10 ways to reduce waste this Christmas

For a guilt-free start to the New Year, we’ve compiled a list of easy tips to help you cut back on unnecessary waste, without scrimping on style...

Reusable fabric gift wrap, £10, Wearth London.

Choose uncoated cards

It’s lovely to send and receive Christmas cards but, once the festive period is over, not all cards are easy to recycle. Any with glitter, glue or foil have to be thrown into general waste – which has a significant impact on the planet. Where possible, why not opt for uncoated paper cards? These from the Cambridge Imprint (above) are made using FSC-certified stock and ink which is kind to the environment.

Charleston Christmas cards, £9.95 for six, Cambridge Imprint.
Charleston Christmas cards, £9.95 for six, Cambridge Imprint.

Purchase a potted tree

Whether real or fake, which kind of Christmas tree is the most sustainable is still subject to debate. But, if you’re really hankering for the pine scent of the real deal, buying a potted tree that can be brought inside each year is a sure-fire way to save on waste. And, if you already own an artificial tree, we recommend using it for as long as possible before investing in a more eco-friendly option.


Use recycled wrapping

Did you know that we use around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper every year in the UK*, much of which isn’t recyclable? This season, why not try wrapping small gifts in vintage napkins or colourful tea towels? Reusing old ribbon or twine, rather than sticky tape, avoids single-use plastic too.

Reusable fabric gift wrap, £10, Wearth London.
Reusable fabric gift wrap, £10, Wearth London.

Invest in some LED lighting

When it comes to illuminating the tree, LED lights are more energy efficient than standard electric ones. Plus, keeping them turned off during the day will spare electricity wastage. And for twinkling outdoor displays, there are plenty of solar- powered fairy lights available.


Go plastic free

The best hosts know that it’s always good to stock up on some extra toiletries over Christmas, especially if you have friends and family staying overnight. Soap and shampoo bars, recycled loo rolls (like these from Who Gives a Crap, £24 per box) and bamboo toothbrushes are great to have on standby, and will avoid adding extra to landfill.

Recycled loo roll, £24 per box, Who Gives a Crap.
Recycled loo roll, £24 per box, Who Gives a Crap.

Pick a refillable advent calendar

Although disposable advent calendars are tempting, they’re often packed with vexing single- use plastic and unnecessary packaging. This year, why not try a refillable fabric or wooden calendar? Fill each window with sweet treats, trinkets, miniature toiletries or decorations for the ultimate festive countdown.

Monochrome Wooden Tree advent calendar, £85, Marquis & Dawe.
Monochrome Wooden Tree advent calendar, £85, Marquis & Dawe.

Shop for second-hand

If you’re expecting a house-full this Christmas – and know you might be short of dining chairs, bedding, towels or crockery – borrowing from neighbours or using sites such as Gumtree and Freecycle, will prevent any last-minute department store dashes. Plus, there are always bargains to be found at auctions, flea markets or antiques shops.


Try some DIY gifting

There’s nothing worse than receiving an unwanted Christmas present – especially one that’s unkind to the environment. Edible gifts, such as homemade truffles, preserves or biscuits, always go down a treat.

Hand made Chocolate Truffles
Edible gifts, such as handmade chocolate truffles, are always warmly received.