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Top tips for a more environmentally friendly Christmas

Christmas is typically the time of year where we want to over-indulge and with the way 2020 has been, it is definitely time to safely treat ourselves to more of what we will enjoy.

That in mind, why not make your festive period a more sustainable one at the same time. There are a few things that you can do to treat yourself and look after the environment too.

We’ve pulled together some top tips to make your Christmas more sustainable – whether you want to avoid waste, use less plastic, or get creative.

It’s all about the wrap

Try using brown paper, newspaper or create your own wrapping paper using stamps or hand-drawn designs on craft paper or left-over wallpaper. For something a little different, use left-over fabric or give two-gifts-in-one and wrap presents up in a scarf.

If you’re using wrapping paper, look for something recyclable and be conscious to avoid designs that use foil or glitter because while they look pretty, these can’t be recycled. Brighten your wrapping with a ribbon or some foliage which people can keep for future gift giving or as an extra decoration to their tree.

For any wrapping paper that you receive, remove any sticky tape and recycle or reuse where you can.

Snap out of it

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without pulling a Christmas cracker – but the tradition can be done in a more sustainable way by making your own or buying specifically designed recyclable versions.

To make your own Christmas crackers, use old toilet toll tubes and newspaper (or paper left over from wrapping) or buy a cracker making kit online.

You can be more environmentally friendly by adding in small gifts that you and your family can really enjoy. Cheesy jokes - optional!  

Shop carefully

With the amount of things you can buy at Christmas on top of special offers and sales, it can be overwhelming and easy to fall into the trap of buying more than you need – and ultimately that going to waste.

Suggest a ‘secret santa’ present swap to friends so that you can get one person something a little more special, ask family and loved ones if there is anything you could get them off their Christmas wish list or play it safe and get food and drink or a book that will be well received.

Deck the halls

When it comes to January and ‘un-decking’ the halls, if you have bought a real Christmas tree, there a few things you can do to ensure that it is sustainability disposed of. These include:

  1. Replanting – if you have room in your own garden, why not replant your tree and you could use it again next year
  2. Donate – Wirral Hospice St John’s are running a project where you can book for the charity to collect your Christmas tree and they will recycle them for you. In return, you can make a donation to support the charity. Find out more information and book a slot for your tree collection on Wirral InfoBank.
  3. Recycle – if you are a subscriber to the council’s garden waste collection service, chop up your tree and place it in your brown bin ready for the first collection of 2021 (the service resumes on 11 January)

Food glorious food

From how much you buy and where you buy it from to what you do with your leftovers, there are ways to make your Christmas food shop more environmentally friendly.

  • Shop Local – shopping locally supports small businesses in your area and means you are getting local and fresh produce helping to reduce pollution
  • Avoid plastic – whether that’s taking your own re-usable bags or avoiding fruits, vegetables and other food wrapped in plastic packaging as much as possible - reducing the amount of plastic we use and dispose of will all help protect the environment. Maybe even use a zero-waste store and buy in bulk for key cupboard ingredients
  • Make the most of leftovers – after the big day, use up leftovers by making soups and curries. Not only will the food be getting used instead of going to waste but you can try different recipes too and might find a new family favourite


Have a lovely, safe and sustainable Christmas.