A zero waste Christmas can – tbh – sound Scrooge like and deadly dull!
But it really is possible to enjoy a sustainable Christmas much more.
So I have for you here simple, joyful, money saving tips for a more eco friendly Christmas including :
- Zero waste gifts
- Zero waste gift wrap
- Zero waste decorations
- Zero waste food
- PLUS a sustainable Christmas tree
These ideas will help you save money and save the planet.
And as importantly recapture the real spirit and joy of Christmas time.
This is a big old guide so do bookmark or save for later.
Zero Waste Christmas Gifts
Great Christmas gifts need not cost the planet. There are loads of easy ways to give more sustainable and eco friendly presents including :
- Experience gifts
- Vintage gifts
- Pre-loved toys
- Recycled presents
- And cool stocking fillers that cut waste all year round.
They don’t just slash waste, they also slash factory and air mile pollution and can support local skilled jobs.
Obviously not all experience gifts are eco friendly – racing car driving etc not so much – but many are :
- Escape rooms
- Theatre vouchers
- Vineyard tours & wine tasting
- Bushcraft course
- Train trips
- Zoo keeper day
- VIP backstage experience
- Stadium tour
- Season ticket share
- And loads more …
Check out this guide to the best experience gifts for inspiration.
Gorgeous Vintage Gifts
Vintage gifts are a wonderful way to have a zero waste Christmas.
We can buy a stunning handbag or piece of jewellery but we can also pass on family “heirlooms” PLUS the stories that make them special :
- A gorgeous dress now too young
- Restrung broken necklace
- Retro 1980s toys
- Repaired record player
- Record collection
- Childhood sledge
- Upcycled chair
- … or restored table
- Eclectic china odds & sods
- Grandpa’s tool set
- Grandma’s photo album
- A family watch or clock
- Rebound poetry book
- Games tables & boards like table football or darts
- Vintage styled luggage
- Classic board games with any missing pieces replaced
Sharing these across the generations can be a truly beautiful thing.
And a great way to enjoy a lovely cheap Christmas on a budget.
Brilliant Pre-Loved Toys
Big toys like bikes, climbing fames or play kitchens will be played with over and over way after Christmas.
But are anything but cheap!!
Buying great quality pre-loved toys is a fab way to have both a zero waste Christmas and a cheap Christmas.
Good toys to look out for include :
- Climbing frames
- Ride ons
- Roller skates
- Rocking horses
- Toy kitchens
- Dolls houses
- Castles & forts
- Play tents
- Train sets
- Trucks & diggers
- Bouncy castles
- Sand pits
- Go karts
As an extra bonus these zero waste toys will hold their value so you can sell them on for a profit.
Clever Recycled Gifts
We can easily upcyle household items into lovely handmade gifts.
But it’s also easy now to buy cool recycled gifts making clever use of plastic and other waste including …
- Toy trucks from plastic bottles
- Recycled silver & brass jewellery
- Bags from reclaimed fire hoses
- Lovely cosy recycled blankets
- Recycled glasses & tumblers
Recycled gifts aren’t the cheapest Christmas gifts but by buying less clutter we have more to spend on these zero waste Christmas gifts.
For more recycled zero waste gift ideas check out these guides to:
Zero Waste Stocking Fillers
Zero waste stocking fillers can be a clever way to give gifts that cut waste and save money all year round.
Here are a few to get started :
- Stainless steel water bottle
- Keep me coffee cup
- Bamboo toothbrush
- Soap & shampoo bars to cut out all those single use plastic bottles in the bathroom
- … and a handy little soap tin
- A plastic free lunch box.
Or check out this list of money saving zero waste products.
We can also help build a recycled economy hunting out tiny products made from waste like these …
- Cute kids storage from bottles
- Recycled paper chalkboards
- Recycled newspaper crayons
- Recycled & recyclable lip liner
Zero Waste Gift Wrap
There are all sorts of gorgeous and cute ways to wrap our presents with zero waste gift wrap including :
Fabric Gift Wrap
Reusable Japanese furoshiki style fabric wrapping makes truly stunning zero waste gift wrap …
You can buy zero waste furoshiki wrap but can also reuse any old fabric you have including old :
- Table linen
- Old sweaters.
For more inspiration check out these reusable fabric gift wrap ideas.
Brown Parcel Packaging
You can create super cute zero waste gift wrap by saving up all the brown packaging from your parcels …
You can easily give the gift wrap a super fun makeover with leftover :
- Yarn & twine
- Scrap paper
- Old post it notes
- Potato prints
- Evergreen cuttings
- And Christmas candies.
For more ideas check out this guide to brown paper gift wrap for kids.
Newspaper Gift Wrap
It is very easy to make zero waste newspaper gift wrap look gorgeous under your Christmas tree.
Just add twine and winter berries …
Or some winter foliage …
Or simply combine leftover strands of ribbon and twine with foliage …
Newspaper gift wrap really can be super simple but the big secret is to take your time so it doesn’t end up looking like the dog’s dinner …
- Music book pages
- Clothes patterns
- Children’s art work
- Old maps …
Reusable Christmas Gift Bags
If you are short on time gift bags, boxes and wallets are more sustainable than wrapping paper.
If you have time and can sew at all it is easy to make reusable gift bags.
Plus cute gift sacks for kids …
Or beautifully pretty ones like these for teenagers and grown ups …
You can also make little reusable Christmas gift wallets or pouches …
Or use a reusable snack bag as a zero waste Christmas wrapping for tiny presents and make the wrapping itself a money saving gift that keeps giving all year round …
Zero Waste Gift Boxes
Great gift boxes can be pricey to buy but you can easily make your own out of old card and paper …
Zero Waste Gift Jars
Creating your own Mason jar gifts with any old jars in your kitchen is a lovely cheap to way to give zero waste Christmas gifts …
You can fill your Mason jars with all sorts of stuff such as :
For more inspiration check out this big guide to Mason jar gift ideas.
Simple Zero Waste Christmas Decorations
Christmas is a celebration of light in the depth of dark winter and decorations are a key part of that.
But that doesn’t mean cramming our home full of chuck-away clutter made by far-from-free labour!!
Cherishing hand me down vintage ornaments is more joyful and we can easily make our own lovely zero waste Christmas decorations.
Natural Homemade Zero Waste Christmas Ornaments
These zero waste natural Christmas ornaments can be whipped up from garden cuttings and nature finds …
Upcycled Christmas Decor
These simple upcycled Christmas ornaments can all be made from household supplies going to waste :
- Scrap paper
- Scrap wood
- Battered baubles
- Leftover ribbon …
There’s more lovely zero waste homemade decorations here :
- Minimalist Christmas Decorations
- Rustic Christmas Decorations
- Simple Table Decorations
- DIY Christmas Wreaths
Less Christmas Food Waste
We all chuck away obscene amounts of Christmas food every year.
It’s crazy and it’s expensive.
Making our own Christmas food cuts packaging and saves money.
Sustainable Zero Waste Christmas Trees
Zero waste Christmas trees are a huge topic of a debate.
Natural trees sound more eco friendly than artificial but huge pine tree farms can be very bad for soil.
There are simple more sustainable Christmas tree alternatives such as:
Another wonderful way to have a sustainable Christmas tree is to plant a sapling every year as a family.
What could be lovelier? And more true to the real joy of Christmas.
And there you go lots of practical zero waste tips & ideas for really enjoying a more sustainable Christmas.
For more sustainable living ideas check out these posts :
- Eco Friendly Energy Saving Tips
- 101 Things To Stop Buying
- Extremely Frugal Food Hacks
- 14 Simple Frugal Life Skills
- Simple Natural Antibiotics
And follow my Eco Friendly Living board on Pinterest …