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Low-Waste Christmas Guide

Low-Waste Christmas Guide | Eat Yourself Green

I’ve asked and you decided you wanted a low-waste guide to Christmas, so here it is!

I’m excited that you all picked this instead of a Sustainable Gift Guide because I’ve made one last year (and I just updated it with some extra options). So this year, we can focus on making this holiday season a little less environmentally catastrophic.

Since we’ve just survived the madness that Black Friday, let’s focus on getting ready for Christmas and reducing our impact the best we can.

Low-Waste Christmas Guide

Holidays are an exciting part of the year, we finally get to relax and some of us manage a bit of time off. But that doesn’t discount the fact that all the gatherings, family commitments and parties take their toll on us and the environment. So let’s dive in and find better options for this year celebrations.

I’ll try to cover a few aspects of the Holidays so I put them in 3 different categories: Food, Gifts and Decor.


Oh ’tis the time to eat well! We love all about the food and drinks but we know that it can be quite a wasteful time. Here are some of my tips:

Cook less:

I don’t know about you guys but we always tend to cook so much more food than we need, especially for holidays. Brazilians like a plentiful table. But no matter if you are hosting or taking a plate to share, know how many people are participating and cook accordingly.

Eat the leftovers:

The next day leftovers are always abound. So enjoy them. Eat them as is or create a whole new dish with it. Also don’t forget to share the leftovers with those who joined you don’t end up with too much to handle. If you know someone who’s in need, offer to host or to donate food too.

Eat less meat:

One last way to reduce your environmental footprint this holiday season is to eat less meat. There are more and more options to enjoy Christmas with vegetarian and vegan dishes and if you can reduce or simply remove meat from your dishes, even better!


Australians wasted around $400M last year in unwanted gifts. If you think about all the time you spent buying someone a gift they didn’t want, you might end up quite upset. But also think about all the resources put into making those gifts. Those resources had to be extracted, process, manufactured, shipped, displayed and bought (with your hard-earned money) only to be either discarded or returned. Does that waste seem a little more relevant now?

Instead of hoarding more gifts or even stressing yourself out with what to buy, here are some options that might help you waste less time and money and I’m sure will help reduce the pressure we put onto the environment.

Low-Waste Christmas Guide | Eat Yourself Green

Don’t buy gifts:

I know, it sounds crazy, but have you really considered not buying people things? My partner and I haven’t exchanged gifts in about 3 years. And it works great for us. If we need something, we buy it ourselves OR we ask each other for it. Think about it, are the gifts your are giving necessary/relevant/needed by that person? Do they actually want what you are giving? Try asking what they want in the first place. Then offer some of the options below:

Give Money:

Perhaps you don’t know that person’s taste ~that~ well. Or maybe they are saving for something important. Maybe a parent doesn’t want more toys for their kids and they want to save money for their future? Ask them and find the best option.

Give an Experience:

Research after research concludes that we feel more fulfilled with experiences than with consumables. So why not take this opportunity to give your loved one a craft class, a movie experience or a whole day with them? Take your kids to a surf class or maybe to a theme park? There are so many great options available and that will give them long-lasting memories.

Make it yourself:

If you are that talented, try your hand at making something they’ll love. Perhaps it’s your famous cookies or your delicious jams. Or maybe you can give them a something you sew or painted yourself. Gifts like that tend to be much less wasteful and so much more thoughtful.

Buy second hand:

I know it may sound a little weird but there’s nothing more incredible than finding that perfect gift and you may be able to find it second hand. Like a classic book or a vintage piece they love. Get creative and don’t be scared to go hunting for a good bargain.


Last year we celebrated Christmas for the first time in our new home. Which meant we were able to decorate as we wanted. Such a great feeling! It’s very tempting to get shopping and to decorate with what’s the latest trend. Here are some ideas to find more environmentally-friendly options.

Find natural alternatives:

If you are looking to decorate, try native flora and the real deal instead of plastic options. Last year I made a wreath and some other decorations with things from around the garden. Find some options here. For other decorations you can’t make with something you already have, find wood or less impactful materials than plastic to decorate your home.

Low-Waste Christmas Guide | Eat Yourself Green

Look for second hand options:

If you want to buy, try looking for second hand options. There are several options available in op-shops, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.

Use it forever:

If you, like me ended up with a plastic Christmas tree, use it. Using it forever will at least make it worthwhile all the resources it took to create them. Also, don’t forget to look after it and store all items appropriately so they’ll last longer and you can enjoy a pretty Christmas every year.

Make it yourself:

Instead of buying stockings or stocking fillers for that matter, sew them yourself. Make an advent calendar with boxes you might already have at home. Look at Pinterest for ideas and inspiration and get the kids involved in making them too.

Get wrapping:

Gift wrapping can be so wasteful, so to avoid buying it, try different options this year. Give it a whirl with wrapping with newspaper or stock paper or get inspired with these other ideas here.

With all these tips, I hope you are able to reduce, refuse and recycle what you can, and compost or use it all afterwards. Making the holidays more sustainable is possible and will get the whole family involved, making it a great exercise to think new habits.

Low-Waste Christmas Guide | Eat Yourself Green

Got any other tips, share them below!

Happy (Eco) Holidays!

Peace and love,

Larissa x

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