Trying to make Christmas more environmentally friendly

When it comes down to it, I’m not sure how possible this is, but I know there are some things we can do to help.

Christmas would have to be one of the worse times of the year for consumerism. We all want to buy gifts for everyone, whether they need them or not. It is, after all, a season for giving to others.

I have always been a fairly practical person and even more so when I buy gifts. I like to get things that people need and can use. I’m not a person for ornaments or anything like that.

I have to tell you about my mother-in-law. She used to travel and would always bring back gifts for everyone. Doesn’t everyone do that? Anyway, she always said Dave and I were really hard to buy for, so she would bring back ornaments for us. Dust collectors really. To me, they sit on shelves and have no real purpose. In the end, we told her we would rather get nothing. We had no trouble not getting gifts from her travels.

So Christmas

Okay, let’s get back to the point.

So, I buy everyone practical gifts. Stuff they need. However, it also leaves a big problem. Wrapping them.

I hate all the wrapping paper. It is such a waste of paper. I know it can be recycled, but it still has to be made, always comes wrapped in plastic, and no matter how careful you are you never really use it again.

A couple of years ago I made a rule, no wrapping paper. Presents were hidden until it was time to gift them. It was fun to see how everyone did the presents when not being allowed to wrap them in paper first.

Last year I still had paper left, so I used it. I swore I would never buy wrapping paper again and I haven’t.

Christmas 2021

This year I have purchased everything online. I did the same last year. One of the advantages of doing that is that everything comes in boxes or bags. I haven’t unpacked anything, so I am hoping it is all that I ordered. I think it is.

Last year we discussed what to do with no wrapping paper and we came up with an idea.

Wrapping our Gifts

We were thinking why not use something that we can reuse. Like Christmas fabric. Or tea towels.

I have ordered 24 Christmas-themed tea towels for wrapping small gifts. I have also ordered 2 metres of 6 different Christmas fabrics for the larger gifts. My mum will be coming and she is going to bring her overlocker so we can hem the fabric so they can be washed after Christmas. They can then be put away for next year. Hopefully, they can last for years.

This will be one way for us to cut down on the waste of Christmas. We can’t tear the paper off the presents, but we can feel good knowing that we aren’t wasting all that paper for a gift.

Do you do anything to help the environment at Christmas?

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    1. Thank you Cornelia. I have started making biscuits to give away too, it is so nice. I think people always love things you have made, even better if they can eat them.

  1. Good point about considering the environment. I think I’ll start wrapping future gifts in newspapers. At least people will know who its from being I’ve worked in the industry for almost 5 decades. My concern is with the cardboard footprint we are putting down with the online shopping and boxes needed for every item now. I’m also turned off by the commercialism and that is why when I retire in a few years I’m going to handmake some or all of my gifts. Have a great day.

    1. Yeah, but I know the cardboard can be recycled properly and I use a lot of it here too. I never have to buy boxes when I need anything, so I am okay with that. If I went shopping for it, I would be using petrol and most likely end up with plastic shopping bags I don’t want. That would be wonderful to make your own gifts, I love baking things for people, that can be fun. YOu have a great day too.

    1. That sounds great too Dorothy. I have most of the fabric now, and I’m looking forward to trying it out, should be fun. Thank you.

  2. I gave up sending Christmas cards a couple of years after we emigrated. Many cards were never making it to their destinations anyway. I decided to reduce my carbon footprint and save the money spent on cards and postage by no longer sending physical cards. Instead, I donate what I would have spent to a charity each year as a better investment of my funds. I have not quite given up on wrapping paper entirely but what I do is buy robust gift bags so that they can be reused year after year. I love the idea of the festive tea towels.

    1. I have never been a Christmas card person, I used to write them all out and then forget to post them. lol. I have noticed that the number I get sent has dwindled to now where we get none. I don’t mind. A friend said a few years don’t start sending them. It was good advice. We always donate money to charities each year, regardless of the cards, it is a good thing to do. I like the idea of the wrapping, whatever form it takes to be reusable. Thank you Laura.

  3. The consumerism of Christmas today is sickening, I purchase gift cards for my family. They can get what they want! Jesus is the real reason for the season…

    1. I have to agree John, I just ask them what they want and that is what they get, so like a gift card I suppose. Thanks John.

  4. We stopped celebrating Christmas around 40 years ago. The consumerism was one glaring reason. I also felt it sent wrong messages to the children. I also listened to other people and the way they talked about Christmas. There is so much negativity and waste that people forgot what the reason was supposed to be for. We’ve never regretted giving up the holiday.

    1. Wow, not sure I could do that, it really is the only holiday of the year which is for family here and we always spend it together. It is nice. the gifts I get, but like I said I always get things that people want or need so they aren’t frivolous. Also, it is a chance to help our girls, they can get things that they might not be able to afford otherwise. It is nice. So I can’t give it up, but happy to try and not be too over the top. Thanks Jackie, hope you are doing well.

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