How to have a happy Eco Christmas

by Kate Hall November 27, 2018 1 Comment

How to have a happy Eco Christmas

For a zero-waster and eco-lifestyle embracer, Christmas day is full of awkward moments. Saying no to plastic wrapped candy, bringing food wrapped in beeswax wraps, and folding everyone’s wrapping paper perfectly to use for next year, draws attention and more than a few weird looks.

We don’t like to admit it, but jumping on the green living bandwagon, currently involves excluding yourself from mainstream society. Waste, plastic, and excessive ‘stuff’ is everywhere. So, the second you try to remove it: you stand out.

But Christmas is about relaxing and spending time with your loved ones. No one wants a Green Grinch ruining their Christmas.

While we don’t encourage throwing away your eco values on Christmas day, there are great ways to compromise, handle the awkward moments, and ultimately use Christmas to educate rather than offend.

Here are our top tips for avoiding awkward eco-battles, and enjoying every second of your Eco Christmas!

Gift a chicken?!

Ethical Christmas

First things first, let’s tackle the gifts. If you’re on board with an eco-lifestyle, you may have embraced the ‘less stuff, more meaning’ ideology, or have an eco-wish list. If you have a wish list, share it! If you’re wanting to declutter and your wish list is blank, instead of ‘no gifts’, here’s a few ideas to let them know how you best feel loved.

Remember: Gifting is a demonstration of love and appreciation, so the second you say ‘no gifts please’, is the second you stop your family from expressing their feelings towards you. It’s best to offer an alternative.

  • Tearfund Gift for Life: Receive a goat or a chicken! The animal will go to someone in need; you’ll receive the warm fuzzy feelings.
  • Massage or beauty salon voucher
  • Lunch or dinner date
  • Outdoor activity: sky diving, white river rafting, stand up paddle boarding, bungy jumping

Celebrating Christmas in an eco-friendly way, is all about compromise. If your Aunty gifts you a present covered in plastic packaging, and you know you have no need for the item: be grateful.

Ho ho ho, where's the zero waste Christmas cake?

The best part of Christmas day… the food. On Christmas day, we seem to go all out. It’s an excuse to buy the best of everything, and pull out all our best recipes! Without going into the deep and depressing facts of food waste and packaging on Christmas day, here’s some tips for how to combat it.

  • BYO containers and beeswax wraps to take home leftovers
  • If there’s enough vegetarian options to fill your belly, choose those
  • Contribute something to the table that is low waste (shop at the bulk bin store) and/or meat free
  • If appropriate, challenge your family to reducing their waste on Christmas day- they may find it’s a fun challenge!
  • Volunteer to do the dishes to avoid disposables ending up in landfill

No eco-wars, please

Once gifts have been opened and food has been consumed, you’ll find yourself cosying up on the couch, and chatting with family you haven’t seen in a while. Chances are, the conversation will quickly lead to questions about your eco-lifestyle. It’s easy for these to turn into heated debates, finger pointing, and division.

It’s Christmas: shut that down!

Tips for positive conversations about your eco lifestyle:

  • Acknowledge you are happy to be there, and appreciate the effort everyone has put into Christmas day- regardless of the waste
  • Accept you’re not perfect: let that be obvious in your words
  • Point out all the positives and successes of the day
  • Choose your audience (don’t engage in conversation if you know it won’t end well)
  • Keep it happy and light: horrible facts about planet pollution may not be appropriate on Christmas day

Christmas is a time for family, food, friends, and fun. No one likes a Green Grinch, but everyone loves our planet. Use this time to share eco-living ideas, demonstrate how easy it can be (without giving a lecture), and enjoy a minimal-waste day. Every little action counts, and it’s not about perfection.

We’re off to put up the tree, charge our solar powered Christmas lights, and hang our beautiful bamboo Christmas ornaments.

Merry Eco Christmas!

Kate Hall
Kate Hall


Kate is a word smith, kombucha addict, serial smiler, and zero waste enthusiast. She believes life's too short to think of yourself as one tiny person who can't make change. Slow fashion and green living are what gets her up in the morning, and her hand-raised bird will forever be found nuzzling into her shoulder.

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