toggle menu
WWF sustainable Christmas

Christmas presents wrapped with fabric by Steve Cukrov Photography / Creative Market

Christmas Day without the waste

01 Dec 2017

  • Christmas
  • footprint
  • sustainable living

Fairy lights are up. Trees are decked out with sparkly ornaments. All I Want For Christmas Is You is playing on loop in the background. Yep, it’s officially the Christmas season.

Christmas is often a time of excess and over-consumption. It can be tempting to get swept away by the festivities and buy into the consumer hype… but what if there was a way to be swept away by all the pretty lights and be environmentally friendly at the same time? It’s possible.

Here are some essential Christmas items that you can swap for sustainable options.


Decking the halls sustainably

Sustainable Christmas decorations flat lay © WWF-Aus / Stef Mercurio

Christmas tree

Decorate an indoor plant

Create your own tree using things around the house

Buy a real tree instead of a plastic tree - it’s the most eco-friendly option

Lights and decorations

Design your own wreath using native greenery or edible herbs

Buy ethical and fairtrade decorations from stores like Oxfam

Use solar powered lights or switch to LED lighting

Light soy candles that have been produced locally

Have a go at your own DIY Christmas crafts


Wrapping gifts thoughtfully

Christmas gifts sustainable wrapping © WWF-Aus / Stef Mercurio


Give the gift of an experience rather than a thing

Shop for ethical, recycled and sustainable presents

Cards and wrapping

Send an e-card using PaperlessPost or a WWF Wildcard

Look for greeting cards with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label

Re-use old wrapping paper, newspapers, magazines and fabrics

Give your gift in a boomerang bag

Use brown paper tape instead of cellotape

Setting the Christmas table

Christmas dinner table setting © WWF-Aus / Stef Mercurio

Cutlery and crockery

Use reusable bamboo or biodegradable cutlery

Mix and match unique kitchenware from op shops and ethical stores

Purchase reusable straws or skip them altogether

Use cloth napkins or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) napkins

Repurpose old jars for drinks


Centrepieces and table accents

Use native plants and flowers as centrepieces

Decorate using flowers like lavender or edible fruit, like cherries

The Christmas feast

Christmas left over jars with beeswax wraps © WWF-Aus / Stef Mercurio

Christmas meals

Opt for more vegetable meal options

Choose sustainably farmed seafood

Bake your own Christmas snacks and edibles

Shop for local and organic products at your green grocer

Packaging, storage and leftovers

Bring your own reusable bags when shopping

Buy bread from your local baker and carry it in a reusable bread bag

Use bee wrap instead of plastic or aluminium wrap

Donate your leftovers to organisations like Foodbank, OzHarvest and SecondBite



Making even a small change to your usual holiday traditions can make a big difference in the long run for the future of our planet.

What sustainable swap will you make this Christmas? Let us know on Facebook.

Recommended reading

Natural bright baby playroom with eco-friendly fabrics and toys © Shutterstock / / WWF


Planet friendly toys

That your kids will love.

Read more

Christmas presents that don't cost the Earth CC0 Pexels


Pressies with a conscience

Gifts that help wildlife, are great for the environment and make you feel good.

Read more