The greatest gits are not wrapped in paper… but in love

Happy Monday everyone! It is less than a week now until Christmas –  I am SO excited! There are so many amazing Christmas trees up in Abu Dhabi – look at this beautiful tree in Abu Dhabi mall!

As part of mine & Stephi’s Zero Waste December initiative, this week I have made these cute little vegan hot chocolates in mason jars. These gorgeous little gifts are a great way to ensure you limit your waste this Christmas.

I absolutely love Christmas & the festive period. I love travelling home & spending time with my friends & family, Christmas trees & good Christmas food – roll on Thursday night!

However, Christmas comes at a high price in environmental terms. In the UK, around 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper will also be thrown out or burnt…you can also add to that 125,000 tons of plastic packaging.

Here are some more facts about our unsustainable Christmas activities;

  • More than a billion Christmas cards – 17 for every man, woman and child – will be delivered this year. That’s enough to stretch around the world five times.
  • 52 square miles of wrapping paper – enough to gift-wrap Jersey – will be ripped off by Boxing Day.
  • Six million trees have been bought but only 1.2 million will be recycled. The rest will be left to rot or be thrown away.
  • Shops sell 16 million turkeys and 830 million sprouts. Up to 40 per cent of festive food is wasted.
  • Within three months, 41 per cent of the toys children receive will be broken. Most will go to the tip.
  • Many will get the latest mobile phone but only 10 to 15 per cent are recycled.

Source – Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor

“We all look forward to Christmas and enjoy being with friends and family, but we do end up creating more waste – in fact an additional three quarters of a million tonnes of it. If this waste were recycled it would save 352,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases per year – equivalent to taking 111,000 cars of the road for a year.

“The good news is that there are easy ways to help cut our waste-lines and help tackle climate change. Many people either forget or don’t realise that festive items such as Christmas cards, empty tins of sweets and biscuits, and jars of pickles can all be easily recycled and will help our bins shed those extra kilos.”

Source – Fridey Cordingley, Recycle Now

So if your like me & love Christmas & giving gifts – what can we do?

There are many small steps you can take this year to try to cut back on your Christmas gift waste. Here are some of my fav tips & ideas;

  • Send E-cards instead of paper Christmas cards – or make sure the cards you sent are recycled/recyclable
  • Gift someone with an Ebook as opposed to a paper book
  • Send gift vouchers
  • Be creative with re-usable wrapping paper. Why not wrap your gifts in some re-usable material like a scarf or mason jars (like my hot chocolates!)
  • Store your Christmas decorations away safely & e=re-use them the following year
  • Bake Christmas treats as a gift

My little Christmas vegan hot chocolates are the perfect festive gift. You can buy the items quite cheaply & in bulk & they don’t require a lot of effort at all. I simply added the cocoa powder, some candy canes broken into small pieces & some lovely vegan marshmallows. Once the lid was fastened, I just used a small piece of string around the top for a cute but simple final touch.

my vegan Christmas hot chocolate gifts

My mason jars were quite big, so from these gifts, my friends will get a ridiculous amount of delicious servings of vegan hot chocolate. 2 tbsp. from 1 of these jars mixed in with your fav dairy free milk (almond, soya, coconut whatever) gives you the best mug of Christmas comfort EVER.

zero waste Christmas gift idea

I hope you all have a fab week in the run up to Christmas. I have had a lovely weekend here in Abu Dhabi, on Friday I had a Christmas Jumper Brunch with my friends from work (I got a Vegan Casserole cookbook in the secret santa – get ready for vegan casserole spam next year lol) & on Saturday me & Stephi hosted a vegan meet up at her place. One reason I love blogging is the amazing like-minded people I get to meet. It ‘s so inspiring to see there are so many people who have the same beliefs, interests & values as you. Not to mention, the amazing vegan food that comes with it! If you are a vegan in Abu Dhabi – be sure to join the Abu Dhabi Vegan Group for details of more meet ups & vegan advice for the UAE. 

Also, if you are looking for some vegan Christmas recipes, check out my Vegan Gingerbread Men, Vegan Cranberry & Lemon Sprouts (sprouts that actually taste nice) & my Vegan Dark Chocolate & Coconut Christmas Pudding Cakes!

Be sure to head over to to read about Stephi’s Zero Waste Kitchen – it’s amazing (trust me I have visited lol) 

If everyone pledged to reduce waste this Christmas & spread the word, I really believe we can make a big difference. I wish you all a Merry Christmas & thank you all for your support this year – it really has been overwhelming! Lots of love & festive cheer from myself, Nala & Zara. xxx