ad // Christmas might be the happiest time of year for a lot of us humans but for the environment? Not so much. A study conducted by the University of Manchester argue that Christmas can cause the equivalent carbon footprint as that of a single car travelling 6,000 times around the globe. Scary, huh? Whilst we should definitely all enjoy ourselves as much as possible, we could all definitely do with learning how to make Christmas more eco friendly.

how to make christmas more eco friendly

Now I’ll put my hands up and admit that I’ve never been the most eco conscious of people. But these last few years in particular have definitely made me more aware of the environmental impact so many of our actions have. I mean and rightly so. We’re destroying the planet in front of our eyes.

And Christmas is obviously one of the most impactful times of year when it comes to the environment. And not in a good way.

Christmas has obviously become vastly commercialized however it is a happy time of year for so many people. It’s a time for fun Christmas days out, sparkly Christmas fashion, and getting together with family and friends, eating, drinking, playing games and kicking back after a long year.

So, I think it’s important to find that balance. We can still enjoy Christmas as much as possible and do all the things we want to do, whilst at the same time, just being a bit more conscious of our actions and maybe making some sustainable swaps along the way.

One individual can’t save the planet by themselves. And I hate this all or nothing approach to sustainability, especially when we don’t know the circumstances of the people around us, i.e a disabled person unable to use a paper straw.

But there’s always something each of us can do and if we all learnt how to make Christmas more eco friendly and did one or two things to help the environment during this time of year, then it will all add up and make a collective difference.ย 

how to make christmas more eco friendly

Here’s some ways of how to make Christmas more eco friendly, so you can enjoy the festivities as well as doing your bit for the environment!

Recycle as much as possible

Christmas is a great time to make sure you’re ON TOP of your recycling game. As you can expect to end up with a lot of recyclable waste after the Christmas Day festivities are over. If you can, ensure everyone else in the household refrains from throwing anything in the regular bin and stock up on recycling bags!

Switch to more eco friendly Christmas wrapping

You’ve probably heard a lot of people on social media over the last few years mention that not all Christmas wrapping is recyclable. I had NO IDEA before I found that out. It’s paper, you assume you can recycle it. So perhaps this year, switch to brown paper wrapping and recyclable craft tags instead!

Switch to LED Christmas lighting

Not only will this have an impact on the environment, but it’ll also have an impact on your bank account. And ANY extra savings are always handy around Christmas. LED lights use 75% less energy than incandescent lights. The folks over at INUI LED Lighting, who sell eco friendly LED panels have this handy LED Lighting Calculator, which could help you work out how much you could be saving in terms of money AND energy!

how to make christmas more eco friendly

Substitute physical Christmas cards for eco friendly e-cards

Okay, be serious. Who here keeps their Christmas cards when Christmas is over? Christmas cards produce a HECK of a lot of waste and whilst they’re a nice gesture, is all that extra waste necessary? A lot of people are now switching to more eco friendly e-cards, as a way wish friends and family a happy Christmas, without the extra environmental impact.

Try Vegetarian or Vegan options for a more eco friendly Christmas

It’s no secret that the meat industry plays quite a part in environmental damage. This is something I definitely need to work on, as I’m currently still a meat eater. Saying that, a lot of my favourite meals and foods are Vegetarian.

So, I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to a Vegetarian or Vegan Christmas dinner (I mean, all the best parts are Vegetarian anyway, am I right) If this sounds like you, then this could certainly be an option for a more eco friendly Christmas.

Or buy organic, free-range produce and shop small, local farms where possible

However, if cutting out meat isn’t an option for you, for whatever reason, switching to organic, free-range produce from small local farms could be the better option for how to make Christmas more eco friendly. And perhaps have a couple of meat free days AFTER Christmas to make up for it?

Cut down on food waste

And finally, another point on food but let’s face it, food is the best part of Christmas, isn’t it? And boy don’t we consume a lot of it this time of year? More than we need. Absolutely. Try budgeting for food this year or keeping to strict lists. And if you find you do have a lot of food waste, don’t just chuck it in the bin. Find some recipes to make out of it for Boxing Day!

How are you planning to make Christmas more eco friendly this year? Do you already do any of these points that I’ve made or are you planning on it for the first time this year? Do you have any other tips on how to make Christmas more eco friendly? Let me know!


  1. This was such a helpful post! I’m trying to be more eco-friendly myself and these are all such good tips! I didn’t know some wrapping paper was recyclable! I just figured it all was! Oops ๐Ÿ™ But I love the idea of doing something vegetarian or vegan! It’s something different and you can prove to family members that not all vegan or vegetarian food is bad! And as for not wasting food, if you get too many sweets or cookies, so if they’re able to freeze and stick them in the freezer for later in the new year! That way you aren’t wasting, plus you’ll have some extra treats to eat later!

    Emily |

  2. You’ve really nailed it again Jenny! I’ve never given a lot of thought to being eco-friendly at Christmas which is awful, but this year I’m hoping to change that! I’m not sure the whole fam will be into a meat-free meal, but even things like cutting down on the pointless presents that no one is even going to look at again after the day is over is probably a start! Quality not quantity after all ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I loved this. We switched to LED lights a couple of years ago and are using brown paper for wrapping this year. I’ve got some christmastamps so that my little boy can be involved too, making it a nice christmas craft and a nice personal way to wrap a gift ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. These are great ideas Jenny. I’m trying to have a more sustainable Christmas this year and have already decided to use brown paper for gifts.

  4. Very good tips, Jenny! Especially cutting down on waste by switching to more eco-friendly greeting cards which can work year-round!

  5. These are some amazing tips, it’s so easy to forget to be good to environment at christmas. I need to be better with recycling although I have started to use brown paper instead of wrapping paper x

  6. I’m the person in the house that on Christmas morning, I’m always there with a black bag on standby to chuck the wrapping paper into after the present opening! Food NEVER goes to waste with me on Christmas Day, if it’s sitting there, I’ll eat it! x

    Lucy |

  7. There is always somebody at my home ready with a bin bag to collect all the paper to make sure its recycled properly! I love the idea of using brown paper as wrapping paper, I think it looks so pretty too with a little ribbon. Even more amazing that it is great for the environment! Ooo i never thought about using LED Christmas lighting instead! That is such a good idea! These are some really good tips Jenny, especially regarding food! Great post! I will definitely be taking these into consideration this christmas xx

  8. This is amazing, lovely! I’ll definitely be taking some of this tips for my own Christmas! The only reasons I send physical cards are because I use charity ones to help my local hospice and none of my aunts know how to do e-cards! xD

    Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived

  9. I actually never really thought of these ideas before. My family and I recycle so I assumed we were doing our part. But the Christmas e-cards sounds like a cool idea! And I think I might just try that (:

  10. I’m so excited this Christmas! I’m using up the rest of the wrapping paper from last year, and then it’s compostable all the way from there to put it on our kitchen garden. I eat meat too – living on a farm and being engaged to a pig farmer will do that to you haha- but eat British and as local as possible to make it more eco-friendly ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d not thought of e-cards, I think that’s what I’ll do this year for everyone online!
    Bella x –

  11. One of my friends uses cloth or scarves to wrap some of her gifts. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it. Of course, it is not practical for all purposes, so recyclable wrapping paper is something I am setting out to buy this season.

  12. These are some really helpful tips! I stopped sending Christmas cards a while ago because while they are a very nice gesture, they just add to the clutter. These days, I’d rather message or call my family and friends. Also, here’s a fun fact about Polish Christmas: our main festive meal is on Christmas Eve and we are not allowed to eat any meat! All meat dishes are served on the 25th and 26th of December instead ๐Ÿ™‚

    Dominika | Into the Bloom

  13. Such great tips! I tend to send far more e-cards than paper cards nowadays because of the age we live in and because of the environment. Also, wrapping your presents in brown paper rather than wrapping paper is a great way to help the environment and gives gifts more of an ‘aesthetic’.

    Jas xx

  14. I love this! One of the bigger changes I want to make one day is to go for a live tree that I can plant. Obviously I’ll need my own property for this, and I’ll only have so much real estate before having to find a reusable tree. I need to look into brown wrapping paper for sure!


  15. We’re going for brown wrapping paper this year, and not sending any cards! They’re such a waste, plus I can’t believe how many have glitter and other forms of plastic on them which is even worse!

  16. I love this post certainly lots of ways you can make little differences to how sustainable Christmas is, and reduce costs too in the long run. I’m focusing on cards, gift tags and giftwrap this year and will be putting money saved on not buying cards for everyone to buying items for our local food bank instead. I’m using brown paper or recycled & recyclable paper (the RSPB have some on their site that raises money for their cause too), it might be a bit fiddly for some gifts but I’m hoping it’ll work on most. DIY gift bags and shredded used card is another way to parcel up presents.
    I hate how much packaging is wasted still on kids toys and this is something that really needs focusing on to improve as a lot of it isn’t recyclable/ is plastic, but parents don’t have much of a say when it’s on a child’s list, the manufacturers really should be making better efforts to reduce this.

    1. The manufacturers are definitely responsbile for that. Luckily there’s no kids to buy for in my family, so not something we have to worry about. But I can imagine it’s a bit of a nightmare with all that plastic and packaging! I love your food bank idea too x

  17. Thank you for sharing this! We all need to think about being more environmentally conscious year round, and itโ€™s so nice to hear of different ways we can do that for every occasion ๐Ÿ˜Š

  18. I’ve decided to send Christmas cards only to those people who are not online at all or very little. The rest will be tagged in my Fcbk messages or will get an e-card. On a positive note though: Paperchase have ditched the plastic wrapping of their cards. So now there is only paper that is easily recyclable that you need to worry about ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I love this! Lately I’ve been thinking of how much waste my family has during the holiday season and all the wrapping paper and everything and it’s crazy! Definitely appreciate this post and will be referring back to it as we get closer to the holidays. Thank you!

  20. Great post – love these ideas! Iโ€™ll definitely be trying to buy more eco-friendly wrapping paper / cards this year. Iโ€™ll also put real thought into the presents Iโ€™m buying to make sure theyโ€™re as sustainable as possible ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Em |

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