Tips for keeping it green this Christmas

December 2, 2021

Like many people, Christmas is our favourite time of year.

Spending time with our loved ones, eating food, being merry and of course giving or receiving gifts.

Sadly, because of this we also see a rise in waste, particularly from:

Food waste.

Cards and wrapping paper.


Unwanted gifts.


This year let’s put the planet first and make more environmentally friendly choices.

With some small changes, it can be easy to have an eco-friendly Christmas. You can still have a wonderful time whilst also being mindful of the environment.

Here are some of our planet friendly top tips:


There is nothing that completes Christmas Day more, than a delicious roast dinner. However, most of us make the mistake of buying too much and being left with loads of leftovers. This year try to:

Have Christmas dinner buffet style. Any leftovers can be saved for boxing day or go in the freezer for a re-do roast dinner.

Donate any unwanted leftovers to an elderly neighbour or food bank.

Shop locally and seasonally.

Plan your dinner so you don’t end up buying more than you need.

Eat less meat and more plant-based food.

If you can’t give up meat, choose organic or free range produce instead.


Did you know that:



foil designs

plastic decorations

can make cards difficult to recycle? Watch out for the plastic wrappers too!

This Christmas, why not look out for cards with no packaging, or in an easy to recycle box?

You can also have a go at making your own Christmas card, reusing old cards, or sending an E-card instead. For something a little different you can send plantable cards, so the recipient can grow their own flowers?

Wrapping Paper

Just like Christmas cards, wrapping paper can be difficult to recycle:

when there is glitter on the paper.

if it is a shiny/foil material.

if there is a lot of sticky tape stuck on it.

Why not use:

easily recyclable brown paper or newspaper for a fun vintage look

reusable items such as

gift bags


scarves or cloth wrapping

reuse paper from presents you previously received

wrapping paper, that is made from recycled paper

An eco-friendly alternative to sticky tape, is paper tape. You can even get biodegradable tape! On the other hand, you could use ribbon or string for an elevated look.


Shop locally to reduce the distance the product has travelled. This also supports local businesses.

Try to look for gifts that come with as little packaging as possible, or at least check that the packaging is recyclable.

Choose second-hand, preloved, or upcycled gifts. If you're doing a secret Santa, how about a rule that it must be bought from a charity shop!

Ask for wish lists from your loved ones, and don’t forget to tell them what’s on your wish list. This will ensure the gifts given and received are items that are wanted or needed and won’t end up in the landfill.

Consider gifting an experience instead of a physical gift.

While playing games like Worst Gift and getting silly little prizes can be entertaining, at the end of the day, money is being spent and the items will likely be thrown away. Why not try something different and give ‘best reusable gift’ and give items such as reusable water bottles or tote bags.


Christmas Crackers are fun, but the prizes generally end up in the bin. Why not make your own Christmas crackers and fill them with gifts you know everyone will appreciate and keep?

Swap out tinsel for homemade decorations such as bunting, origami or even by using pinecones. You can even make decorations from dried fruit and flowers.

Remember to correctly recycle your real Christmas tree if you have one.

Rent a sustainably grown Christmas tree.

Buy a potted Christmas tree that you can water and plant in your garden after Christmas.

Invest in a good reusable Christmas tree that you can use for many years to come. There are loads of preloved ones available online too.

use fewer light and turn them off overnight. Some lights allow you to set a timer.

Please don’t forget to check your recycling collection days over the Christmas period and use the:

pink sacks.

paper, and card box (tip: if its full use a small cardboard box to put other flattened boxes and paper in.

food waste bin.


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