low waste christmas

Curious about our low waste Christmas?  Here’s a little recap of how we tried to keep waste, consumerism, and junk to a minimum this Christmas while still keeping it cozy and fun, plus all the goodies we gave + received.  My philosophy is to keep gifts simple, minimal, useful.  (You can see my gift guide here if you’re interested)  Let’s go!

vegan kid christmas zero waste
A little last minute grocery shopping with this cutie for Christmas Eve

Wrapping: I wrapped everything in brown paper I had saved from shipping materials or upcycled paper gift bags.  For ribbons, I chose to use jute or cotton string (biodegradable and compostable).  Decorations included bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, fresh herbs, flowers, and clippings from the Christmas tree.  Check out this YouTube video from the lovely Alli for tips on wrapping sans tape.

Zero waste plastic free no tape wrapping present christmas

Tree: we did buy a tree this year, it’s not my ideal choice BUT the kids and J outvoted me on this one.  We bought it from a local business + I saved the string that we tied it to the car with for tying gifts.  All the ornaments/decorations on the tree are from when I was a kid, or glass ones handmade by my mother in law.  There’s a few paper and ceramic ones Carmela has made at school over the years.  I don’t buy any new ones.  We’ve been using the string lights for a few years and thankfully they have been fine!  Our city picks up the trees with our normal green waste (compost) and chips them to make mulch for city parks.

Christmas tree zero waste compost wood chips

Gifts:  Joel and I don’t exchange gifts (it’s just not our thing, we never have) BUT we give the kids, Joel’s mom, and a few friends gifts.  For my best friend, I gifted: a bottle of local sparkling wine from a cool winery, a bottle of good local, sustainable olive oil (from the farmers market which sells it in bulk!), and a jar of homemade green olive tapenade.

zero waste recycle Christmas present plastic free
that’s the olive oil wrapped in recycled paper and fresh bay leaves

For another friend, I gifted: a bottle of wine + one of my favorite books (picked up a cool vintage copy at a used bookstore) and wrote a little note on the inside flap.

wine secondhand book Christmas gift zero waste
He’s a minimal kind of guy, that’s why the wrapping is naked on these.

Carmela received: a tiny metal music box that plays Für Elise (her favorite song to play on piano), a hand knit beanie from her grandma, locally made soap, a new notebook, a pretty amethyst crystal, and a stack of books (her favorite gift always).

secondhand Christmas book zero waste kids
cracking a book open already

Vincent received:  a thrifted large metal tin filled with thrifted cars, a hand knit beanie from his grandma, a subscription to Click science based magazine, replacement pieces to the Operation game we own (thrifted by his grandma), and a book with cut-out paper airplane dragons.

Hot wheels car kids tin zero waste Christmas gift

For Joel’s mom, we gave her some local bulk coffee, a locally made apricot rose palm oil free soap bar, and a locally made candle in a glass jar.

As a family, from our lovely friend, we received a membership to a local museum which was the most thoughtful gift and one we can use all year long.  YAY

For others like: teachers, mailman, acquaintances etc we gave gingerbread cookies in thrifted metal tins lined with parchment paper.

no waste plastic free family Christmas holiday
this is how she wrapped it- totally waste free and beautiful!

Food: Christmas Eve dinner, we had stuffed cabbage rolls + festive red salad and baked vegan latkes.  

Christmas dinner vegan latkes gluten free radicchio winter

After dinner we drove around to look at lights with bulk homemade popcorn (air popper, tamari to season) to snack on.  The kids really enjoyed this as you can see.

Christmas kids eve

In the morning we had this v/gf monkey bread.  For appetizers: local baguette + cashew cheese, bulk olives, bulk in shell mixed nuts (so fun to crack), apples, tangerines all on a platter.

Vegan appetizer zero waste nut cracker
I thrifted the ceramic bowl and the ceramic coasters a few years back!

My mother in law brought homemade limoncello in a upcycled glass jar to share.  We received some plastic wrapped, non vegan cookies for our neighbors that I refused (which wasn’t fun to do, but I couldn’t just accept them and throw them away year after year). At least they will know for next year.

Music: on Spotify: Christmas jazz + Bossa Nova Christmas- for a more swanky, calm vibe.

minimal style french red lip
a little red lip for Christmas morning. Buon natale!

Passing the time:  board games, going on walks, watching A Christmas Story, cozying up and reading with a good book…I’m enjoying this one right now-


We are having a fantastic Christmas + if you celebrate, I hope you are too.  I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who read my blog and/or follow on Instagram!  You guys are so kind and positive + I’m so happy to have been able to connect with you through this online platform.  I love sharing and inspiring you, and being inspired by YOU in return!  Thanks for being a part of this little space.   All my love xx Amanda

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