I was then pointed in the direction of the Planet Ark site, and was very pleased to discover that some of my other Christmas Traditions were in accordance with their 12 Do's of Christmas. (Remember, I love travel and motorsport, and have filled a massive landfill with the disposable nappies of three children, so I have a lot of penance to do).
The best thing with a lot of these ecologically thoughtful ideas, is that they actually SAVE YOU MONEY. This means you can either spend more on other things,
Next up, the Christmas Cards. I like to post cards - there are perfectly fine e-cards, but if you like to hand write a message, here's another way to do it. At the end of the holiday period, cut all the pictures off the cards you received, and the next year they go out postcard style. The first year I did it, I felt the need to explain to people that I was doing it for environmental reasons, but now people expect it, a few friends have followed suit and one friend sends me her xmas cards as she know I don't have enough to cover the number I need to send. Less waste in envelopes and recycling and I save a fortune on buying cards.
Wrapping paper is another thing that causes me great guilt. I have a young tot who likes to paint, so from November on, all painting sessions are done on a long roll of butchers paper. This means she gets craft and I get wrapping paper. We even have xmas stamp sets and the red and green glitter paints if we really want to festive it up.
I also love gift bags, because I know everyone just keeps reusing them. I even once gave everyone pretty Enviro-bags as part of their xmas present, and that was the wrapping paper for the rest of the gift. (For the record, Santa doesn't wrap in this house, he just puts it in the material bag - win/win all round!)
We are having a grown up party and I've just supplied myself with .49 cent glassware also from Ikea. Again while the initial outlay has come in at around $30, we will have them forever and never need to buy disposable again. They all can go in the dishwasher, so they're really no extra work.
On to the party - we decorate the garden with lights - but I am a solar light fan. I dig them out before the xmas season hits, do a few days charging in full sun, then decorate the trees. The garden looks lovely, and there's no electricity bill to deal with. They also last - our first set is still going strong 8 years on.
I also favour the battery operated little Christmas lights - the house is still colourfully lit up, but run on rechargeable batteries (or Ikea recyclable ones) - they are a cheap and cost effective way to put on a light display without a heavy electricity bill at the end of it.
Lastly gifts - we give out a tonne of gifts, to people who really don't need them. That's adding to the waste in the world. A few things to consider, there are a lot of experiences now on offer - a massage, day spa visit, a jetpack adventure or even a night in a hotel - all lovely gifts, all leave minimal clutter and waste. For my book group, I found festive pasta, which will get consumed and is really just a token gesture.
If you are a cook or crafty, make chocolates or Christmas fare - there's less packaging and it's cheaper too (but I am not the person to give advice in this area, thus the pasta!). For dinner party thankyou gifts, consider the xmas plants, rather than boxed chocolate. Less packaging and also probably the more imaginative.
The last one, is eBay, or regift what is unsued and unwanted - save someone else buying the exact same thing that's sitting in your cupboard. There you go, I just gave you permission to regift with higher purpose. Better for the environment and you might even make money.
What are your tips for Christmas that save your pocket and the environment?
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT. (Also sorry Jess, for going early but I'm having a Christmas meltdown)
You can water it down a little and the kids can't tell, they don't realise they're getting less than if they had a glass of it, and you look like you're being mum of the year giving them a sugary treat on a hot day. Win/win all round.
Linking with #ChristmasLinkUp