How To Have An Eco Friendly Christmas Tree & 11 Other Christmas Tips


From an eco friendly Christmas tree to organic turkeys, there are many ways to make Christmas 2019 kinder to the planet!

Traditionally, the 12 days of Christmas include leaping lords, dancing ladies and a large variety of birds (to name a few). However, despite it being the most wonderful time of the year it is also one of the most wasteful. But this year, to save the planet from tears, we want to share with you our 12 top tips to make your jingle bells rock, helping  you turn your Christmas celebrations eco-friendly.

The 12 Days Of An Eco-Friendly Christmas

12 Lights Are flashing 

11 Families Crafting

10 Cards Are Sending

9 Gifts Are Wrapping

8 Carpenters Carving 

7 Markets Opening

6 Subscriptions Flying 

5 Organic Gifts 

4 Fake Trees 

3 Rows Of Veg 

2 Local Farms 

And A Fridge Full Of Turkey Pie

12 Lights Are Flashing 

eco-friendly-christmas-lightsMany of us like to decorate our homes from top to toe in Christmas lights. But have you ever stopped to think about how your increased energy usage is affecting the planet? Whether you go for minimalist lights or kit out the outside and inside of your home, you can’t deny that your December energy bill of often the highest of the year. We recommend using energy saving light bulbs, both for your tree decorations and your outside lights to help down your energy consumption. And while you are at it, switch out the rest of your lightbulbs in the house for energy saving alternatives! 

As much as you want to show your neighbours your festive spirit, nobody is going to be looking at your house lights at 2 o’clock in the morning! If you decide to decorate the outside of your house, or place your tree in a window spot for all to see by all means show off all your hard work. But when you go to bed, turn off all your lights to help reduce your December energy consumption. 

If you are going away for the holiday season, take 5 minutes to walk around your house and switch off all energy sources by the plug to ensure no wastage while you are away. Another alternative, if you have already decorated and want to share your lights display with passers-by invest in timer switches. You can set the timers to the times you want the lights to be on and off. This allows you to show off your lights and still be able to save energy while you are enjoying your getaway. 

11 Families Crafting

eco-friendly-decorationsRather than buying new decorations every year – recycle old ones! It is very easy to get tempted by all the new Christmas decorations offered by high-street shops and online retailers. But before you make your purchase take a moment to think about whether you really need them. A simple way to make an eco friendly Christmas tree is by re-using decorations from previous years. If you want to change the colour theme of your christmas decorations you don’t need to buy a whole new set. Look at ways you can recycle your old ones, get creative with ribbons and paint! 

We aren’t saying that you aren’t allowed to treat yourself to a few new decorations each year, but we just want you to think about the ones you are discarding. If, year on year, you buy a complete new set of decorations the old ones you throw out will eventually end up contributing to the ever increasing pile of landfill. With that in mind, be conscious about reusing, recycling and replacing your decorations. 

As well as up-cycling old decorations you can get creative and make new ones with every- day objects. Although shop bought decorations are the easy option, hand-made alternatives can make your christmas that little bit more special (and they are a great family fun activity!). By creating your own Christmas decorations made from natural materials found in forests and parks you are taking that one step further to having an eco friendly Christmas tree in your household!

Some of our ‘Get Creative” Ideas:

Create your own wreath

  1. Find a local park or woodland track and collect twigs, leaves and anything else you think will look nice in an arrangement.
  2. Get a piece of cardboard (recycled or reused if possible) and cut it into a large circle and then cut another smaller circle in the middle of the larger one. 
  3. Place your collected twigs and foliage around the cardboard and get sticking 
  4. For a more 3D effect, build up the twigs and foliage on both sides of the cardboard. Or just leave one side blank if you want it to sit flush on your door.  

Paper Chains Using Recycled Paper – An Alternative to Tinsel 

  1. Collate all of the different colours of your paper 
  2. Place them on the table in a landscape position
  3. Get a ruler and create a light pencil line from left to right on the paper. TIP use the width of the ruler as spacing to make sure that all the strips are the same length
  4. Once you have drawn your lines, cut along them to create the strips 
  5. Get the two ends of one of the strips and create a hoop shape, sticking the two ends together. 
  6. Repeat the process with the other strips (using alternate colours) but make sure that you link the hoops together before sticking otherwise you will just end up with loads of paper rings and no paper chain!
  7. Once you are happy with the length of your chain, add it to your eco friendly Christmas tree

Ten Cards Are Sending

eco-friendly-christmas-cardsDecember sees a significant increase in the sending and receiving of cards. Not only does this lead to an increase in paper and card (which won’t always be recycled) but also contributes to your carbon footprint as you rack up the miles your cards travel. We have created a short list of how to make this Christmas tradition more eco-friendly. Note, the lower down the list you go, the more eco-friendly you are being! 

  1. If you decide that you can’t do without this tradition, make the effort to choose Christmas cards made from recycled paper. Cards used from recycled paper have gone through a shorter production process and thus less emissions have been pumped into the air to produce them. It is not only important to try and find cards that are made out of recycled paper but to also check to see that the materials used are recyclable after use. For example, avoid cards with glitter or any cards that use photo paper as neither of these can be recycled.
  2. A more eco-friendly approach to card sending is to create your own card design and print them yourself at home (on recycled card of course!). This helps to completely eradicate plastic from the card sending process. By creating your cards at home rather than buying the you don’t have the piece of plastic foil that the cards come in and thus are being more eco-friendly. 
  3. Or take the most eco-friendly option! Ditch the cards completely and make an e-card to send via email. This not only gets rid of plastic wrapping and un-recyclable materials but it also eradicates the milage use to send the cards from sender to receiver. Although maybe not as pretty and long lasting as a physical card, e-cards have little or no impact on the current environmental crisis and therefore rank as our number one way to send cards this Christmas. 

Nine Gifts Are Wrapping

eco-friendly-wrapping-paperFor some, finding the perfect wrapping paper is an important Christmas ritual. But have you ever stopped to think about the effect it is having on the environment? When you children are excitedly unwrapping their presents there is no stopping them ripping open the paper to see what is inside. That is why we don’t think it is practical to suggest to ask them to consciously unwrap their presents so that the paper can be reused, and let’s be honest,  it is going to be difficult to store pre-used wrapping paper for a whole year!  

If you do, then we celebrate you! (but we know this isn’t practical for every household). Instead, we think a more logical solution is to gift wrap your presents in reusable gift bags. They not only still look pretty, but they also contribute to your eco friendly Christmas tree being that little bit more eco friendly as they reduce the paper wastage, are easier to reuse and store more efficiently for future gift wrapping.

We understand that it is sometimes difficult to find a gift bag that is the right size for your present. So, if you need to use wrapping paper we recommend using recycled wrapping paper. As so much wrapping paper is thrown away each year, and although it doesn’t seem like a big change, switching to recycled wrapping paper could be your first step to becoming a more eco-friendly household. 

The glitter trend will always remain regardless of the season. But not many people know that any wrapping paper that has glitter on it cannot be recycled. This is the main reason why we are asking people to avoid glitter this Christmas. With increased waste over the festive period and our landfills getting fuller it just doesn’t make sense to by glitter wrapping paper when there are so many more eco-friendly alternatives. 

Eight Carpenters Carving 

eco-friendly-giftSwitching out a few plastic toys for wooden alternatives is an easy way to have a more eco-friendly Christmas. Not only do wooden toys look nicer, they are also more durable because of the material they are made out of. This makes them the perfect gift, especially for smaller children, as plastic is more likely to break when it gets smashed around. Not only does this lead to a broken toy (and the need to replace it more often), but they then also become a health risk as broken plastic is often sharp and dangerous. 

We would recommend buying a variety of different wooden toys. For example, toy trains, building blocks and stacker toys. There are many wooden toy companies but we recommend babipur. Not only do they manufacture wooden toys but their baby comforters are made from organic cotton and their soft toys are fair trade. 

Seven Markets Opening

christmas-marketChristmas time is the time for indulging. There is no denying that our food consumption increases the closer we get to the festive day. However, have you ever stopped to look at where the food you are eating has come from? Although supermarkets are making a conscious effort to source UK grown products, they are still transporting them around the country to stock their stores. 

There are several alternatives to buying produce from supermarkets. There are: local farmers markets, local garden centres, local farm shops and the approach of the festive season means the welcoming of pop-up christmas markets. By shopping at these alternatives, not only are you being more eco-friendly by reducing your carbon footprint but you are also supporting local businesses and helping your local economy grow. 

Six Subscriptions Flying 

personalised-christmas-giftChristmas shouldn’t be all about who has the most presents, but instead about the thought behind the present.  One way to make your Christmas more eco-friendly is by buying smart gifts (and no, we don’t mean smart technology). Instead of buying loved ones lots of generic presents they will only ever use once or twice and then throw away (which contributes to landfill) put the money together to buy one more useful and thoughtful present. Think about what they would most benefit from. Remember, presents don’t have to be physical gifts. Think about alternative gift ideas such as paying for an experience for them or gifting them a subscription service they would enjoy. 

Five Organic Gifts 

Although there are several different organic companies all over the world. We wanted to share with you our favourites! 

Divine Chocolate 

organic-christmas-giftNothing says indulgence like chocolate. We love Divine Chocolate for its rich flavour from ethically sourced cocoa beans. Purchasing any product from Divine Chocolate supports sustainable cocoa farming and provides local communities with a premium to invest in social, economic or environmental conditions. This is because the company gives ownership of the business to the farmers, sharing their profits and giving them a stronger voice in the cocoa industry. Divine is the only chocolate company in the world which is 100% Fairtrade and owned by cocoa farmers.


organic-clothingNoctu designs are inspired by Scandinavian simplicity and focuses on minimalist design. Their ethos is ‘to make beautiful and comfortable nightwear using the softest organic fabrics’. All of their products are made in the UK using 100% organic and Fairtrade cotton. With this emphasis on ethical practice you won’t only look good in their clothing, but feel good knowing that you are supporting Fair Trade, organic produce!

Clipper tea 

organic-teaWe love our cups of Clipper Tea at the Odylique office, especially the Fairtrade and organic options that make up the majority of their range. Their ingredients are sourced from Fairtrade farms around the world, including ones in India, Sri Lanka, China, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. We also like the fact that Clipper tea bags are unbleached, meaning there won’t be any residues of synthetic bleaching chemicals floating around in your cup! Clipper certainly live up to their ‘natural, fair and delicious’ promise.

Family Getaway

eco-friendly-christmas-holidayThe Soil Association list several organic getaways on their website. However, The Orchard Campsite at Fen End Farm in Cambridge is our top pick as it is local to us and therefore supports our idea of reducing your carbon footprint!  This destination is a small organic farm that produces apple juice from its ten varieties of apples in their orchard. They also have  and has a small beef herd on site. 

Submerged in this organic haven is four tent pitches to have the ultimate organic camping experience. For those who prefer more of a glamping vibe to straight camping they also have a hand crafted yurt to hire which sleeps a family of five. It is fully equipped with a mini wood burner, king size bed and a fire pit.


organic-gift-setClean beauty at its finest. Odylique are an all-natural, cruelty-free, organic skincare brand and are certified by both the Soil Association and PETA. They offer a wide range of organic skincare and mineral make up which are not only kind to the skin but also kind to the planet. 

All of their products are made from plant and herb extracts and no animals are harmed in the making or testing of any of their products. They offer individual products in different sizes as well as offering a wide range of gift sets – the perfect eco-friendly gift for yourself or a loved one! 

Four Fake Trees 

eco-friendly-christmas-treeHaving an eco friendly Christmas tree is easier said than done. Choosing between a fake tree or a real tree is always a difficult decision. In our opinion there are lots of things to base this decision on. If you already have a fake tree and are looking to switch to a real one this year we would advise against it. Not only will the fake tree get chucked away (as it can’t be recycled) but unless you have the space to plant the real tree after the festivities are over, then it is likely to be joining the fake tree a few weeks later in the landfill! 

If you previous had real trees and are looking to switch to a fake one, we would highly recommend investing some money into a high quality model so that it can be used again year on year. You don’t want to be buying a new fake tree every year as this is very wasteful and in no way an eco friendly Christmas tree! 

To summarise, to have an eco friendly Christmas tree you should consider:

  1. If you already have a fake tree, continue using it. 
  2. Only buy a real tree if you have the garden space to plant it or have the means to dispose of it properly (so that it doesn’t go into landfill) 
  3. If you are looking to switch from real to fake invest your money into a high quality tree so that you get plenty of use out of it before you have to replace it. 

Three Rows Of Veg 

organic-vegetablesAlthough too late for this Christmas something to bare in mind for next christmas is planting your own vegetable patch to grow your own christmas ‘trimmings’. Gardening is one of the most rewarding past times and is a great way to be more eco-friendly. There are plenty of how-to videos and books for beginner gardeners. Start simple with root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. You could even think about planting your own apple tree to have the ultimate eco friendly Christmas tree in your garden. For the veteran gardeners out there, we challenge you to grow all the fruit and vegetables for your 2020 Christmas! 

We understand that not everyone is going to have the space or patience to grow their Christmas dinner. So for those who are less green fingered there is always the option to buy organic produce instead. If you buy from a supermarket, check for the organic logo and if you buy from a local market or farm shop be sure to ask if their produce is organic before you hand over your hard earned money. 

Two Local Farms 

free-range-turkeyChristmas time is the time for indulging. There is no denying that our food consumption increases the closer we get to the festive day. However, have you ever stopped to look at where the food you are eating has come from? Although supermarkets are making a conscious effort to source UK grown products, they are still transporting them around the country to stock their stores. 

There are several alternatives to buying produce from supermarkets. There are: local farmers markets, local garden centres, local farm shops and the approach of the festive season means the welcoming of pop-up christmas markets. By shopping at these alternatives, not only are you being more eco-friendly by reducing your carbon footprint but you are also supporting local businesses and helping your local economy grow. 

Although it might be tempting to go to a supermarket to buy a cheaper frozen alternative, free range is always best. Make sure you do you research a few months before the big day and get your turkey orders in early as this big bird is in high demand around this time of the year! 

And A Fridge Full Of Left Overs Pie 

turkey-pieAlthough Christmas is a time of indulgence many people’s eyes are too big for their stomachs which results in increased food waste. This is not good for the environment, as unless you have your own compost pile (which we highly recommend), the waste contributes to landfill. So when you are planning your cooking and topping up your plate take a second to think about what will be happening to the food if you don’t finish it.

One way to reduce your food wastage is by buying less during the food shop. As much as every offer and Christmas edition goodie is tempting, think about whether or not it is going to be eaten before you purchase it. Make sure you check the dates of items so that you can plan your meals so that none of your food goes out of dates before you have a chance to eat it. Equally, you don’t want to be cooking things just because they are going out of date as that more often than not will lead to wastage. 

However, if you do over cater look to see if there is any food you could donate to your locate homeless shelter OR if they are perishable, instead of just binning them look to see how you could make a whole new meal out of it. 

Some of our suggestions:

  • Left overs pie 
  • Left overs curry 
  • Cold left over sandwiches 

What do you do to use your left overs?

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