Paper snowman with paper snowflakes

10 ideas for an eco-friendly festive season

05 Dec 22 3 minute read

Even for the most organised of us, the run up to Christmas can be a little stressful.

Whether you’ve made your list (and checked it twice) or take more of a leave-it-to-the-last-minute approach, here are 10 sustainable ways to have a more eco-friendly Christmas without turning into Scrooge...

Gifts that keep on giving

We all like to spoil our loved ones at Christmas, but gifts that they’ll cherish don’t have to cost the earth. There are plenty of ways you can give something unique and meaningful while also showing the planet you care.

1. Find unique gifts and support a good cause at the same time by Christmas shopping at one of Scotland’s Revolve certified second-hand stores

2. Get creative and give someone a one-of-a-kind gift. Making your own cakes, jams and chutneys can make useful and thoughtful presents and cut down on food waste.

Are you a keen cook? Making your own cakes, jams and chutneys can make useful and thoughtful presents and cut down on food waste. 

Christmas jam tarts

3. Go for an experience rather than material things – like gig tickets, a fancy meal out or spa day – for an unforgettable gift that can also be a great way to spend some quality time together in the new year.

It’s a wrap

4. Cut down on the amount of wrapping you use by reusing gift bags, boxes and even paper – just unwrap carefully, remove tape and tags, and keep them to give to different friends or family next year – no one will ever know!
5. Try out alternatives such as making your own festive themed wrapping using a roll of brown paper and fixing with ribbon or string to avoid using sticky tape. In Japan, the traditional art of gift-wrapping using fabric is known as Furoshiki (風呂敷) which can be used again and again and looks amazing.
6. When it comes to Christmas wrapping paper if you can scrunch it, you can recycle it! And don’t forget to also recycle the wrapping paper tubes as these are made of card as well. Avoid buying glitter and foil wrapping paper though, as this is not recyclable. 

Greener seasons greetings

The tradition of sending Christmas cards dates back over 170 years. Fast forward to 2022 and friends and family are just a video call away, making it easier than ever to stay in touch so it’s not surprising that sending festive greetings by card is dropping in popularity.

If you’re not ready to give up on cards completely just yet, there are still options for cutting down on waste. 

7. Use e-cards to send your Christmas wishes, there’ll be nothing to throw away at the end after the festivities are over and you can still share that all-important yearly family update.
8. Buy cards made from recycled paper and avoid foil or glitter cards. As pretty as they are, these aren’t recyclable, and you don’t want to end up on Santa’s naughty list now do you? Head to ‘What to do with greetings cards’ for more hints and tips on reusing and recycling your Christmas cards.

 If you’re buying Christmas cards choose recycled paper and avoid foil or glitter cards. As pretty as they are, these aren’t recyclable.

Homemade Christmas cards featuring a deer and Christmas tree

Christmas crackers

9. Much like wrapping paper and cards, if Christmas crackers aren’t too shiny or glittery then they can be pulled apart and the paper and cardboard elements can be recycled. Remember to recycle the paper hats and jokes – and we don’t mean retelling the one about the snowman at every opportunity. That’s ‘snow’ fun.
10. What about that little gift that comes in the cracker and ends up living in the back of a drawer? Well, opt for crackers that don’t contain a gift. For many, the joke and hat are more than enough. Alternatively, you could get crafty and make your own using toilet roll tubes and wrapping paper, just make sure the gifts inside are practical and useful.