A zero waste Christmas can – tbh – sound Scrooge like and deadly dull!
But it really is possible to enjoy a sustainable Christmas much more.
Because the truth is we’re all exhausted by the excess of crazy clutter and more than a bit sickened by the cost of stuff we chuck away.
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.
Do bookmark or save for later.
Zero Waste Christmas Gifts
Many of us are drowning in clutter so the last thing we want is more stuff.
Which makes experience gifts a cool zero waste Christmas option.
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 loads are.
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 obviously 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
The best zero waste gift wrap is wrapping we can use over again.
Japanese furoshiki style wrapping can look gorgeous but is also a fun way to wrap kids gifts …
You can buy reusable fabric wrap and gift bag sets but it is pretty easy to make basic reusable gift bags.
Plus cute gift sacks for kids …
And these little gift wallets …
Another option is reusable gift boxes. They are pricey to buy but you can easily make your own …
Single use gift wrap is always wasteful especially if it has been schlepped half way round the world!
But there are loads of cool ways to reuse paper packaging and newspaper as gift wrap. There’s lots of fun brown paper gift wrapping ideas for kids here …
Natural 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 these zero waste natural Christmas ornaments from nature walk finds …
And create upcycled Christmas ornaments from what would otherwise go to waste …
There’s more lovely zero waste decorations here :
Less Christmas Food Waste
We all chuck away obscene amounts of Christmas food every year.
It’s crazy and it’s expensive.
A leftovers plan helps and there’s loads of yummy leftovers recipes here for everything from turkey and roast veg to Christmas pud …
Making our own Christmas food cuts packaging and saves money.
It sounds a bit scary if we’re not big bakers but lots of Christmas food can be made ahead & frozen to make it more manageable.
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.
You could start a mini orchard if you have room or plant a tree in the family’s name in your local wood. Imagine that in 20 years time?
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 …
Original image sources under creative commons : Marco Verch, Rawpixel, Natalia, Ben P L, Stephanie Clifford
Altera - Remade with Love says
So many great ideas for a sustainable Christmas!
These are excellent ideas for sustainable gift giving! Great post!
These are excellent ideas for sustainable gift giving and being environmentally aware! LOVE the idea of planting saplings!
So glad you liked them Kristen x