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Christmas is just around the corner and we’ve got some ideas about how you can celebrate this beautiful day by being more mindful of your actions. From food wastage to alternative decorations and tips about your holiday habits, here is what you can do to have an eco-Christmas this year

Words: Emily Georgieva

Photography: Annie Spratt

10 December 2019

The 25th of December is a unique day – one that thousands of people around the world spend with their family and closest friends. It is a special occasion and as such most of us dedicate a lot of thought and time into planning it. Each year a massive amount of resources is wasted on the preparation for Christmas. This got us thinking about the meaning of the celebration – it is all about spreading love and kindness, giving and caring about one another.

This year our team decided to look into ways to celebrate this day in a more conscious way. We’ve got some tips and ideas for you about how you can change your habits just a tiny bit and get into the spirit of Christmas the right way.

Have an eco Christmas this year


It is easy to go into a shop and find a set of festive decorations that will fit the style of your home and complete your Christmas tree. There are many companies nowadays that create Christmas charms from eco materials such as wood, glass and brass. You can always make your own ornaments as well from berries, and biscuits threaded with red ribbons for a festive feel. Candles are also popular December purchase. Try to avoid the ones with paraffin and choose those that are based on soy or for example beeswax.



Christmas is all about the lights. They are everywhere – wrapped around the Christmas tree, used to decorate each room, even styled around terrace railings. They are a great way to acknowledge the holiday spirit, however they are very wasteful as well. We recommend switching to LED lights this year as they are gentler to the environment and use over 80% less energy, Think only about the 12 days of Christmas – LED lights can reduce 29,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions within this time frame if every UK household uses them instead of string lights.


So far, we’ve suggested things about your Christmas tree decoration, but what about the three itself? You can easily recycle it by donating it to your local council if they have a Christmas tree recycling service or simply replant it if you’ve got a potted one. There are plenty of ways you can give new life to it by using it in different ways, such as help the wildlife or use it as compost.


Recycled wrapping paper, or brown paper, are the obvious ones to use. You can add some nice ribbons or simple threads. They look cool, unique and minimalistic, which is the best way to wrap a present anyways. Foil and glitter are not recyclable so if you could avoid buying paper that contains those elements. Think about the things you can reuse again, such as ribbons and bags instead of throwing them away on the spot.



There are some cards that have been produced by ethically sourced paper. Watch out for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mark. This will vouch for the authenticity of the sustainability of the paper. Seed packet cards are also on the rise. They allow the person who gets the card to sow it in the springtime.



Christmas is all about kindness, so it is the best time of the year to think locally. Support small independent businesses by buying your food from them. This way you will not only cut on cost for delivery and often food packaging, but you will also show some love to small-scale ethical businesses. Get your food fresh from the right place.



Our advice is to try and think what you will need beforehand. Buy less to avoid wastage. You can get very creative with the leftovers by making something new from them. If you do end up with food that will be wasted, you can donate it in the Christmas spirit. There re apps such as Olio, which give you the opportunity to lest all the food you have as leftover. You will be able to see people in your local area that are in need of food and share yours with them.



It is a common saying that Christmas is about giving, not receiving. This is a little odd saying to follow in most societies as people are used to and expect to receive a present form their loved ones. While this is great and we support this way to spread joy, our team would like to urge you to use this year as an opportunity to give more and want nothing in return. Think about clothes and shoes you don’t wear anymore, homeware that you don’t need. There is probably someone out there, who can make a good use of the things you don’t really need. Think about donating to local charity shops or places, such as orphanages where this kind gesture will mean everything to those in need.

From the NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine’s family to yours – we wish you a Merry Christmas! We would love to hear about how you spent Christmas this year celebrating in an eco-friendly way. Drop us an email at and let us know what Christmas means to you and what you did to celebrate this year.



NOMADSofORIGIN is an independent annual publication with a focus on sustainable travelling and global cultural values. Each issue features interviews, engaging articles and photo guides, which take our nomadic readers through different destinations and introduce them to local people's perspectives.



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