Earth Notes: On Making Christmas Greener

Updated 2023-12-21.
Twelve top tips that the Internet gave to me - for a green Xmas... Have fun, save money, do the right thing by the planet - triple win! #greenXmas
Have a lower-carbon, more 'eco' . Spend less money and more time. Eat better. Give experiences and gifts that last, maybe even that famous pear tree!

This piece is a link-fest, to help you create ideas!

holly berries

Can my Christmas tree be green?

Yes. Have a rented or potted/rootballed or plastic or recycled cardboard tree so that it's reusable next year. Else recycle it, maybe as fish food. And decorate with energy-saving LED lights without lighting up your whole neighbourhood!

Can my Christmas gifts be pre-loved?

Yes. Pay 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 gift-wrap be green?

Yes. 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?

Yes. 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?

Yes. 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.

Are there any more literally green Christmas gifts?

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

Is it green to have my Christmas shopping delivered?

Yes. 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?

Yes. 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 cosy when you need it.

Does eating more veg make Christmas greener?

Yes. Eat less meat and more veg this Christmas, and maybe grow some at home 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?

Yes. Check your home's insulation and draft-proofing (maybe with thermal imaging) to keep down your heating bills (and carbon footprint). Look for grants and loans to help!

How can I help nature at Christmas?

Feed the birds (and your compost heap).

Brussels Grand Place ice skating at Christmas

How can I shop greener at Christmas?

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