Enjoy the magic of the winter months with these 16 sustainable winter activities!
If you don’t know what to do in your free time in the winter, when it’s cold outside, don’t worry.
There are tons of fun things you can do, whether you prefer to be alone, with your family, or with friends.
You can go outside and enjoy some outdoor winter activities, or stay cozy and warm inside.
And the good news is that you can do all of this without negatively impacting the planet.
Here are 16 sustainable winter activities that will help you enjoy the colder months while being sustainable.
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How can we make winter sustainable?
There are many things we can do to make winter sustainable.
However, doing our best to help the environment doesn’t mean we can’t indulge in some guilty pleasures and have fun.
We can savor the simple joys of life while taking care of the planet.
With these 16 sustainable winter activities, you’ll be able to enjoy the colder months without worrying about your environmental footprint.
16 sustainable winter activities to enjoy the colder months
1. Read under a blanket
This is probably the coziest sustainable winter activity you can try this season!
Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction books, make sure you only choose books that you look forward to reading.
And if your friends are bookworms as well, you could even start a book club and gather every few weeks to discuss all your winter reads.
You can also share and swap books to make it even more sustainable.
There is no need to buy new books when most of us already have so many at home.
2. Bake cookies
We all love eating comforting foods, especially around the holiday season, don’t we?
Cookies are easy and quick to bake, and they are delicious to eat!
I particularly love savoring them alongside a warm cup of tea in the wintertime.
If you’re looking for a nice recipe to try, here is a vegan one that I recommend.
3. Donate your unused food to food pantries
Consider helping families in need in your community by donating your unused food to your local food bank.
You can find a local food bank around you here.
Go through your kitchen cupboards and pantry, or even buy some more food at the store if you can.
Donating your unused food will also help you reduce waste in the kitchen because someone will be able to use it before it expires.
Another great way to help is to volunteer at a food kitchen if you have time on hand.
They always need more people to help them!
4. Buy Christmas gifts from sustainable brands or make them yourself
Ask your loved ones what they’d like and consider getting their gifts from sustainable brands.
We have many sustainable shopping guides here on the blog, but here are a few you’ll find particularly helpful:
- 20 sustainable clothing brands to support this year
- 12 sustainable home decor brands to elevate any home
- 10 clean skincare brands that promise you a healthy glow
You might also want to gift experiences or even DIY some gifts yourself, such as homemade treats or hand-knitted socks.
5. Go ice skating
If you live near a frozen lake, take advantage of that and go ice skating with your family or friends.
You will get your body moving, which is harder to do when it’s cold outside and you don’t feel like working out.
Ice skating is an easy way to do some exercise while having fun.
6. Drink some hot chocolate
Tea is always my favorite, go-to beverage all year round, especially in the winter.
But from time to time, it’s nice to switch things up and I like having a warm cup of hot chocolate.
Here is a recipe I really like, made with only wholesome vegan ingredients.
You can also buy pre-made hot chocolate, ideally made using organic and fair trade ingredients.
7. Go thrifting
If you need new clothes for your winter wardrobe, visit your local thrift store and see what treasures you can find.
This is one of the most sustainable winter activities!
Buying your clothes second-hand will help you save money and give pre-loved pieces a new life.
It’s also super fun to do, especially if you go there with friends.
Just try not to go overboard so you can keep your wardrobe clutter-free!
8. Go to a Christmas market
If you like outdoor winter activities, this one’s for you!
In December, one of my favorite things to do is to visit the local Christmas market in my town.
Everything is decorated and there are beautiful lights everywhere.
There’s even Christmas music playing, which always makes my heart so happy.
If you have a Christmas market near you, you won’t regret visiting it!
You will also be able to pick some delicious food to eat and even drink some mulled wine.
9. Make some DIY lotion for dry skin
In the winter, many of us struggle with dry skin.
I definitely do!
If you do as well, instead of buying a premade lotion at the store, which is likely made with harmful ingredients, why don’t you DIY these products yourself?
It makes a great activity for whenever you’re staying at home and you’ll save money in the process.
Your homemade lotion will also only contain safe, non-toxic ingredients, so it will be healthier for you.
10. Give yourself a break from work
Most of us feel stressed, anxious, and overworked.
So this winter, allow your body and mind to rest.
Take a step back from everything and force yourself to slow down.
This can mean anything from sleeping in in the mornings to taking a nice bath to relaxing on your couch doing nothing.
11. Host a game night with friends
If you prefer to stay at home but still want to do some sustainable winter activities, invite some friends over and play some board games together.
You can also do that as a cool winter family activity.
Board games are super easy to find second-hand so you don’t have to spend a fortune to get some fun ones.
You can also ask your friends to bring theirs if you want more variety or include some jigsaw puzzles.
Have some snacks ready for the game night and have fun!
12. Create homemade ornaments and decorations
Instead, reuse what you already have, or create beautiful decorations yourself.
You can find many cool ideas on Pinterest!
You can make anything from dried orange garlands to salt dough ornaments to wreaths made with elements from nature.
Looking at them this winter will make them extra special knowing you made them yourself (or with your kids!).
13. Spend time in nature
I know it can be challenging to do some outdoor winter activities for those who live in places with extremely cold winters.
But try to get outside at least once a day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
Spending time in nature is proven to improve our mental health and lower our stress levels.
So make it a priority to go outside every day.
Visit a park in your city, walk in the countryside, play with snow, or have a look at all the Christmas lights in your neighborhood.
You will feel so much better afterward!
14. Go to the theater or museum
This is one of the best sustainable winter activities that also support the local economy.
If you feel like going out but don’t want to freeze, see if you can visit a local museum or go to the theater with a loved one.
This will be the perfect opportunity to learn something new, entertain, and enjoy culture and art.
15. Have a movie marathon
Make your home as cozy as possible and have a movie marathon at night or during the weekend.
Whether you choose to watch the latest Christmas movies or a few episodes of your favorite TV show, enjoy these restful moments guilt-free!
Remember to also light some candles to create a cozy, magical atmosphere in your home.
16. Reconnect with an old friend
When it’s winter and cold outside, we are usually more tempted to stay inside and not see people.
If you haven’t seen some of your friends for a long time, don’t isolate yourself and call them.
Plan a get-together so you can reconnect and spend quality time with them.
You might even want to send a handwritten letter to some of your friends who live farther away.
Final thoughts on sustainable winter activities
I hope this list was helpful and that you could find some inspiring ideas for sustainable winter activities to try out this season!
You will now be able to cozy up and enjoy the colder months while living by your values.
If you like this article, you will also love reading:
- 9 sustainable winter coats & jackets for braving the cold & staying toasty
- 7 sustainable gloves and mittens to keep frostbite at bay
- 10 sustainable scarves you’ll love to wrap up in
- 9 sustainable beanies and winter hats to keep warm in style
- 17 sustainable fall activities to celebrate autumn and the planet!
Do you prefer outdoor winter activities or staying cozy and warm inside?
What are your favorite sustainable winter activities?
I’d love to add more ideas to this list.
Don’t forget to share this blog post with your friends so they too can make the most out of the season while being eco-friendly.