5 ways to have your most eco-friendly Christmas ever

Living
5 minute guide

While it may be the most wonderful time of the year, celebrating Christmas has a huge impact on the planet. With greeting cards, plastic decorations and unwanted gifts all generating a huge amount of landfill waste, the real cost of a Merry Christmas can be devastating for the environment. 

Georgina Wilson-Powell 4 December 2017

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With just a few smart choices and some easy substitutions, you can help save the planet and still celebrate in style. 

Read on to learn how you can have your most eco-friendly Christmas ever.

5 ways to have your most eco-friendly Christmas ever

Update your Christmas lights

If you still haven't invested in modern LED fairy lights for your tree, then make this the year you finally get around to it. Not only are LED bulbs much brighter than traditional incandescent varieties, but they also use far less energy, meaning they're better for your budget as well as the environment. In fact, if every household in the UK swapped just one string of traditional incandescent lights for an LED equivalent over the 12 days of Christmas, this would save 57,000 tonnes of CO2, according to a report in This is Money.

If you’re looking to cut down your energy usage even more this year, you could consider also consider using a plug-in timer to control when your lights switch on and off. This way, your lights will only come on for a set amount of time each day, and there's no need to worry about forgetting to turn them off.  

Sustainable Christmas Trees 2 Pebble Magazine

Go for a real tree, ideally in a pot for the most eco-friendly option this Christmas

Get an eco-friendly Christmas tree

While artificial trees may last longer than living varieties, there's currently no way for them to recycled in an environmentally friendly way. This means that, even if you re-use your tree for a number of years, it will still eventually end up in a landfill.

One acre of growing trees can produce enough oxygen every day for 16 people. Unlike plastic artificial versions, a real tree can also be easily recycled in an eco-friendly way: either chip it and compost it, or take it to your local Christmas tree recycling centre. Some councils even offer a free collection service in the New Year. 

See our guide to how to buy a sustainable Christmas tree here.

Cut the wrap

Nearly 300,000 miles of wrapping paper will be used during the holiday season. And most of it can't be recycled. And then there's the sticky tape situation. 

Want to make more of a zero waste statement? Check out our foraged and upcycled wrapping paper ideas - here and here. Or invest in reusable wrapping paper like Wrag Wrap.

Want more info on why you need to ditch the wrapping paper? Click here.

Dopper Bottle 2

Give the gift of clean water for Christmas with a Dopper bottle

Give ethical, waste-free gifts

UK households expect to spend an average of £473.83 on presents. But apparently, we’re not getting it right, because 54% of gifts is being returned before New Year’s. What a waste. Check out our huge annual Christmas gift guide for stylish, sustainable presents for everyone. 

Or you can cut to the chase. We're loving the Dopper bottle this year. Because this planet-saving bottle is not only keeping you hydrated after another Christmas party, it is also protecting our oceans from single-use water bottles. The bottles also fund clean water projects all over the world.

5 Tips Christmas Ecofriendly

Use natural foliage and make decorations that don't use plastic - it's not as hard as you think

Make your own plastic-free decorations

If you're looking to update your festive décor this year, don't opt for plastic baubles and artificial wreaths. Instead, decorate your home using foraged natural plants and cuttings. Cuttings of holly, eucalyptus and ivy from your garden can also be fashioned into stunning festive wreaths like this one.

Pinecones and dried slices of citrus fruit will make beautiful and fragrant Christmas tree ornaments. You can find even more inspiration in our easy guide to creating beautiful no-waste ethical decorations

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