Tips for Sustainable Winter Holidays: Eco-Friendly Travel, Gifting, and Home Decor
During the holidays, there’s nothing better than enjoying amazing food, cherishing your family and friends, and spoiling them with meaningful gifts.
This year though, let’s give a gift to the planet too: let’s try to reduce the holiday waste.
In fact, food waste, excessive energy usage, and increasing air pollution are real problems during this period.
These holiday numbers speak for themselves:
- In the UK, 2 million turkeys and over 74 million mince pies get wasted. Data from
- In the US, 6.63 billion kilowatts per hour are used; that’s more than one year of energy consumption in countries like Nepal (3.28 billion kw / h) or Tanzania (4.81 billion kw / h). Data from
But if you are like the BUFF® team, you want to celebrate the holidays in a more sustainable way.
We help you find out how with this list of eco-friendly practices.
Sustainable Winter Holidays Tips When Traveling
Over tourism and high carbon emissions due to trips are an annual problem during the holidays.
Here’s some tips on how to travel responsibly.
Choose the Train, If Possible, Instead of Flying
A Boing 737-400 produces around 90 kg CO2 per passenger per hour.
Meanwhile, a train produces only 177 grams per passenger mile.
The greener solution in this case is, as you can see, the train. Even electric cars have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to air travel.
Find an Eco-Friendly Accommodation
Once you choose an eco-friendlier transportation, you can keep helping the planet by choosing the right accommodation.
What you need to check when choosing a hotel is:
- Do they use renewable energy?
- Is it a certified B Corp hotel?
- Do they conserve water?
- Are they using eco-friendly or reusable materials for amenities?
- What’s the source of their food? Is it local and/or more plant-based?
If possible, you can also choose accommodation in a house with a more intimate setting without the big hotel chains. Non-chain accommodations help the local communities way more, while at the same time you’re helping the planet.
Let the Locals Guide You
A local point of view always enriches the travel experience, and at the same it supports the community. Seek out local guides who can offer insights into hidden gems, and culturally rich experience.
Avoid Fast-Food Chains and Opt for Local Food
A delicious way to taste your way through a sustainable holiday is trying local, plant-based or family restaurants over fast-food chains to support the regional economy.
Not only do you reduce your environmental impact, but you also create a genuine connection with your destination too.
Learn About the Local Flora and Fauna
Responsible, and eco-friendly behavior includes knowing how to conserve the local nature environment.
Understanding the local ecosystem is one of the best ways of sustaining an eco-friendly way of travelling.
Practical Sustainable Options When Gifting
Meaningful gifts make you feel better twice: not only because you make your loved ones happy, but also because you’re making the planet happy with the right choices.
You can find more insightful tips on our sustainable shopping post!
Order Your Gifts Online
Living in a digital era really comes in handy in this case.
Online shopping can be the best choice, depending on the vendor, as in-person shopping trips increase transportation emissions. Buying online from a local seller is a superb option, especially if they are a certified B-corp.
Choose Sustainable Gifts
There are many factors that determine a sustainable gift. For instance, how was the product produced and if they are using eco-friendly materials, what type of certification the brand has. We can help you there; check the eco-friendly products we have on our page. 🙂
Buy Recycled Cards and Wrapping Paper
Waste has astronomical proportions, literally. The equivalent to 384,400 km of wrapping paper is thrown out every year; it’s enough to reach the moon!
So, let’s keep future presents down here on Earth by choosing recycled, or even better, virtual cards (like ours!), and recycled wrapping paper.
Budget-Friendly Sustainable Tips for Home Decor and Kitchen Menu
They say that change begins at home.
And in this case, it’s the perfect place to start: 75% of holiday waste is from private homes.
During the holidays, you should take a closer look at how much you spend on home decor, food, etc.
Let’s take a closer look.
Your Menu: Plant-Based and Not Over the Top
While it’s tempting to overindulge and buy more than necessary, prepare a list before heading to the grocery store so you don’t waste food.
You can create a more sustainable menu if it’s more plant based.
Incorporating seasonal, locally sourced ingredients not only reduces your carbon footprint but also supports local farmers. Keeping your menu simple and mindful of food waste further enhances its eco-friendly impact.
Go for a Real Tree
The carbon footprint from a natural tree is 3.5 kg CO2, while an artificial tree has an impact of 40 kg of CO2 (British Carbon Trust).
Plus, as natural trees are obviously biodegradable, it is safe to say that it’s the more eco-conscious option of the 2. Although, before buying it, make sure the trees come from tree farms that are managed and maintained sustainably.
After the holidays, remember to dispose of your tree responsibly. Check with your municipality or transfer station to find out where it can be composted and/or allowed to decompose naturally. Or maybe it can be upcycled into a reef, candle holder, or other holiday decoration for next year? Some people even (re)plant their tree after the holidays!
Check These Ideas for Eco-Friendly Decor
Transform your home into a winter wonderland with eco-friendly decor ideas. From upcycled ornaments to energy-efficient lighting, there are countless ways to create a festive atmosphere without compromising sustainability.
- Natural Wreaths and Garlands: Create wreaths and garlands using natural materials like pinecones, dried flowers, twigs, and branches from your backyard or local surroundings.
- LED Lights: Use energy-efficient LED lights for decorating your home. They consume less energy and last longer compared to traditional incandescent lights.
- DIY Ornaments: Make your own ornaments using recycled materials such as paper, cardboard, old fabric scraps, or repurposed items from around your home.
- Potted Plants: Decorate with potted plants like Poinsettias, holiday cacti, or small evergreen trees that can be planted in your garden after the holidays.
- Fabric Decorations: Use reusable fabric for creating banners, tablecloths, or stockings instead of disposable, single-use decorations.
- Edible Decor: Decorate with items like popcorn strings, dried fruit garlands, or gingerbread ornaments that can be eaten or composted after use.
- Natural Centerpieces: Create centerpieces using natural elements like pinecones, holly, berries, and seasonal fruits instead of artificial ones.
- Recycled Paper Crafts: Make use of recycled paper to create handmade cards, gift tags, and paper snowflakes for decorations.
- Upcycled Decorations: Repurpose items such as glass jars, tin cans, or wine bottles as candle holders or vases for floral arrangements.
- Tree Alternatives: Consider alternatives to traditional trees, like a potted tree that can be replanted after the holidays, or a DIY tree made from upcycled materials.
- Beeswax Candles: Opt for beeswax candles, which are natural and produce less soot compared to conventional candles made from paraffin wax.
- Secondhand Decor: Shop for secondhand or vintage decorations at thrift stores or online marketplaces to reduce waste and support a circular economy.
- Biodegradable Confetti: If you use confetti for decorations, opt for biodegradable options made from materials like dried flowers or leaves.
- Reusable Advent Calendar: Create a reusable advent calendar using fabric, felt, or a wooden structure that can be filled with small treats or activities each year.
What Gifts Will You Give Your Loved Ones? Let BUFF® help you!
This holiday season, make your gift-giving experience more meaningful and sustainable. Explore the Buff Gift Guide for inspiration and use the gift finder to discover eco-friendly options that align with your values.
Choosing gifts that prioritize sustainability ensures your loved ones receive thoughtful presents that contribute to a brighter and greener future.
It’s very rewarding to make healthier choices for our planet.
Even the smallest details matter when aiming for a sustainable holiday season.