HomeExchange fan? Giving it a shot for the first time over the holidays? Well done, you’ve already got foothold in the world of eco-friendly, responsible travel! Home swapping is without a doubt the most responsible way to travel.

So, why not continue your conscientious trend and consume differently this Christmas? For the holidays, surprise your loved ones with original and ethical gifts. Check out our tips and don't hesitate to share your ideas for an eco-conscious Christmas!

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Christmas Decorations at an Affordable Price

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There’s nothing greener than making your own Christmas tree! Use your imagination: decorate your green plants, hang branches on the wall, or design your own tree. Cut a giant tree out of cardboard, then add a pretty garland on the wall, using recycled materials!

If you are not artsy and have to choose between a natural tree and an artificial one, don’t hesitate to go for the real deal! You might be surprised that the environmental impact of manufacturing an artificial tree is considerable. Natural fir is renewable and biodegradable, and is therefore preferable. Fake Christmas trees are not recyclable and cannot be considered green waste, so we recommend you avoid them.

The same thing goes for Christmas decorations: take inventory of what you already have. Then, if you want to update your decorations, do it yourself! Gather some fresh smelling fir branches, driftwood, or pinecones collected from the woods on a nature walk, and showcase nature’s glory. Check out creative Christmas workshops and craft shows in your town to replicate their creative new looks with a twist of your own.

Give One-of-a-Kind Gifts

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At thrift stores or consignment shops, you can easily find second-hand items in good condition, costing much less than in retail stores. You can also wrap up an object that has sentimental value for you: a piece of jewelry someone often complimented, or a favorite book you think someone would love discussing with you. For children, choose ecological and ethical toys, especially those made of wood. They will have a much longer lifespan and you won't have to replace them as quickly.

If you want to give vintage or handcrafted presents, do a quick search for a platform that sells items made by freelance designers and small businesses. On Etsy, you can find jewelry, clothing, toys, art, and home furnishings. Fait Maison offers beautiful creations, especially in interior decoration, Christmas decorations, and enchanting gift ideas for children. Or try Instagram, a good platform to find small artists and local businesses.

To be sure that your gift will be exactly what they wanted and will not end up in the back of the closet, get creative with meaningful gift cards: they’re always a crowd pleaser and cut down on waste.

Adopt Japanese Gift Wrapping

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Do you know about Furoshiki? This year, ditch the traditional expensive wrapping paper that goes straight in the trash! For a zero waste Christmas, adopt the Japanese art of gift wrapping, a beautiful tradition of folding and tying a fabric chosen with care as an integral part of the gift offered.

Your gift will be identified at the foot of the tree as the most stunning and original. Practice before Christmas by trying out a folding tutorial.

Make Your Christmas Meal With Tasteful Local Products

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You dream of sharing special moments with your family over a good meal for the holidays. If you want to consume differently this year, avoid the crowds in supermarkets and department stores, and seek out quality local products to prepare your Christmas meal. Contact small local farmers, bakers and butchers who will listen to you, advise you, and offer you the best products, while respecting short supply chains.

You can also order directly from a platform that sells farm products from small, committed, passionate producers from all over the country, who offer you their poultry, foie gras, cheeses, wines, cold cuts, and more. You will also find ideas, tips, and good recipes on their sites for your festive meals!

Take Your Family on Vacation to a Dream Home for Christmas

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Want to spend a magical Christmas in a large family home? HomeExchange is the ideal solution. You can benefit from a fully equipped house just for you. You’ll have access to multiple sleeping areas, a spacious kitchen to prepare all the family favorites for the holidays, baby equipment, and games and toys for children. Whether in the mountains, by the sea, in the countryside, or in a city, the possibilities are endless. Head over to the HomeExchange website and check out the homes available for Christmas!

Family homes for the holidays