A Christmas Gift Guide to Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Offset your Christmas Carbon Footprint

A Christmas gift guide to offset your Carbon footprint. I am sure many have never thought about offsetting their carbon footprint to mitigate the impacts of their festivities. Christmas is the one time in the year when everyone splashes out on gifts, consume an immense amount of energy and travel thousands of miles to meet their loved ones. Some people spend and travel more than others do.  No matter how hard we try, it is very difficult to resist this season.  Why should we not celebrate and be with loved ones? Many will argue.  We should not turn a wonderful, family occasion into a bleak and un-festive time. 

Nothing beats reduction, but in doing so, if people feel stressed or anxious, then it is better to find alternative ways to protect the environment.  Therefore, this year rather than feeling guilty about your consumption, be it travel, Christmas trees or presents, reduce where you can and offset the rest of your Christmas carbon footprint.  Below is a guide to offset unavoidable Carbon footprint over Christmas and reduce your waste.

Let Us Start with How to Offset your Christmas Carbon Footprint

With Christmas arrives an overload of consumption, waste and travel arrangements.  We tend to have an outcry when we see deforestation taking place for agriculture, but on the other hand, we dramatically increase our consumption of Christmas trees during the holidays.  Not many would think about replacing a tree for tree.

Whilst we think about deforestation, our travel arrangements will also have a significant impact on the environment.  During this one period, people travel by planes, trains and cars to spend time with their friends and families.  Each person travelling on a transatlantic flight this season will contribute 1.2 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere.  At the same time the use of energy in lighting, heating and cooking will also dramatically increase.  Not travelling to see family or engaging in the festive season feels bleak and depressing.

So this year, change options and choose to offset your Christmas carbon footprint by planting trees.  According to a study carried out by NC State University, on average, ‘one tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 tonne of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.’ 

There are many organisations to which you can donate to offset your carbon footprint.  Click A Tree, the ad above, is one such organisation.  Not only will you replace a tree for a tree and offset your carbon emissions, your donation will aid habitat rehabilitation and provide job opportunities to local communities.  Upon my last check, Click A Tree had planted over 100,000 trees, created 1000 workdays in 12 countries. So do not dismiss the positive impact your donation can make to the environment and livelihood of communities whilst offsetting your carbon footprint this Christmas. Alternatively you can give carbon offset gift by donating on their behalf. Planting trees as carbon offset or ethical gifts is a great way to increase reforestation during peak occasions such as Christmas, Easter, Eid, Diwali, Valentine’s day etc.

Ethical Gifts to Offset your Christmas Gift Carbon Footprint

Nordgreen US specialises in watches desired by everyone.  I love what their brand stands for and how they support sustainability.  They have a giving back program whereby every customer gets to choose how they would want their purchase to influence the world.  When you buy a watch from Nordgreen US you can choose whether to support the clean water project in Central Africa, education in India or preserve a piece of rain forest in Latin America.  If you are looking for a long lasting gift that makes a positive impact, be sure to visit Nordgreen US by clicking on the banner below.

Ethical, Organic, Cruelty Free Christmas Advent Calendars as a Gift

There is no doubt that kids love advent calendars.  Most parents will relax their rules and allow a chocolate a day at this time of the year.  Did you know that advent calendars are now targeting beauty enthusiasts? You can now buy an advent beauty calendar from several known brands such as ASOS, Lush Cosmetics, The Body Shop and Pipbox.  The women’s health magazine has compiled a list of brands offering beauty advent calendars that are ethical, eco, vegan or cruelty free.  Be sure to read their list if you are a beauty enthusiast.  Lush Cosmetics is known for its ethical buying policy and contributes to social and environmental projects globally.  The Body shop calendar will help raise money for children’s charity Plan International.   ASOS and Pipbox are also on the list, offering brands that are ethical, eco, vegan or cruelty free.

A number of online sites nowadays offer handmade and ethical accessories for the home and for the fashion enthusiast.  Below is a list of sites that are definitely worth visiting:

Reducing your Carbon FootPrint in other ways

Choose Vintage – Preloved

The demand for vintage and second hand goods is on the rise.  As a result, a number of new online marketplaces have recently emerged.  You can now scroll through thousands of items to find a gift for virtually anybody. 

Use sites like Preloved, banner ad below, to look for gifts and also to sell your unwanted gifts.  Not only are people buying and saving money from such sites, they are listing their discarded items to make money.  EcoATM also known as Gazelle is another such site where you can sell unwanted phones to earn a bit of cash.

Food Waste

Over Christmas, a phenomenal amount of waste is created from two predominant areas, namely, food and packaging.  Pinterest and Yummly are wonderful saviours when it comes to planning meals.  Turn any leftovers into new meals by scrolling through their websites to find recipes that match your ingredients.  You may not be able to go 100 percent waste free, but by pre-planning meals, selecting unpacked fruit or vegetables and choosing foods in recyclable packaging you will dramatically reduce how much you throw away. 


For your Christmas decorations, think about going minimal.  Once the holidays are over most of your decorations will end up in the bin.  This year, instead of buying brand new decorations, visit your local charities and opt for recyclable decorations that contain less packaging.  A number of charities have online shopping platforms.  Visit their sites to choose from a greater variety of items.  Also, do not forget to sell or donate unwanted decorations and gifts to charities at the end of the festivities.

Related Articles

Whilst you are thinking of how to use this Christmas gift guide to offset your carbon footprint, below are some articles about how to turn a high carbon experience into a low carbon footprint:

DisclaimerThe banner ads above are Affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you! That’s how my blog enables me to continue writing about how we can make a positive environmental impact without charging readers.

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  1. Thanks for sharing these great ideas . Usually I will be on board , but this year after all that happened in Venice I think it is a good idea also to buy something here to support local shop owners who have lost a lot due to the floods

    1. Supporting the local community is equally important and it’s probably the best way to minimise your carbon footprint.

    2. That’s such a great idea. Supporting local business is generally a great step!

  2. Hey Ree, thanks for the post! I had no idea about the ethical advent calendars being such a big hit now, haha. That’s awesome. I’ve been looking for one too, but here in Slovakia, I haven’t found many. Also, I didn’t know about Preloved, I’ll make sure to check it out. Thank you, I’ll definitely use some of your suggestions for this Xmas. 🙂

    1. I was pleasantly surprised when I came across the ethical, vegan beauty advent calendar. Have a look online, Lush or the Body Shop might do shipping to Slovakia.

  3. I haven’t heard of many of these companies, I love that they are all geared towards helping the planet in their business. And I also love shopping second hand. A few of my son’s gifts will be preloved ❤️

    1. There are lots of businesses doing good for the environment and for global communities. Unfortunately they don’t receive enough credit because they often don’t form part of the mainstream retail sector. I’m glad to have found them and showcase their efforts.

  4. Thanks for these ideas, there are quite some which I didn’t know before! And even though I am not generally that much into the idea of offsetting, I think it’s always important to find a balance between reducing and ethical consuming (be it travel, gifts, …). Everyone has different areas where he or she thinks they can reduce. I’ve also heard of Click a tree before and really like the concept. 🙂

    1. Absolutely, reduction is the ideal solution to sustainability. Offsetting is an option when we are unable to reduce. For example, millions of people will travel over the Christmas period to see their loved ones. I wouldn’t want to miss seeing my family during this period, so offsetting my carbon footprint for my travel during the holidays is a better option than not seeing them at all.

  5. Great post! I also like to recycle and reuse from gift giving as much as possible by saving and reusing boxes, gift bags, ribbons and tissue paper. Thanks for sharing other ideas!

  6. A great post to remind us that just because it is Christmas there is no need for overconsumption!

  7. I love this! Christmas is so bad for the environment but being eco-friendly doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it, like getting vintage instead of fast fashion.
    Ash | https://thisdreamsalive.com

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