How to be sustainable this Christmas

Last updated: 31 August 2022

Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends. But it often includes lavish meals and gifts, with the potential for wasted food, unwanted presents and a great deal of unnecessary packaging.

Fortunately, minimising the negative environmental and health impact of these events does not need to be difficult.

Here are some tips to help make this festive season a sustainable season.

Use a living Christmas tree

Every plastic Christmas tree will eventually end up in landfill but living Christmas trees are 100% biodegradable and easily recycled.

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Consider sustainable gifts

We've all had the experience of being given something we don't want, like or need. Minimise waste by buying sustainable gifts such as donations and experiences, or gifts made from recycled materials.

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Reduce food waste

At Christmas it is all too easy to buy too much of everything and end up with a lot of waste. Make a list before you leave home of only the things you really need to buy. Send your guests home with leftovers to ensure nothing goes in the bin.

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Minimise plastic and packaging

When buying gifts and items for Christmas lunch, consider how much plastic packaging they come with. Avoid straws, skip bottled water and recycle what you can afterwards.

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Avoiding disposable dinnerware

Plastic plates, cups, cutlery and drink stirrers can't be recycled easily at our recycling facilities, even when they are made from recyclable plastic. The good news is that there are many alternatives to using disposable dinnerware.

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Shop locally

Shopping locally will support the local economy and employment, and minimise energy expenditure and emissions associated with transport.

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Other ways to shop sustainably

Every time we purchase a product or service – gifts, food, fashion, property, appliances, hot water systems and energy – we have the option to shop sustainably. Decide on an area that's important to you and start making a difference through your choices.