Itty Bitty Greenie

eco-fabulous finds for kids

5 steps to a Greener Christmas

For the past few years we’ve been trying to make our holidays a little more “green”. Here are some of the things we are doing in our family – and I hope you’ll share with us your tips for an eco Christmas too.

1) SEND ELECTRONIC CARDS INSTEAD OF PAPER: I started doing this a few years ago when I discovered Paperless Post. You can customize amazing designs with everything from family portraits to personalized verses and fonts. It proves you don’t have to compromise on sending lovely greetings by going online. Plus you save the carbon footprint of mailing paper cards.

2) THINK OUTSIDE THE TREE: Perhaps it’s the tree hugger in me, but the thought of chopping one down so it can stand in the corner of my living room for a few weeks drying out, seems wasteful. And don’t get me started on the artificial ones… There are so many interesting options that can be just as much fun for the family to decorate. I love this collection of found sticks (pictured right). It’s beautiful, unique, and something fun and memorable for the children to create. Think of the possibilities when every year they can come up with a new tree.

3) GET CREATIVE WITH WRAPPING: Use Santa sacs or recycled paper. Up-cycle greeting cards to use as gift tags. Use your children’s artwork as gift wrap. The more personal your wrapping, the more memorable the gift.

4) CONNECT WITH NATURE: In our family we have a tradition of a pre-Christmas picnic, where we can enjoy time outside together in a peaceful setting before the inevitable madness and overindulgence of Christmas Day. We also like to plant something as a way of giving back to the earth, and to help foster values of sustainability with the kids.

5) BUY LESS STUFF: To me, the best gifts are ones that are either hand-made or that offer an “experience” instead of a thing. Tickets to a show, a spa voucher or a special hand-made item can create a beautiful memory, and to me that’s more valuable than something that is mass produced. For those on your list that have everything, think of alternatives, like Oxfam’s unwrapped gifts that help fight poverty worldwide.

SHARE AND WIN: Tell us in the comments below how you and your family try to celebrate a greener Christmas and you can WIN A $100 GIFT VOUCHER and a copy of our eco book “Santa Claus is Green” which includes fun tips and ideas on how kids and families can celebrate a merry green holiday, and over 20 stickers.

*entrants must be a resident of Australia. Winner will be announced and contacted via email on Dec. 15



By Donna MacMullin

Creative Communications, Graphic Design, Communications, Blogging, Copywriting, Content Management

5 Responses to “5 steps to a Greener Christmas”

  1. Sharyn says:

    We do the following and are always looking for ways to improve (be more eco) and each year we hope to do that little bit more eco:
    - last christmas we started using a native tree for us (ie. lilly pilly) – it is only small and we have kept it in the pot all year and have just decorated it again this year. once it does not like being in a pot we will plant it out and do it again (we are on acreage so we have the space to plant out trees if need be) but we will keep it in a pot so long as it likes it :) it does not matter it does not look like a pine tree – our kids love it :) When our “store bought” decorations need replacing (ie. it is not eco to throw ones u have already bought years ago away just to get eco ones) we will make our own in the future.
    - buy quality gifts for your children so they last – it is better to buy less and have them last than to buy lots and have them go to landfill. We also specifically look for “eco” type toys so we know they have been made ethically and are used resources sustainably. i also encourage family members to do the same for presents for our kids (or they can give money for the children’s bank account).
    - make christmas presents for adults for buy 2nd hand ones – for adults we either buy something from garage sales (if we see anything that is appropriate/needed for people – it is recycling that way) or i make home made food (ie. biscuits, chilli sauce etc). We also tell family members (ie. my parents/hubby’s parents) not to buy for me/my hubby as we dont want goods (ie. what we term “junk stuff”) just for the sake of wrapping up a present – for us that is just wasteful and not at all eco . So usually they just give a small amount of money in a card as they would prefer us to put the money towards something we need.
    - we use my childrens craft work for wrap presents up in (ie. their paintings on butchers paper). If the present is big we just use old sheets/towels or boxes.
    - we make as much food as we can at christmas ourselves (ie. reduce packaging on all that store bought food) and dont consume copious amounts (just because it is christmas does not mean you have consume more food than you need) and dont make excess (ie. so we dont have to throw it out even though all our excess food goes to chickens, compost, worms etc). We plan food around what we are growing in our vegie patch etc (ie. so this this it will be salads and eggs from or chickens) and just buy a little bit of meat. We also will make some nibblies like home made dips, and some other little healthy but delicious treats.
    - Overall i would say the main thing is to reduce consumption (both goods and food), eat healthy food(which includes eating eco friendly), and enjoy spending quality time with loved ones as that is what is most important.

  2. Sharyn says:

    Hope i can add this as i forgot to add it in my previous comment:
    - think ahead with gifts also – for example we have started buying a board game each year for our chilren (one child is still a bit young for them yet) with the intention that in the coming years on christmas night (plus many other nights throughout the year) we will have a board game night where we as a family will sit down and play board games. This is great for quality family time and also uses less energy/electricity as instead of watching tv we will play board games :)

  3. Melanie says:

    Reuse and recycle! If you have young children, pick out the best of their baby clothes that no longer fit and their toys that they no longer use and repackage them up for the little ones of friends and family at Xmas time. They will be stoked for the generous package of good-as-new items.

  4. Steph says:

    I am pretty sure we have one of the lowest carbon footprints when it comes to Christmas. We hand make all our gifts, use handmade tags, and recycled paper for presents. We’ll also shop local and handmade for special gifts.

    We walk to my husbands Dads place to meet everyone. Food is prepared and eaten under candle light South American style Christmas Eve… Christmas morning we enjoy emptying pillow cases filled with presents, later in the day left overs, music and creating moments with our little family.

    All our decorations are handmade, Eco friendly or recycled with a major part being made by our children.

    Every year our Christmas gets a little greener which is wonderful to watch over the years.

    Xo Steph

  5. Helen Baybrook says:

    We always send e-cards and this year our kids are helping us make hand-made gifts for their cousins. Ornaments for the tree and other baked treats, instead of giving toys.

Leave a Reply