Christmas fireplace and tree

Dreaming of a Greener Christmas: 5 Ways to be More Sustainable This Festive Period

December 14, 2022In News5 Minutes

The Christmas holidays are undoubtedly a period of festive spirit, spending time and sharing gifts with loved ones but there can be a lot of unnecessary waste which ultimately has a negative impact on the environment. If you’re dreaming of a greener Christmas, you might be surprised to learn how easy it is to make your festive season a little more eco-friendly.

From the 300,000 tonnes of card used for our festive missives, to the 230,000 tonnes of food that will end up in the bin – as a nation we waste 30% more than usual during the festive period. Here are our top tips to help you reduce your impact, without scrimping on the Christmas spirit…


  1. Opt For A Real Tree

When you think of Christmas, one of the first images that springs to mind is the twinkling Christmas tree lighting up your living room. However, an artificial tree, though reusable, isn’t very sustainable. To reduce your environmental impact you’d have to use the same tree for around 10 – 20 years. Buying a real tree from a local, sustainable grower is the best way to minimise your impact on the environment. Unlike fake trees, real ones are 100% recyclable and biodegradable, so once Christmas is over you can either re pot it and plant it in your garden or take it to your local recycling centre where it will be chipped to provide covering for parks and pathways.

  1. Get Creative With Your Decorations

Whilst you might reuse decorations year after year, many people purchase new ones when looking to create a whole new look. Why not get the whole family involved and create your own, they will last you for years to come and bring back all the fun family memories each year. Creating your own decorations such as reusable wooden hangings and homemade garlands is a great way to minimise the use of non-eco Christmas decorations such as tinsel, glitter and plastic.

  1. Wrap Your Gifts The Eco Way

The amount of Christmas wrapping paper thrown away in the UK alone is estimated to be enough to wrap around the world 22 times – whilst most will appear to be recyclable many are not – especially those with foil or glitter. For both a green and cost-effective way to make your presents stand out, buy a roll of plain brown paper and get creative with items around your home or garden. From upcycling ribbons to finding twigs and evergreen materials on a country walk, you’ll be amazed at what you can find.

  1. Reduce Food Waste

Whilst Christmas is the time for rustling up those special family recipes and fighting over the last pig in blanket, it’s also easy to overbuy and waste food. There are lots of ways to minimise this and still feel like you have enough. Make a clear list of exactly what you need for the amount of people visiting and stick to it. If you find yourself with leftovers read up on a few recipes so you aren’t just tempted to scrape it in the bin. Love Food Hate Waste have some fantastic ideas.

  1. Switch To LED Fairy Lights

There is nothing cosier than twinkling lights on the tree lighting up your home, however, if you’re concerned about adding to  your energy bills then switching to LED fairy lights could typically use 25-80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.

While the festive period is associated with excess, staying mindful of your waste doesn’t mean putting a stop to celebrations altogether. By making informed choices and simple swaps you can make the very most of the holiday without putting any extra strain on the planet or your pocket. Whether you’re spending Christmas at home or visiting loved ones, by following these simple tips and making small changes you’ll be on your way to a greener, more sustainable, feel-good Christmas.