Skip to content

Christmas can be a time for lots of excess waste – from wrapping paper to food to plastic packaging – all of which is linked to climate change. But it’s easy to be big on Christmas and giving but small on making an environmental impact.

Did you know that 1 in 10 gifts are never used?

That’s a waste of money and materials.

To help;

  • always make a list of what you are buying to prevent any impulse purchases.
  • don’t feel embarrassed to say to people that you aren’t doing presents this year – you could be giving them the gift of not feeling like they must buy you a gift in return.

Tips on reducing your food waste

  • Plan your meals so that you know what you’re cooking
  • Write a shopping list so you only buy what you need. Be sure to check your cupboards first to avoid buying double
  • Plan your portion sizes so you only prepare as much food as needed
  • Visit to find recipes to use up any of your leftovers. Just type your leftover food(s) into the search bar
  • Made too much? Freeze it to eat later. Clear out your freezer ahead of time so you have space available
  • Unused non-perishable food can be donated to a local charity or shelter
  • If there’s any food left that you really can’t eat, don’t forget that you can recycle it in your food waste caddy.


Box of donated food

Christmas Clothing

Are you thinking about buying a new Christmas jumper or a party dress for New Year’s Eve? Think again because it takes 2,700 litres of water to make just one t-shirt. That’s enough water for one person for 900 days!

Increasing the wearable life of an item by just three months reduces the carbon, water, and waste footprints by between 5-10%, so why not choose a new-to-you option instead?

  • Green is the new black – shop second-hand on apps such as Vinted and Depop
  • Have another look in your wardrobe, check out your local charity shop, swap jumpers between friends or customise old outfits to fight fast fashion and save some money
  • Go for longevity – wear your Christmas jumper with pride all winter long.

Tree-mendous Christmas decoration tips

If you’re buying an artificial Christmas tree, buy one to last so you can use it year after year.

If you’re buying a real Christmas tree, look for a young one in a pot so it can live in the garden year-round.

Don’t forget that you can recycle real Christmas trees in your brown bin or place it by the side of your bin on collection day, up until the end of January. Make sure to remove all decorations from your tree.

Buy good quality Christmas decorations, so they last for many Christmases to come

Reuse Christmas cards as gift tags or to write shopping lists on!

One person’s rubbish is another’s Christmas present.

Items in good condition that you no longer need can be donated for reuse or re-sale at reuse centres, charity shops, or even by selling them online – disposal should always be the last resort.

Don’t buy novelty items or knick-knacks no one is going to use. Remember: want, need, wear, read when shopping for gifts, or just in general. And pop in the gift receipt just in case!

Gifts in recycled brown paper

Gift wrapping

Help reduce the 277,000 miles of wrapping paper going to landfill each year by avoiding glossy, glittery, or metallic gift wrap which cannot be recycled.

Instead, try brown / Kraft Paper tied up with ribbon or string and a nice tag. If you’re likely to reuse it, opt for the best quality wrapping paper you can as it won’t rip upon opening. Or ditch the rolls of wrapping paper entirely and go for fabric gift wrap (Furoshiki), recycled paper or a reusable gift bag.

Please be kind to your planet this Christmas and above all enjoy the festive season.