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L I T T E R L E S S   L I V I N G 

Everyday sustainability in a throw away society 

  • Writer's pictureBrittany Ainsworth

Merry Zero Waste Christmas

Christmas is a time for family, joy and unfortunately a whole lot of unnecessary waste, but not this year. With our Merry Zero Waste Christmas guide you can avoid the waste and focus more on the important things this holiday season.

merry zero waste christmas xmas DIY craftmas

Zero Waste Presents

We all want to give the ultimate gift, one that is meaningful and will ignite that sparkle in their eye. We hope they will treasure their present and that it doesn't end up collecting dust. But lets be honest, trends come and go, making finding a lasting gift difficult and even impossible when it comes to children.

Give the gift of lasting memories:

  • Movie tickets

  • Theme park admission

  • Activities

  • Concert tickets

  • Sports tickets

  • Dinner voucher

  • Book a holiday

  • Learn a skill (language/pottery/etc)

DIY Gifts:

  • Handmade play doh

  • Cookie jar ingredients

  • Bath salts/bombs

  • Sugar scrub

  • Face scrubbies

  • Baked goods (Zero Waste Beer Bread)

  • Soap

  • Body butter

For the budding Zero Waster in your life check out Biome for some useful eco-friendly gifts:

  • Bamboo/metal reusable straw

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Reusable cutlery set

  • Reusable coffee cup

  • Reusable produce bags

If all else fails, give your loved ones gifts they’ll love and actually use, by asking them to each create a wish list and buy gifts accordingly.

Zero Waste Wrapping

It might look pretty sitting under the tree but all that wrapping paper lasts 10 seconds before being ripped to shreds. Resulting in a mountain of pretty litter by the end of the day, headed straight for landfill.

Save yourself some money by choosing recycled and more natural materials to wrap your Zero Waste Christmas presents this year.

  • Save gift wrap and bags from received presents during the year to reuse for your own gift giving

  • Fabric wrapping (fu) - Use pretty cloth napkins/tea towels which double as gifts themselves

  • Decorate newspaper/recycled paper

  • Newspaper/magazines

  • Create ‘ribbon’ and ‘bows’ from different coloured paper

  • Decorate with dried lavender or other flora

  • Natural twine

  • Paper based tape

Save what you can from this year’s presents to be used for next year’s birthdays and Christmas.

Zero Waste Decorations

Give your home a more cozy feel this Christmas using natural materials and a touch of DIY.

Natural Materials:

  • Pine cones

  • Dried oranges

  • Candles

  • Branches and leaves

Zero Waste DIY:

  • Salt dough ornaments

  • Newspaper/magazine origami

  • Gingerbread house (cardboard/edible)

  • Christmas crackers

Zero Waste Christmas Tree

Plastic Christmas Tree

A plastic tree will last you a lifetime. However that’s also its disadvantage as it will last forever in landfill too. If you do opt for buying a plastic Christmas tree, take care of it by storing correctly and use it for at least 12 years (ideally forever). Thats how long it will take to make up for cutting down a real Christmas tree each year.

Real Christmas Tree

There's nothing like the smell of fresh pine on Christmas, plus you don’t have to find the space to store a huge Christmas tree box for 11 months of the year. Once New years rolls around make sure its disposed of appropriately by composting or creating wood chips and fire wood.

Zero waste Christmas Tree

The best option for a Zero Waste Christmas tree is getting a potted one, which if treated just right can be used for many Christmases to come.

DIY Christmas Tree

Throw tradition out the door and do a DIY Christmas tree this year! If you’re lazy just grab a nice branch and bring it indoors or simply decorate a pot plant. Otherwise gather some natural materials together and get creative (pinterest helps too).

Zero Waste Christmas Party

Host a Merry Zero Waste Christmas party this year without the tacky Christmas crackers, instead reduce your holiday waste with our tips below.

  • Zero Waste Christmas decorations as above

  • Use reusable plates, glasses and cutlery (finger foods reduce washing)

  • If catering for a larger number of people, borrow or buy what you need second hand

  • Remember to bring out the cloth napkins

  • Whip up your own Christmas snacks or ask guests to bring a plastic free dish

  • Give away or eat the leftovers then compost what can't be saved

Attending a Christmas Party Zero Waste style

You can’t always control the amount of waste produced when attending an event but the following tips will help you reduce where you can.

  • Refuse straws

  • Simply ask if reusable options are available for you

  • If not share disposables where possible

  • Or bring your own reusables with you

  • When bringing a plate use a container with a lid or a beeswax wrap instead of plastic


How do you create your own Zero Waste Christmas?

I'd love to hear in the comments below!

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