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Our Journal

Ten Top Tips for a Greener/Plastic free Christmas

Christmas comes but once a year…which means we don’t get a lot of chance to practice and embed ‘Greener’ ways to enjoy it.  So, we thought that we’d make it a little easier for you and share our Top Ten tips for a Greener, Plastic Free Christmas.


  1. Swap your Advent Calendars. Kids love the countdown to Christmas, but swapping to a calendar made with recyclable, plastic free packaging and fair-trade vegan chocolate is a great step towards a greener alternative.   Even better, make your own or buy one that can be re-used year on year.
  2. Keep Your Tree – Rather than buying a new cut tree, buy one that is potted that you can replant and re-use the following year.
  3. Give the gift of time, memories and experiences, rather than plastic gifts and more stuff! A theatre trip, massage or an adventure like climbing, sailing, guided walks or bike rides creates a gift of long-lasting memories and fun.
  4. Make your own…it is the love and thought that goes into a gift that really counts. How about Christmas flavoured gin, Bloody Mary kits with horseradish vodka, Black Forest vegan brownies, gingerbread families.
  5. Ditch the sellotape, foil and glitter for Furoshiki wrapping! Christmas wrapping paper with shiny surfaces and glitter is likely to include plastic and be difficult to recycle.  Using eco-friendly bags and tins that can be used year after year is a good option, but there are times, especially for children, when nothing quite beats a wrapped gift.  Using recycled wrapping paper and tape, printed with vegetable-based ink is a great option or use brown paper and maybe a personalized stamp.  You could get really creative and use a reusable fabric gift wrap and learn Japanese Furoshiki wrapping!
  6. Deck the Halls with Popcorn! Tinsel and Baubles are full of plastic a lot of the time. Try making homemade edible baked Christmas cookies for your tree or strings of cranberries or popcorn…hung above doggy height! Or buy the nicest ones you can afford with the idea of handing them on to your children.
  7. Get crafty with Crackers. Christmas Crackers create lots of waste and plastic which is often thrown away and will not biodegrade. You can buy plastic free and re-usable crackers or even make your own with kits or a loo roll!!
  8. Shop local, reducing road miles and packaging with local artisan producers for special gifts such as art and jewellery. Take your own containers to local butchers and greengrocers who stock local produce. Refill at your zero-waste shop for larder staples, nibbles, chocolates, cooking ingredients, oils, gifts and household necessities.
  9. Remember the 6 Rs 
  • Refuse – Only spend in shops where they do not wrap in plastic. Shop in stores where they are clear about the ethical provenance.
  • Reduce – It is just one day, do you really need all the Christmas food, presents, wrapping paper and Christmas themed goods- Christmas duvets anyone!
  • Reuse – Try and buy Christmas goods that you can use year after year.
  • Recycle – Make sure the products you buy can be recycled. Avoid the black bin!
  • Rot – Get your compost heap going for any leftovers. OR use the councils blue and green bins
  • Repair – Don’t throw away broken goods, look for a repair cafe. Or practice the Japanese art of Kintsugi and repair broken pottery. Make the breakage and repair part of the object’s history rather than disguise it or throw it away.
  1. Go Vegan. Try replacing one of your main Christmas meals or even some of the snacks with a vegetarian/vegan option. Veggie mince pies, veggie canapés, veggie wellingtons, watermelon ‘ham’, veggie sausage roll, veggie boxing day pie.