10 Socially Conscious Hacks For A Sustainable Christmas

Lesley Teoh

While Christmas is truly the most magical time of the year, it can also be the most wasteful. Check out our list of effortlessly ethical hacks for a merrier, more sustainable way to celebrate this festive season.

[Image Source: Natural Living Ideas]

1. Make your own Christmas ornaments.

A Christmas tree covered in tinsel and baubles is the centrepiece of any home during the festive season, but all that glitters is not green as these synthetic decorations are often used once and end up in landfills. Switch things up with these eco-friendly DIY Christmas décor ideas for all skill levels.

BEGINNERS: Just apply two to three coats of varnish to a batch of cookies, ideally after letting them dehydrate

NOVICES: Use salt dough to create faux gingerbread reindeer decorations

PROS: Make like Martha Stewart and try your hand at these miniature cookie plate ornaments

[Image Source: Cotton On Foundation]

 2. Give a reusable tote with your gifts

Dispense with disposable plastic and paper shopping bags and give your gifts in these super cute reusable tote bags from TYPO and the Cotton On Foundation (SGD 2). All proceeds go towards helping provide clean drinking water in Southern Uganda. Totes conscious!

3. Artificial vs real Christmas trees - the perennial question

Scientists may have finally cracked the real vs fake tree debate. So, which is better?  Turns out your fake tree would also have to be used for more than 20 years to be greener than a natural pine in terms of carbon emissions. Most artificial trees are also non-recyclable and contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which produces carcinogens during manufacturing and disposal.

[Image Source: Martha Stewart]

4. Turn empty potato chip bags into #fancy metallic gift wrap.

Need a small gift bag in a pinch? It’s as easy as washing and turning an old potato chip bag inside out. Foil-based wrapping paper is often harder to recycle, reuse – as it creases easily – and may contain heavy metals that are bad for the environment.

5. Have a LIT Christmas by switching to LED lights or setting a timer

Energy-efficient Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Christmas lights are 26% more efficient than regular bulbs and they last longer too. You can also connect the lights to a timed plug socket to save on your electricity bill.

[Image Source: Greenvelope]

7. Spread Christmas cheer with Greenvelope’s e-cards

Each year, more than a billion Christmas cards are likely to be thrown away and burnt. Save time, money and trees with Greenvelope’s elegant personalised e-cards. Choose from a range of designs for any occasion or customise your own. Each e-invite is delivered with a personalised digital envelope, stamp and RSVP tracking to make your Christmas party planning a breeze.

[Image Source: Good Housekeeping]

8. Turn waste paper into festive wreaths

Create your own holly leaf wreath out of recycled magazines, greeting cards and even old toilet rolls.

9. Swap disposable plastic plates for eco-friendly party ware

If the thought of doing loads of dishes after your Christmas party sends you into a panic, check out these eco-friendly disposable cutlery options made from corn, rice husks and even sugarcane. They’re readily available and biodegradable, which means convenience at no cost to the earth.

10. Re-gift unwanted presents or donate pre-loved items to a worthy cause

Not sure what to do with the Christmas gifts you’ve received but know won’t ever use? Instead of chucking it or letting it languish unused in your cupboard, why not pass these presents to someone who would enjoy them. Just remember to follow these cardinal re-gifting rules.

You can also donate pre-loved gifts or toys to a worthy cause like Toys From The Heart, which distributes pre-loved toys to children from low-income families.

Feeling inspired? Check out our socially conscious Christmas guide for quirky sustainable gift ideas, social enterprise dining recommendations and more!


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