reduce, reuse, recycle symbol
Jessica Rees
Sustainability and Engagement Officer
3 minute read

Christmas is coming; with all the excitement of gifts it can be easy to forget about what we throw away. The UK uses as much as 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year with 114,000 tonnes of plastic ending up in landfills. fear not – we can all make small changes to have a less wasteful, greener festive season without taking away the magic.

Get resourceful with gift wrapping

Unwrapping a gift is a real pleasure, here are some ways to wrap with the environment in mind:

  • Repurpose packaging if you're getting it delivered online.
  • Avoid plastic-based paper (the foil paper is a good example) as it can't be recycled.
  • Try using fabric (a tea towel can make great wrapping and be used after)
  • Pop your gift in a hamper which can be reused after.

Try local, seasonal produce

 Your festive feast can be greener than your sprouts if you opt for local suppliers and seasonal produce. Locally produced items will often have a smaller carbon footprint as they don't need to travel so far to get to your plate.

When it isn't possible to shop local, opt for the loose fruit and veg at the supermarket and look for things that aren't plastic wrapped to minimise the waste from your shop.

orange, green and purple carrots stacked on top of each other.

Avoid fast fashion this season

Dressing up for Christmas can be a lot of fun. Whether you are looking for sparkle or a Rudolf jumper, preloved clothes are a great and affordable option. From charity shops to online reuse stores you'll be spoilt for choice. If you need to clear a of bit space why not donate your old festive outfits to a charity shop, or sell online for some extra festive funds. Amazingly, 1.7 million sequined items are binned after the party season, along with themed jumpers, any reuse will help reduce this waste.

Explore festive tree options

 For an artificial tree to have a low carbon footprint, it needs to be used for at least a decade. A bit of care when packing it away each year will ensure your tree is beautiful every Christmas for a decade or more. Opting for a real tree? You can contact local council for advice on recycling your tree, some councils allow for tree collection straight from your house – accessible for everyone.

Embracing reduce, reuse, recycle during the festive season is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint.

a red bauble hidden in a Christmas tree