Why My Family is Doing A Sustainable Christmas This Year & How Yours Can Too!

Christmas is a time for cozying up by the fire with hot cocoa, laughing and eating with loved ones and, of course, finding the perfect gift for your family members. However, people often forget that with all this eating, shopping and gift wrapping comes a pretty significant impact on the environment with huge surges in food waste, plastic waste and CO2 emissions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in “Go Green for the Holidays,” “Americans throw away about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.” Further, the article explains that, “If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.” ​To be honest, I never really thought about the impact Christmas has on the environment. But with climate change only accelerating and the United States showing no intention of rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, this Christmas comes at a time where sustainable choices are more important than ever. So, my family and I decided we were going to do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint this holiday season. 

Sustainable Christmas can come in all shapes and sizes. For some, it can simply be not purchasing any gifts online, and for others, it can mean buying all gifts from socially conscientious and sustainable companies (or small, local businesses if you can swing it), using recyclable wrapping paper and making sure Christmas dinner includes no food waste. Whatever route you take in making your Christmas a bit more sustainable, a little effort can truly go a long way. 

To help get you started, here are a few places you can look for the perfect sustainable gift. For women’s clothing, check out Everlane or Marine Layer. For your outdoorsy family members, Patagonia and United by Blue are great places to look into. For household items such as kitchen and cookware, Bambu has some really awesome items. For beauty and makeup products, I cannot praise Beautycounter and The Detox Market enough. While not all of these stores have physical locations, they are great options for online shoppers. 

A sustainable Christmas can take whatever form is attainable for your family. Simply just sticking to your grocery list instead of loading everything on the shelves into your cart, or buying one sustainable gift can add up and make a massive impact. All I urge is that you keep our dear friend, Earth, in mind this holiday season.

While everyone loves a white Christmas, this year, I hope we all have a very green Christmas.