Sustainable Christmas ideas: 13 ways to make this yuletide greener

Tis’ the season to be jolly cautious about your environmental influence. Right here’s tips on how to go inexperienced this Christmas, whereas additionally saving some cash

“OK elves,” hollers Santa, pushing his glasses down upon his nostril, “let’s see who’s been good this yr.” A cheer goes up round him as he runs his finger down a listing, heartily ho-ho-hoing as he passes the names of the nicely behaved.

Instantly he stops. The workshop falls silent. “Every year the UK throws away enough wrapping paper to go around the equator nine times?” Santa asks, furrowing his forehead, “they usually bin 74m mince pies?”

“I’m afraid so, sir,” says the elf to his proper. “They’re on the naughty checklist.”

Nevertheless it’s carved, Christmas’s influence on the setting is as a lot a nightmare as something Ebenezer Scrooge skilled.

Listed here are 13 sustainable Christmas concepts to make sure your festivities are cleaner than a cracker joke:

1. Lease, recycle or reuse your tree

Probably the most environmentally pleasant strategy to have a tree is to hire one. “Clients love the thought of with the ability to contribute in some small means in the direction of sustainability and a wholesome planet,” says Craig Tennock from Cotswold Fir Forestry, which hires out timber in Gloucestershire. “Then there’s the facet of with the ability to have your very personal private tree yr after yr.”

A rising variety of corporations allow folks to hire Christmas timber. Picture: Bernard Hermant

If you happen to can’t hire, purchase a potted spruce and develop it in your backyard for reuse annually. Or purchase a FSC-certified tree to make sure it’s from a well-managed forest and recycle it correctly – most councils recycle timber by turning them into chippings, lowering their carbon footprint by as much as 80 per cent in contrast with sending them to landfill.

Plastic timber, which may solely go to landfill, have double the carbon footprint of an actual tree. If you have already got one, preserve utilizing it although.

2. Make your personal sustainable Christmas decorations

It takes the shine off the decorations if you uncover that neither tinsel nor baubles are recyclable. Make your personal as a substitute with salt-dough hanging decorations, dried orange slice ornaments and sticks of cinnamon for the tree. Every is absolutely compostable, whereas wreaths made utilizing foraged supplies like pine cones, ivy and holly might be recycled on the kerbside.

3. Ditch the skin Christmas lights, go photo voltaic inside

Out of doors Christmas lights create a lot mild air pollution that Nasa can see them from space, so it may be helpful retaining festive illuminations inside. Ornamental lights price the UK £3.75m a day to run over the festive interval, so go for solar-powered LED tree lights. Flip them off at night time.

4. Use an moral search engine to search for presents

If researching presents on-line, use non-for-profit Ecosia. 80 per cent of their promoting income funds reforestation efforts in nations like Brazil and Indonesia. Plus, they don’t save your searches, observe the web sites you go to, or promote your knowledge.

5. Select playing cards correctly – and recycle any you obtain

The UK sends an estimated 1.05bn Christmas playing cards annually, however 1bn of them don’t get recycled – the equal of slicing down practically 350,000 timber. 1 Tree Cards promote 100 per cent recycled playing cards, printed with vegan inks and utilizing renewable vitality. Plus, for each card they ship, they plant a tree via Eden Reforestation Projects. Alternatively, purchase recycled or FSC-certified playing cards and keep away from these with glitter or plastic.

Sustainable Christmas ideas

Shopping for playing cards made out of recycled paper might help forestall timber being felled. Picture: Annie Spratt

6. Purchase much less and purchase ethically

A YouGov survey discovered that 57 per cent of individuals within the UK obtain a minimum of one undesirable reward, so ask folks what they need for Christmas – or give them a number of choices to select from. Our personal moral reward information has a number of nice concepts, however concentrate on shopping for much less and shopping for higher.

7. Regifting and secondhand presents

According to a study, the quantity of artifical materials created every week weighs the identical as Earth’s whole inhabitants. Don’t add to it: regift undesirable presents, seek for secondhand gems in charity retailers, hand make your personal sustainable safekeeps and keep away from something that requires batteries.

Beloved Earlier than is one in all plenty of organisations that discover new houses for preloved playthings. They’ve save many a cuddly toy from an inglorious journey to landfill.

“I see it as altering the world one comfortable toy at a time,” says founder Charlotte Liebling. “I’m not going to ‘repair’ local weather change by reselling bears, however what I can do is present youthful generations what secondhand and sustainability seems to be like.”

Eco Christmas ideas

Foraged supplies like pine cones can be utilized to make sustainable decorations. Picture: Annie Spratt

8. Wrap presents utilizing Furoshiki or recyclable brown paper

The UK throws away obscene amounts of wrapping paper and the plastic, foil, glitter and sticky tape on many sheets makes them unrecyclable. Furoshiki, a conventional, reusable Japanese wrapping material is a fab various – or else use recyclable brown paper.

9. Purchase sustainable Christmas crackers

According to, 99 per cent of Brits throw away the plastic presents inside crackers. Both purchase sustainable Christmas crackers that are plastic-free or strive making your own utilizing bathroom rolls holders, brown paper and a little bit of tongue-out craftsmanship.

10. Purchase meals made via resilient farming techniques

“By procuring regionally, we are able to speak to folks about the place our meals comes from, to make knowledgeable selections in regards to the sort of meals we need to eat, and the farming practices we need to assist,” explains Lucia Monje-Jelfs from the Sustainable Food Trust.

Do your analysis for a sustainable Christmas dinner. The Farms to Feed Us database highlights small-scale producers rising meals utilizing resilient farming techniques, while Big Barn pulls collectively greater than 600 artisan and specialist producers who assist native sustainable agriculture.

Eco decorations

The Olio app allows folks to share Christmas leftovers with individuals who want them. Picture: Monika Grabkowska

11. Go meat-free (if not, go natural and free-range)

Having a plant-only eating regimen is one of the best factor we are able to do to decrease carbon emissions and with so many nice vegan and vegetarian cookbooks round (strive Anna Jones or Vanilla Black), now’s the time to go the complete (meat-free) hog. If flesh is your festive fancy, purchase native, natural and free-range. Right here’s a information to procuring natural on a shoestring.

12. Plan higher, eat much less and donate your leftovers

The UK throws away a reported 2m turkeys at Christmas, crowning 270,000 tonnes of uneaten festive grub. To cut back waste, clear the fridge earlier than Christmas, and plan and portion your meals sensibly. Share any leftovers on Olio, an app that pairs you with neighbours who would possibly want them – and provides recipes to make greatest use of leftovers.

13. Drink sustainably

“Drink all that stuff that’s been at the back of the cabinet ceaselessly,” advises Tim Etherington-Choose, co-founder of Avallen, a Calvados model aiming to be the world’s most sustainable spirit. Ingesting seasonally is necessary too. “Keep away from citrus, keep away from summer time fruits. Don’t drink ardour fruit daiquiris at Christmas,” he says.

Intention to purchase regionally, from drinks producers who’re attempting to make a distinction like Cooper King Distillery gin, Nc’nean Distillery whisky, Sapling Spirits vodka, and poo licensed by the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain.

Major picture: Markus Spiske