4 November 2022

Have a holly jolly Christmas without the avoidable waste that often comes with it! From homemade decorations and wrapping paper, to leftover food, there are several easy ways to have an eco-friendly Christmas and make the festivities a little less wasteful this year.

Crafty Christmas decorations

Try adding a bit of the home-made touch to your festive decorations. Take a look at our citrus garland idea, which is super pretty and smells just as good as it looks. This DIY decoration can be placed on your tree or hang it somewhere centre stage in your home.

Pop the tinsel aside and make room for festive bunting . Make your own and string your bunting up over December; you could go the extra mile and put little gifts or riddles in the pockets for family members or guests who come to visit. It’s a lovely decoration that can be brought out every year, making it a tradition, and better for the planet. Win, win!

Alternative ways to wrap presents for loved ones  

There are so many different ways you can go eco-friendly and/or zero-waste when it comes to wrapping gifts. Get ready to go full on Pinterest mode.

One of the cheapest options is recycled brown paper, which is great whatever your budget because it looks traditional and chic. Paper tape is a more eco alternative, or go completely tape-free and tie your gifts with twine or string. If opened carefully, you can keep the paper to re-use.

Do you have some old newspapers or magazines lying around? Don’t chuck them away, turn a new page and use them as gift wrap.

Any old festive fabric you have would be a lovely touch to make your gifts unique. If you don’t have any, pop to your local fabric shop they may even have some offcuts which would otherwise go to waste. Not only are you shopping locally, but the wrapping can be used again and again. Secure it by tying twine or left over fabric into a bow.

If these don’t take your fancy, simply try to buy recycled and recyclable wrapping paper to reduce waste and have an eco-friendly Christmas.

A tree is for life, not just for Christmas

Great news – real Christmas trees are 100% recyclable! They can be shredded into chippings which are then used locally in parks or woodland areas, as well as mulched for landscaping and gardening – much more useful than your tree spending its remaining days in landfill.

Recycle Now provide clear advice on how you can recycle your tree, making it super easy and they also have a useful Recycling Locator tool, where you can find out the details of your local authority. Local communities and charities also sometimes collect trees for small donations and recycle them for you, a great way to support local initiatives and meet and chat to new people too!

Waste not, want not!

As well as a time for giving, Christmas is a time for eating! Food waste does tend to increase over the festive period, but there’s lots you can do to reduce waste and make food go further. Here’s a few ideas...

If you're joining The Big Lunch at Christmas, download the Too Good to Go or Olio Apps and rescue some delicious food to share with your community. Often, you can get hold of a big bag of food for just a few pounds and it will taste even better - knowing you are saving it going to waste!

When it comes to home cooking, throw your leftover veggies, potatoes and turkey in a pot and you’ll have yourself a delicious stew to warm you on a cold January day. You could make use of all the leftover veggies (including those sprouts) and have yourself a vegetable tart. This would be a great sharing dish for a post Christmas neighbourly get together.

Don’t even think about chucking the rest of that Christmas pud! Mix it up and make Christmas pudding ice cream available all year round. 

Speaking of leftovers, rather than using cling film, you can look after your leftovers with beeswax food wraps. They’re very simple to make, long-lasting and would be a great stocking filler gift.

We hope these tips inspire you to start your waste-free, eco-friendly Christmas. Every little helps and remember that small steps can make a big difference.


Host a Big Lunch at Christmas

Every June, The Big Lunch brings millions of people together to share friendship, food and fun for the UK’s annual celebration for neighbours and communities. It’s a simple idea that has a lasting positive impact on those who participate. This year, we’re encouraging people to join in with The Big Lunch at Christmas too, to celebrate our connections and keep our communities cosy.

Share food, friendship and festive fun with your community - we've got everything you need to get started!