How to have a Greener Christmas

Why not have yourself an environmentally friendly Christmas. With a little effort and imagination, we can reduce the impact of the festive season on the planet. Here are some tips to celebrate the season while caring for the planet.

Buy Less

Give a different sort of present this year – a homemade gift, an ‘experience’, a charity membership or why not have a Secret Santa between friends or family members.

Look for gifts with as little packaging as possible. Avoid plastic items that can’t be recycled. Buy local and look for sustainably produced local food and gifts.

Save paper and plastic – it’s estimated that each year in Britain we throw away enough wrapping paper to circle the planet 9 times. Use recycled wrapping paper or brown paper and string or reusable ribbon. Keep gift bags and reuse them or try the Japanese art of Furoshiki by wrapping a gift in a piece of cloth or scarf.

Buy Smart

Cut food waste – food production is the biggest cause of tropical deforestation. Plan ahead, be realistic about what you need and use up leftovers.

Try cutting down on meat – according to the Soil Association ‘food is the single most important, everyday way for people to reduce their own environmental impact’.

Instead of clingfilm, use foil or wax covers to keep food fresh. Avoid single use tablecloths and napkins and use material versions which have a longer lifecycle.

Christmas trees – if you’ve got an artificial tree keep using it for as long as possible. Look at more environmentally-sound options when you replace it. If you buy a real tree, look for the FSC logo.

Connect with Nature

Recycle your tree – it can be shredded and then used as mulch in your garden.

Care for wildlife – give birds a helping hand during winter by making fat cakes.

Go on a winter walk – spending time in nature is good for your health – and it’s free.