A sustainable Christmas


Tips to try for reducing your environmental impact this Christmas

For wrapping and gifts

  • Gift bags may contain non-paper content so it is best to use them again and again.  If you use gift bags, attach a tag that says “please reuse me”.  Gift bags can also be donated to local charity shops for resale if you have lots of them in your cupboard.
  • Use cloth gift bags. 
  • New tea towels are useful items for wrapping and have the added bonus of making the wrapping a gift as well.
  • Wrap using a length of fabric or a scarf.  https://www.fabartdiy.com/13-scarf-folding-ways-for-gift-wrapping/
  • Use recycled brown paper (or newspaper) to wrap your gifts.  Use potato stamps (and natural inks) to decorate your paper.
  • Cut old Christmas cards into new gift tags 
  • Make bows out of old magazines (cut them up – link below) http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2009/10/make-gift-bow-from-magazine-page.html


  • Investigate sending e-cards
  • As noted above, cut old Christmas cards into new gift tags

For decorating

For gift giving

  • Give the gift of time or help arrange an experience.  Write up simple “Gift certificate for…(mowing the lawn, baking a cake, babysitting, walking a dog, making a meal, a trip to the cinema) to be redeemed during the year.  Make sure the recipient arranges a date to redeem your gift certificate!
  • Think about where the presents you buy have come from and how far you have to travel to purchase them.  Could you buy from local shops on the high street, or could you buy from a small business that produces things locally?
  • Purchase Fairtrade

For unwanted gifts

  • Hold a gift swap with friends and family.  Gather together new items you have been given (or purchased yourself) and no longer want.  At a recent gift swap one of our team gave away candles, Christmas-themed jewellery, a cool bag and a silicone baking spatula.  In return she received a bath bomb, sun cream, moisturiser, hand cream, earrings and a mug.

Christmas Tree choices

8 million Christmas trees are sold in the UK

  • Tree rental – look for FSC or Soil Association certification
  • Grow your own – a non-conifer one with roots (holly, apple, pear, bay, Japanese maple) or a large indoor plant (drape with fairy lights)
  • Artificial – use it as long as possible.  If you want to acquire a new to you one, look on Freegle.  Issue of disposal of synthetic components
  • Real tree – send for chipping at your local Council (used for bark mulch etc)

For clothing/accessories

  • Borrow or swap party clothes.  Particularly Christmas jumpers!
  • Shop at charity shops

Websites for other ideas:






Susanne Bearblock 23.11.19

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