Have yourself a green Christmas

We’ve come to know Christmas as a time of excess, but traditionally it was a lot more homespun and sustainable.

All wrapped up

Gift giving is integral to Christmas but tonnes of wrapping paper and packaging ends up in landfill every year.

So save money on gift wrapping products and get crafty! You can save money and have some fun.

Use old newspapers and magazines as wrapping paper, you can pick fun themes to suit the recipient and make it really personalized. It is fully recyclable afterwards so won’t end up in landfill.

Buy in brown paper, and stamp your own designs on it with an old sponge or potato- a great way to spend a rainy afternoon indoors.

String is a perfect gift ribbon and is recyclable too – it has such a lovely look to it, understated but festive.

If you make gifts rather than buy them, you can massively reduce the packaging involved – another brilliant way to reduce waste.

Release your inner 'bake off' champion

The shops are bursting with treats and goodies at this time of year, but much of it is rammed with sugar, and comes with some startling food miles attached.

Instead, do some home baking and cooking to fill your festive cupboards with treats from mince pies to pates. You’ll find it is often cheaper to do it yourself, and you know what it is going into them too. If you can source local ingredients your festive star will sparkle even more brightly!

Try this mackerel pate by Jamie Oliver which is a fishy delight.

The national treasure that is Delia makes a wonderful mince pie.

Delia also has an amazing veggie sausage roll recipe that will bring any meat eater round.

The king of Bake Off Paul Hollywood has a cracking recipe for all butter shortbread.

Green your Valentines

If you’re looking for something to nibble on, these cheese straws are a party favourite.

Going for veggie rather than meat options is a great way to cut the festive carbon too – could that turkey be swapped for something like this instead?

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

The song says it all – decorate your home with green and red plants and flowers instead of tinsel. If it is potted you can tend it until next year so you’ll only have to  buy it once! Or if it’s cut, then it will be fully compostable once you are done with it.

Old newspapers cut into strips can create lovely paper chains, that are easily recycled when Christmas is over.

And the tree…

Buying a living tree in a pot is a great way to reduce the cost of Christmas next year – and the year after that. Every year 6 million trees are thrown away, don’t add to the pile!

If you are entertaining this year use real dishes and cutlery, not disposable, and cloth table cloths and napkins are way better too.

Give the gift of time

Present buying is stressful and expensive. But do we really need to put ourselves through it?

Traditionally gifts were made by hand, and people shared their skills for the benefit of others. Take the time to make your gifts and you’ll save money, save stress, reduce packaging and bring a big smile to the recipients faces.

This handy link from Hubbub covers 50 great gift ideas that anyone can do.

If you don’t have any skills to make stuff, then the actual gift of time is a great alternative, offer to babysit, mow the lawn or help with DIY – make up a voucher to pretty up the offer!

However you choose to spend this Christmas, enjoy!