How To Have A Conscious Christmas

The festive season is upon us – and let’s make it a conscious time of the year!

The time of merrymaking, joyful gatherings, twinkling lights, music and singing and magic in the air.

Yet, this time of year also brings a frantic increase in consumption. More food and drink, more gifts, more parties, more travel.

With the recent UN Emissions Gap Report warning of imminent destructive climate impacts, Pollyanna Darling and Jen Smith of reforestation charity TreeSisters share seven ways we can all give back to the Earth this festive season.

Give the gift of trees with TreeSisters

Don’t we all have enough stuff? Instead of buying more  presents to put under the Christmas tree, why not give to the Earth by funding the planting of tropical trees? For every £20 you donate to TreeSisters you can fund the planting of 66 trees. This is a wonderful way to honor a loved one this holiday season!

Use eco-friendly wrapping paper

If you have physical gifts, swap traditional wrapping paper for a low-waste alternative such as recycled newspapers or fabrics. There are some fabulous ideas on Pinterest which look beautiful and don’t cost the Earth.

Ditch the turkey

Did you know that eating less or no meat is one of the best ways you can personally reduce your carbon footprint? With this in mind, serve a nut loaf or a vegetable curry with all the trimmings for a conscious Christmas dinner.

Car pool and share the driving

Travel over the holiday season seems almost inevitable. With the various trips to aunts, uncles and distant cousins all wanting to see you, you can spend a lot of time on the road. So, plan your journeys with family members and friends to reduce the number of cars on the road. In addition, you could connect with other people on your local community Facebook group who may be travelling your way.

Slow down your fast fashion

Party season is upon us – the office party, the team dinner, Saturday night with your friends. They don’t all require a new outfit. Take a look at charity shops or eBay to find a great deal on secondhand party wear that won’t contribute to the fast fashion industry or end up in landfill before the end of the year!

Turn the TV off and get outdoors

Instead of spending the holiday inside with all of your lights on and the TV playing as Grandad falls asleep, why not take a walk in nature? There’s nothing better than connecting with your local landscape and enjoying the fresh air.

Make a New Year’s resolution to love the Earth

This New Year’s Eve, why not make a resolution to give back to the Earth that gives us absolutely everything? Consider how might you love the Earth in 2020? Will you plant trees, make compost, grow your own food (even if it’s just parsley in a pot), drive less, meditate outside, spend more time appreciating nature, pick up rubbish on your local beach, cultivate joy, or stop using single-use plastic? There are thousands of ways you can demonstrate your appreciation for our incredible planet. Above all, it’s all about the little conscious changes to our lives that add up.

Join TreeSisters’ ‘Grow Your Own Forest’ campaign this festive season and you can start funding tree planting across the tropics in diverse forest environments (including mangroves, rainforests, dry deciduous forest, agroforestry and more) in Madagascar, Cameroon, Nepal, India, Kenya, Brazil (in the Amazon and Atlantic rainforests), Mozambique and West Papua. To find out how you can contribute to restoring and protecting the global tropical forests, visit: www.treesisters.org/give