Earth Notes: On Greening Christmas

Updated 2019-09-09 15:10 GMT.
Twelve top tips that the Internet gave to me for a greener Xmas... Have fun, save money, do the right thing by the environment - triple win!
How to have a greener, lower-carbon, 'eco' Christmas. Spend less money and more time. Eat better. And give experiences and gifts that last!

This is deliberately something of a linkfest. Go get lots of ideas!

Think ahead, save money and trim your Christmas carbon footprint...

Can my Christmas tree be green?

Have a potted or plastic or recycled cardboard tree so that it's reusable next year, else recycle it, maybe as fish food, and use energy-saving LED lights without lighting up your whole neighbourhood!

Can my Christmas gifts be pre-loved?

Play it forward, and give "pre-loved" second-hand gifts wrapped in plain paper to friends and neighbours, eg good books left on doorsteps.

Can Christmas giftwrap be green?

Re-use gift bags and ribbon and make wrapping paper with the kids eg using potato prints on redeployed packaging/paper/card; recycle what you can't re-use. Also, keep your cards to make tags next year.

Can my Christmas gifts be recharged or repaired?

Use rechargeable batteries rather than disposables and save a lot of landfill! In the same vein, consider the gift of repair.

Are there charity Christmas gifts for someone who already has everything?

For someone who has everything already, or wants almost nothing, buy a charity gift, such as the famous goat for Goa (Oxfam Unwrapped), rather than unwanted tat.

What are some literally green Christmas gifts?

Buy someone a herb garden or seeds rather than plastic or electronics.

Is it green to have my Christmas shopping delivered?

Get your groceries delivered, and share with a neighbour, to reduce emissions. And it saves effort: the sort of win-win that I like! Then avoid serving people with single-use paper or plastic plates and cups if you are entertaining.

Does planning Christmas ahead make me greener?

Plan ahead to use up what you reasonably can in your freezer and store cupboards before the break to make space, don't waste food at the time, and then use your freshly-liberated space to help manage and use leftovers well. And fix your heating in the summer to save money and carbon, and to be cozy when you need it.

Does eating more veg make Christmas greener?

Eat less meat and more veg this Christmas (and grow some veg at home for next year).

How can I travel green for Christmas?

Travel by public transport, and don't go too far (so don't fly).

Does insulation gift me a warm green Christmas?

Check your home's insulation and draft-proofing to keep down your heating bills (and carbon footprint) and look for grants and loans to help!

How can I help nature at Christmas?

Feed the birds (and your compost heap).

How can I shop greener at Christmas?

Bonus thought: when visiting a small shop Close The Door behind you. Help save the shop up to 50% of its energy bill and carbon footprint! (And keep air cleaner and warmer inside for the staff.)

If you have any suggestions or ideas for this page, please email or Tweet (see below).

Don't forget to have fun!