5 ways to have a sustainable Christmas this year

Dec 6, 2021 | holidays, recycling, sustainability

Christmas doesn’t have to be a time of excess and indulgence. You can care for the planet and celebrate with your family and friends. Here’s 5 tips to have a sustainable Christmas this year:

1. Don’t use the air conditioner: The Sydney Morning Herald reported last year that air conditioning and refrigeration account for around 11.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Yes, we all want to stay cool on Christmas Day but try a fan or going for a swim at a beach or pool instead.

view of the ocean gently lapping the beach at sunset

2. Eat vegan: Who says Christmas has to involved turkey and seafood? There are plenty of vegan friendly recipes you can use to spice up your Christmas meal and make it healthier for the planet. Get inspiration from books like Vegan in 30 Minutes and #Veganlife.

3. Recycle wrapping paper: Make sure you have a bag handy to collect all that excess wrapping paper and put it in the recycling bin. Better still, store it away for use on presents next year! It’s better for the environment and it saves you money. 

wooden box with a collection of Christmas paper, gift bags and various different ribbons

4. Regifting: t’s the quintessential tip for a sustainable Christmas. Regift presents don’t let them go to waste or to landfill. Anything can find a home if you’re creative about it and if not, why not give your excess presents to an op shop? Find your nearest Vinnies with this guide.

5. Plant a tree: Instead of chopping a tree down this Christmas plant a tree in your garden or local community garden. If that’s not an option for you try the Forest app where productivity will win you points and eventually allow you to plant a tree in places like Kenya and Uganda. It’s a great way to contribute to the gradual re-greening of the planet!

forest of pine trees with clearing in the middle

So here’s hoping you have a happy and sustainable Christmas this year. Please feel free to share with us any ideas you have about how to live a sustainable life over the festive season!

By Anne Reddacliff, ALIA Sustainable Libraries Group committee member


  1. Jane Sellwood

    You could always encourage people to use Ecosia as a search engine and they will plant trees for searches 😊

    • Forestwood

      I have not heard of Ecosia. Many thanks for sharing that. I will look into it, @Jane

  2. Forestwood

    Excellent ideas here and ones that I already do in my family. I hope we can encourage more to be like-minded.

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