How to be greener at Christmas

Christmas can be a time of excess and over-consumption. Here are some festive tips which won’t cost the Earth. Shop wisely and remember ‘less is more’


  • Unstuff Christmas: give the gift of ‘unstuff’ and treat your loved ones to experiences such as concert tickets or fun days out
  • Go vintage: Try flea markets, antique jewellery and vintage shops for gifts
  • If you’re arty or crafty use your skills to make personal, individualised presents 
  • Give local: organic hampers of local/seasonal produce or locally made crafts
  • Make or bake: chutneys, cakes, flavoured oils or sweets
  • Guerrilla Gardening: Christmas tree Seedboms handmade in Scotland
  • Batteries not included: wind-up or solar-powered gadgets make fun gifts – from radios and torches to toys and garden lights. If you really can’t avoid batteries, choose rechargeable ones – look for solar powered chargers too
  • Secret Santa: Start a new tradition with family or friends to reduce costs and get better gifts

Food and drink

  • Buy seasonal, local produce and loose, not pre-packaged, vegetables
  • Avoid disposable plates and cups…unless they are biodegradable!
  • Compost vegetable leftovers
  • Re-use and recycle aluminium foil
  • Recycle empties at the bottle-bank

Trees and wrapping

  • Rent-a-tree – hire a real tree or buy a pot grownone. These can be sent back or planted out after the festive period so they can continue to grow! Choose Fairtrade decorations or make your ownfrom recycled bits and bobs
  • Re-use giftbags and wrapping or choose a reusable option, like a basket or a pretty cotton scarf
  • Re-use old xmas cards to make gift tags for this year
  • Choose cards and wrapping made from recycled paper
  • Check if your local council will collect and recycle real trees in the New Year

Seasons greetings

  • Save money and resources by sending festive E-cards instead of boring old paper ones
  • Make a donation to your favourite charity on behalf of all your friends and family
  • Give ‘the gift of happiness‘ with Oxfam Unwrapped 

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