Make greener choices this Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and we’re all rushing around trying to get organised, but we still need to consider the environment. When it comes to food, decorations, trees, gifts, travelling, hosting events and everything else this December, be mindful of your choices.

According to a recent study by waste management company Biffa: The Christmas period is set to see a whole lot go to waste in the UK, including around 277,000 miles of wrapping paper, up to 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies.

Here are some ways to reduce the impact at your home, business or event:

Christmas Trees and Decorations

  • Reuse an artificial Christmas tree if you have one.
  • Source a second hand tree (and decorations) from gum tree, eBay or charity shop.
  • Make an alternative tree using reused items or materials – Google for ideas.
  • If you’re buying a real tree look for the FSC-Certification logo.
  • Use LED Christmas lights and timers to reduce energy use.
  • Make decorations using things you already have or can forage from outdoors (broken branches or pine cones on the floor).


  • Plan ahead to minimise waste.
  • Choose organic and free range meat.
  • Try some veggie and vegan alternatives.
  • Buy items with less packaging, especially plastic.
  • Don’t use plastic straws, plates or cutlery.
  • Donate to your local foodbank.
  • Recycle leftovers using Olio

Gifts and Cards

  • Send e-cards or make from material you already have.
  • Don’t wrap in plastic or plastic ribbon. Try wrapping with a scarf or recycled materials.
  • Avoid glitter! Wrapping paper and cards can’t be recycled if contain glitter.
  • Use second hand/charity shops to find Christmas gifts (and Christmas outfits).
  • Make gifts – pots of jam in reusable jars, biscuits in reusable tins or knit a hat with recycled material.
  • Consider vegan, organic, recyclable or bamboo products.
  • Pledge money to charity instead of buying an item.
  • Encourage ‘Secret Santa’ to keep the number of gifts down.


  • Use public transport to get around, book ahead to get a better deal.
  • Get your bike out and cycle!
  • Use carpool services such as BlaBlaCar or LiftShare.