are my top tips for a Festive Season that doesn’t have to cost the Earth:

1. Get Thrifty and Re-Use – Choose quality over quantity. Create a box in which to store all of your decorations. Re-use them every year. Use the same tree (if it’s not a real one), the same tinsel, the same ornaments. Stop buying new ones. Just stop. You don’t have to compete with what all the advertising and Better Homes shows tell you. At Christmas task someone to save all of the re-usable ribbons, bows and other paper or packaging. Store them too and re-use them throughout the year when you wrap other gifts. Keep postal packaging and useable bubble wrap and plastic and re-use it. Stop feeling like everything has to be new. That’s so last century!

2. Consciously Avoid Plastic – Stop feeling virtuous about recycling and just stop buying plastic. Especially as throw-away or short-time use gifts. As of 2017 there were over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic in the world. Once created only about 9% is recycled, but even recycling doesn’t remove plastic from our environment – it just gets converted to other plastic products. So much of plastic is designed for single use, or to be discarded. Then it ends up in landfill or our waterways, where it pollutes our fresh drinking water or breaks down into smaller particles, killing wildlife and eventually entering our own bloodstreams from the food and water we consume. JUST STOP using glitter, party balloons, plastic holiday banners, plastic plates and cutlery and cheap plastic ornaments. In 2017 there was enough discarded plastic in the world TO COMPLETELY COVER A COUNTRY THE SIZE OF ARGENTINA. Yes, I am shouting. Imagine where you live completely covered in plastic. Now understand that it’s already happened and it’s up to us to start making different choices.

3. Choose Gifts With The Planet In Mind – (Did I mention avoid plastic?) Please don’t choose gag gifts that will create a laugh and then end up in landfill within the first week. Think about the life of your gift after you give it and the impact it will have on the environment. Experiences are great. Think movies or adventures. Food, wine, books, a houseplant. A subscription. Items that last such as jewellery. Hand-crafted items. Ceramics, glass, wood, metal, paper and card. Consumables in thoughtful packaging. Time together. Sharing meals and moments. Knowledge, courses, online courses. Gifts that help others live mindfully on the earth are great too, such as keep-cups for their coffee or metal lunch boxes.

4. Wrap Your Gifts Mindfully – Use a new tea-towel and some fabric ribbon or string, use flowers, use a glass jar with a lid, use a beeswax impregnated cloth that your gift recipient can then use instead of plastic wrap in the kitchen. Find some vintage tins or canisters at the local thrift shop. Use lengths of fabric. Use paper. If using ribbon make sure that it is fabric, not plastic. Re-use packaging and ribbon you’ve received previously, including florist decorations and plastics.

5. Buy Your Festive Food At the Farmers Markets – It’s local, it’s fresh, and there will be much less packaging. Also think about using your own containers or conscious environmental choices and go to bulk stores for as much as you can, so that you can avoid generating more use-once plastic food packaging.

6. Make Or Bake Some Of Your Gifts – There are so many good ideas for this, and it can be a fun family activity or one you look forward to. Crafting and making things is good for our soul. Not your scene at all? Buy from someone who loves to make and bake. Problem sorted!

7. Teach Your Kids That It Actually IS The Thought That Counts – a return to some old-fashioned values about giving and receiving and manners is not such a bad thing…

8. Stop Competing With and Judging Yourself By Advertising and Reality TV – It’s okay to re-use. You don’t need a new outfit. You don’t have to be ‘seasonal’, ‘fashionable’ or ‘cutting edge’. You don’t need a constant flow of new stuff. That’s all just consumerism. Live by your own values and standards and feel good about that.

9. Don’t Go Into Debt For Christmas – Especially don’t go into debt to impress other people. Let’s live with more honesty. Stop putting all that pressure on yourself and on others with these crazy holiday season expectations.

10. Make Do – It’s an expression your grandparents probably used but it’s not so common these days. What can you re-purpose? Does it matter if you have to use the camping table in the loungeroom covered with a green sheet to make enough seating space for all the kids? How cute can you make a fallen branch look for a Christmas Tree with some homemade decorations?