Six tips for a more ethical and affordable Christmas

Are you thinking of attempting a more ethical Christmas this year? One that focuses on family and friends, over lavish gift-giving and competition with the neighbours?

With more people thinking about the wider impact of the festive season on people and the planet, plus the current cost-of-living crisis, it’s no wonder the nation’s festivities are leaning towards more sustainable celebrations.

Cutting back this Christmas, however, doesn’t need to take away any of the shine. That’s why Envirofone, the refurbished technology retailer has shared its four top tips for a more ethical and affordable Christmas 2022. From more considered gift giving, to reusable wrapping and reducing waste.

1) Consider buying second-hand 

Second-hand shopping has been gaining popularity in recent years, especially when it comes to fashion and interiors. However, this trend is happening within the tech industry too. Retailers such as Envirofone provide gift-givers with a great place to buy refurbished technology, enabling shoppers to buy high-quality used phones at a more affordable price.

Often teenage family members will ask for a new phone for Christmas, a huge expense for parents. Refurbished smartphones can help make a smaller dent in your Christmas budget overall. Saving your bank balance as well as the planet. 

2) Try buying experiences over products

How many gifts can you remember receiving over the past five Christmases? Experiences are often more meaningful, leaving you with memories that will last much longer than the pair of socks you only wore once.

Think local restaurant vouchers, gig and theatre tickets. These types of gifts feel more special and in line with the true meaning of Christmas. Or, if you know someone who is finding things tough financially right now, you could even help them with their bills.

3) Go greener with gift wrapping

The care and thought which goes into gorgeously wrapped gifts can feel as meaningful as the gift itself. However, glitter coated wrapping paper, shiny materials and plastic ribbons aren’t so thoughtful when it comes to the environment.

Reusing old, non-recyclable wrappings is a must. Plus, old Christmas cards can be cut up and turned into gift tags the following year too, saving them from landfill.  

If you do need new wrapping materials though, then TikTok has some great inspiration for more eco-friendly options. Just search in the app to find a whole world of inspiration and “how-to” reels. 

4) Shop local where you can

Shopping locally for food and drinks, rather than in big supermarket chains can be really beneficial for the planet and your local economy too! Often small businesses will source ingredients and materials locally, ensuring a lower carbon footprint for your Christmas favourites.

Going to your local fruit and veg shop can often end up cheaper and with less waste than pre-packed supermarket produce and you’ll feel great knowing you’re giving back a little this Christmas. 

5) Consider more plant-based treats

It’s widely recognised that a plant-based diet tends to be better for the environment but, a fully plant-based Christmas day can feel scary for some.

It is however, easy (and often cheaper) to great delicious plant-based sides and snacks to go alongside some of your Christmas dinner regulars. Jamie Oliver has a selection of vegan Christmas recipes on his site which are free to access and look just as tasty.

6) Ditch the car where you can!

It can be tempting to jump in the car or a taxi over the festive season but is it always necessary. Checking local public transport times and taking a different travel mode can sometimes be cheaper (when planned ahead) and allow you to relax and enjoy the journey whilst listening to festive music and drinking a warming hot chocolate instead.

Going to for a walk in the cold Christmas air can help blow away the cobwebs after Christmas day too. Why not walk to the local park (or pub!) to save on emissions and fuel costs compare with driving to beauty spots which are further away. Staying in your local area will likely mean bumping into a few friendly faces too, which is what the festive season is all about.

Will you be having an more eco-conscious Christmas this year? Hopefully these tips and trick will help you make small changes that can have a big impact.