Positive impact Christmas

9th December 2011 by

I have avoided cycling through central London in an attempt to ignore the spirit of consumption that’s hanging from lampposts, exhibited in shop windows and adorning Christmas trees.

It seems the terms and conditions of Christmas include tons of waste in the shape of cards, wrapping paper, useless unwanted gifts, disposable decorations, broken light bulbs and “unstorable” Christmas trees. Were the pagan and Christian origins of Christmas so waste-oriented?

I’m sure lots of traditions and cultures sculpted our current festive season. Can we shape it even further with the choices we are making today?

I’m sure we can by prioritising values over stuff and by trying to minimise our impact. What are our options then?


Get crafty and make your own cards with recycled materials. Cereal boxes, old maps or tetrapacks are a great starting point. If you have kids or know someone who has, have a card making session with them (it helps the creative mood if cake or ice cream is included).


Give time instead of products. Who do you know that could benefit from your cooking, gardening, sewing, singing or baby-sitting skills? Make your own tailored coupons (you could even add a ‘use by date’). If you are keen to spend some money then visit your local charity shop in search of hidden treasures, or support local traders. Think about all those friends trying to make a living selling their music, paintings, photos and books. We could all have a happy festive season supporting each other. You could always just re-gift.

Wrapping paper

Tea soaked newspaper looks amazing. Or just use it as it is preferably in sections with lots of images or nice patterns. Magazines, posters, old promotional material is also useful. You could also use a forgotten blanket. How? Check out this website to find out all you need to know about cloth wrapping.


Last year I came across home made edible Christmas decorations. What a great idea! You just eat them through out the season or afterwards. If you think mice will eat them before you do so, try swapping decorations with your relative / neighbour or give a new look to the ones you have. Ideas for hand made Christmas decorations here.


I’ve got mixed up feelings about lights but I guess that if you can’t live without them go for solar powered ones. If all you want is to impress your friends, use Shelter’s housebling to avoid scary electricity bills (it includes snow). Check how mine looks below.

Christmas tree

Ever tried a totally different approach? How about a wish list post-it note Christmas tree? I thought it was a fantastic new idea but a quick Internet image search proved me wrong.

Check out this guide with 19 Christmas tree alternatives. It might be already too late for a pallet Christmas tree but you could keep it in mind for next year.

We can all make the world a better place this festive season by finding more sustainable ways to celebrate it.

Smiles and positive vibes, Calu

One Response to “Positive impact Christmas”

  1. Luz says:

    As Calu always makes me very inspired, I learned a lot from her, and in fact two years ago I let myself be guided by her amazing creativity in this regard.
    Thanks a lot!

Search Blog

Get Social