top of page

I'm dreaming of a Green Christmas

Christmas can be a wonderful time but can also produce a huge amount of waste.

Below are a few ideas of how to have a more sustainable time this Christmas and be kinder to the planet and your bank balance.

The ultimate guide to Christmas food planning | Love Food Hate Waste

Christmas Recycling Collections - Recycle Devon

If you can incorporate a few of these ideas this Christmas, you will be making a difference.

  1. Go for quality over quantity when buying presents. One thoughtful, well-chosen gift is better than giving someone ten things they don’t need.

  2. Consider giving reusable items that encourage your family and friends to reduce their impact on the planet. These could include things like reusable coffee cups, water bottles and bags.

  3. Alternatively, instead of buying physical gifts, get your friends and family experiences, digital subscriptions or something handmade.

  4. Head to charity shops, antique centres and second-hand websites to find preloved gems for your Secret Santa, or re-gift things you don’t use.

  5. If you send Christmas cards, consider making them yourself or buying those that are printed on recycled materials, without any plastic wrapping. Alternatively, send an e-card. When Christmas is over, you can also cut up any cards you receive to make present tags for next year!

  6. In the UK we use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper every single Christmas so, if you need to buy wrapping paper, make sure it’s recyclable and look for biodegradable tape, then ask your loved ones to unwrap carefully so you can reuse the paper. Alternatively, wrap your presents in festive fabric that can be used again and again!

  7. If you do stockings, choose reusable fillers or small handmade gifts over single-use plastic items.

  8. Make your own biodegradable decorations instead of buying new ones. You can create gingerbread stars, dried fruit garlands or popcorn tinsel that looks as good as it tastes.

  9. All that glitters is not green— especially tinsel! It’s made of plastic and can’t be recycled. Try making paper or fabric chains, which will last for many years.

  10. Christmas trees are a festive staple but can be enormously wasteful. This year, if you buy a natural tree why not pop it in the garden in the New Year, ready for Christmas 2024.  Natural Christmas trees can also be recycled by putting them in the Green bin for collection or taking them to the Brunel recycling site after Christmas.

  11.  If you have Christmas tree lights or outdoor fairy lights, set a timer so that they automatically turn off when you go to bed. This will save money on your energy bills and reduce pressure on the grid.

  12. Christmas lights can be recycled at various local points including the skip where you would deposit batteries etc in the Co-op car park at Trago Mills and in B&Q car park Newton Abbot

  13.  Forage for holly and evergreen shrubs in your local area to create a festive wreath which is completely biodegradable. Choose foliage that dries well to create a wreath that lasts for years!


Food & drink
  1. Try some vegetarian meals over the Christmas break, there are plenty of tempting recipes on the BBC Good Food website. If you want to go further, you could go meat and dairy free this yuletide season and see just how delicious a plant-based feast can be.

  2. Do your food shopping locally if you can and stock up on fruit and veg from greengrocers, who tend to use less plastic packaging. If supermarkets are your only option, then look for loose items rather than those packaged in plastic.

  3. In the UK we waste five million Christmas puddings, two million turkeys and 74 million mince pies every year! But with some forward thinking you can turn your leftovers into hearty meals and snacks, saving you money as well as avoiding food waste.

  1. Novelty Christmas jumpers are all the rage but most of them contain plastic. Instead, reuse last year’s jumper or opt for second hand vintage knitwear made of natural fibres like cotton and wool, which will keep you warm and stylish this winter.

  2. Going for a Festive walk in your local area can be a brilliant tradition, helping you and your family connect with wildlife during winter.

  3. Traditional crackers contain huge amounts of single use plastic that goes straight into the bin after dinner. This year, try making your own crackers or use reusable ones that you can refill year after year.

New Year

In the New Year why don’t you make a resolution to get to know the local area and its wildlife a little better. The Parish Council runs regular events you can come along to and you can also help protect the flora and fauna of the Parish by telling us what you have seen. Use the reporting form on the Parish Council website, click on Climate and Sustainability tab and then go to the Flora and Fauna page of the Parish Council website. The form is at the bottom.


Take part in No Mow May this year and also sow some wildflower seeds in the garden to attract insects and bees.


You could also make a resolution to do more to protect our world! Maybe by switching to an energy provider that only uses renewable energy or buying goods that are not wrapped in plastic, where possible.


Finally - have a wonderful Christmas !!!


PS If you are interested in helping to protect the Parish natural environment and wildlife and also help counter the problems of climate change please send your e-mail details to Cllr and we will included you on a circulation list covering the Climate and Sustainability Group and any activities it arranges.  These include planned walks, activities such as moth trapping and bat detection, mapping the flora and fauna of the Parish and advice on energy and climate.

A photograph of Holly
bottom of page