5 Ways to Have a Greener Christmas

17th Dec 2020

Christmas is a time that makes us think about food, gifting, tinsel, frosty mornings, and family get togethers. But this year – which is going to be so different - instead of dreaming of a white Christmas, why not dream of a greener Christmas? There are some really easy ways to have a cracking Christmas without burdening the planet, from buying your food, tree, and gifts locally, to recycling your tree and making homemade decorations.  Here are our top five tips and ideas for you to try this year…

Reuse and Recycle

Every year we are filled with the temptation to buy new everything when it comes to Christmas. However, there are so many things we can reuse and recycle year upon year - you don’t even need to visit the shops! Save on paper and plastic this year by using up old wrapping paper, or even brown paper and decorate using ribbon, twigs or greenery tucked under twine! Or why not wrap with fabric instead for a more unique look? If you’re a fan of a faux tree, try to make use of your existing one or buy second-hand if you’re wanting to upgrade. If you’re a lover of a real tree, make sure you recycle your tree at the end of your Christmas celebrations, or consider buying a tree with roots so you can plant it outside and use it again next year!

Buy Local, Buy Less

When you’re ticking things off that Christmas list this year, think less is more and the environment will thank you for it! Rather than buying lots of gifts this year, why not try to scale down the amount you buy or perhaps make homemade gifts such as fudge, preserves or candles instead? Or maybe you have an unwanted present that you can re-gift this year? When it comes to your Christmas dinner, try to buy what you need, to limit the amount of food waste, and buy local where you can. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Forest, there’s so many local businesses right on your doorstep, where you’re not only bound to get seasonal food that tastes great, but also reduce your food miles too. And instead of Christmas cards this year, save trees and paper by sending an ecard instead!

Get Crafty

There are lots of ways you can bring Christmas cheer to your home this year without the need for lights or a trip to buy new decorations. Homemade Christmas ornaments can be a great alternative if you are looking to upgrade and you may even want to consider going without those twinkly lights this year – think of all the energy you’ll be saving! Dried oranges, cinnamon sticks and pinecones can make the perfect garlands, not to mention they will fill your home with a festive fragrance! Or why not head out for a walk in the Forest and forage for red berries, holly and mistletoe to adorn your home, or dress your front door with a homemade wreath? And when it comes to ‘decking the halls’, recycled paper ornaments such as paper chains are much more environmentally friendly to drape from your ceiling.

Greener Gifting

If you do want to buy someone a gift this year, and don’t fancy having a go at making a homemade treat or regifting, then consider what might be the more environmentally friendly option. Firstly, supporting small, independent shops can often be a great way to discover more sustainable products as well as helping to support your local businesses. When looking for an environmentally friendly gift, make sure it has been sustainably made, or consider purchasing from a fair-trade shop. Look out for labels such as the mobius loop or eco label. Most products nowadays have greener options, from clothes and candles, to jewellery and toiletries. Or even better why not gift an experience day, such as a bushcraft day, or give a gift to nature by buying a bird box or feeder. Or why not give a gift of a greener future by dedicating a tree a tree in the National Forest to someone special?

Explore the outdoors

You know the saying, ‘the best things in life are free’? Well, this really is true! The Forest provides us with a place to connect with nature, socialise with friends and family and to take part in everyday activities we love, and at minimal cost to you and the environment. This Christmas, why not blow the cobwebs away with a festive walk in the Forest? There is nothing more beautiful this time of year than witnessing the tree branches laced with frost, the crunch of the ground underfoot and the invigorating fresh crisp air. And if you’re lucky enough to have the Forest on your doorstep then why not leave the car behind and cycle to your favourite woodland destination? Not only is it good for your health it is better for the planet too! Follow all these tips and you will have all the festive fun without the footprint!