6 Ways To Have A Fun, Educational and Sustainable Christmas

This Christmas let’s extend the joy of gift-giving to Planet Earth.

The year-end is always a time for joyful overindulgence, Christmas shopping, and exchanging gifts but that shouldn’t stop us from being conscious of the environment and practicing sustainability.

We understand that sustainability can feel daunting with the pressure to be eco-friendly and lead a sustainable lifestyle, but it’s important to remember that:

Small changes count, you don’t have to become completely sustainable in all aspects of your life at once.

The Crea8 Sustainability team has put together a list of simple and fun activities that you can do to encourage everyone in the family to care for the planet and be more conscious of how their daily habits can help fight climate change.

So, whether you’re shopping your way through the New Year or planning to spend time with your family and friends at home, here are a few easy-peasy ways you can enjoy the festive season while keeping the Earth in mind.

  1. Make your own wrapping paper
  2. Wrapping presents and watching your loved ones open their surprise is always enjoyable. Instead of using store-bought wrapping paper that can’t usually be recycled, why not make your own and turn it into a family fun activity?

    Using brown paper and whatever art materials you have in the house, you can create your own personalised wrapping paper.

    Not a fan of drawing? You can also layer your Kraft paper with newspaper to create a rustic effect. Tie it off with some twine to create a vintage aesthetic.

    Most of the wrapping paper you find in gift stores cannot be recycled and disposed of as general waste. Decorating Kraft paper is a wonderful way to add a personal touch to your gifts while being environmentally friendly and cost-efficient!

  3. Go on a grocery shopping mission & cook together
  4. Preparing for your Christmas dinner or just a normal weekday meal? Why not involve the children in the process? To make things exciting, we challenge you to try to complete the following mission goals together:

    • Bring a reusable bag for your groceries. Tote bags you have received from events and sturdy plastic bags are perfect reusable bags for your grocery needs!

    • Choose fresh foods – they’re nutritious and better for your health. Instead of getting pre-cut vegetables or salad kits that are usually sealed in a plastic bag or container, pick out the fresh vegetables yourself and have fun making your own salad!

    • Planning to cook tonight? Choose the ‘ugly’ foods that are at the end of their shelf life. When picking fresh produce, even though they don’t look good, they still taste the same and are packed with nutrients even if they seem ‘older’.

    • Need more spices, grains or nuts? Opting to measure and scoop your spices into your own container is much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly as compared to buying them pre-packaged. You’ll get much more for the same price! (You can find these at a number of stores and supermarkets).

    • Buy only what you need – remember, not all foods can be bought in bulk!

  5. Go toy shopping (eco-friendly version)
  6. A good way to practice sustainability with children is to give them toys that can withstand the test of time. With all the latest toy catalogues and flashy gadgets, it can be incredibly hard to choose gifts for children that are enjoyable, beneficial and durable.

    While it can be tempting to buy electronic gifts for children, discarded batteries are an environmental hazard as they contain toxic chemicals. Batteries are also non-biodegrade and difficult to recycle. Additionally, as electronic toys are often made of plastic and consist of small miscellaneous parts, they are also more likely to get damaged over time.

    When thinking about the gifts you’re buying, consider looking for longer-lasting ones. Instead of buying a toy that needs batteries, try looking for eco-friendly gifts for children such as puzzles, wooden toys and building blocks that can also be passed down to other children!

    Noah’s Toys or Enstories.co are local companies that specialise in specially curated wooden toys for children. Alternatively, you can also shop for wooden toys for children at IKEA or on Shopee!

  7. Give back to the community by shopping for a good cause
  8. Let’s share the joy of Christmas together! As you tick off the gifts on your shopping list for friends and family, why not extend the season of giving to the wider community by shopping for a good cause?

    When shopping online, try looking out for stores and companies that support a good cause through their earnings. Consider purchasing a charity gift card from organisations like Oxfam International, or supporting businesses that provide great gift options while giving back to the less fortunate through a percentage of their sales.

    If you’re heading to town, check out Design Orchard’s Christmas Extravaganza where you can find an array of local brands and products to choose from. Brands such as BoxGreen and The Animal Project donate a portion of their proceeds to support the community.

  9. Organise a Bring-Your-Own-Plate dinner
  10. It’s time to feast! If you’re hosting a Christmas dinner this year, instead of using disposable plastic plates and utensils, why not ask your guests to bring their own crockery instead?

    Checking out each other’s mismatched plates and cutlery can be a fun way to bond over your Christmas dinner!

  11. Repurpose, recycle and upcycle
  12. At the end of the festive season, we’re often left with a full tummy, a pile of gifts, and… heaps and heaps of wrapping paper.

    Instead of throwing away the wrapping paper, why not keep them in a box? Large pieces of wrapping paper can be reused to wrap more gifts in the future, while smaller pieces can be shredded up and used as stuffing for shipping a package or for art projects. Whenever we have small gifts to give, it always seems as if we have nothing to wrap it in. This is where your box of wrapping paper scraps will come in handy!

We hope this list helps you ease your way into adopting more eco-friendly habits this festive season. And remember, sustainability is a big word so if you’re just starting out, find your own meaning to a ‘sustainable lifestyle’ and make bite-size changes!

 After all, starting small is better than not starting at all.

 Merry Christmas everyone!