How to have an eco-friendly Christmas

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Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but not always the most eco-friendly. However, there are lots of ways you can have yourself an eco little Christmas.

If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint and impact on the environment, here are five tips for enjoying the festive season in a more sustainable way.

A woman laying out brown paper wrapping next to a cup of coffee on a table

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1. Wrap using brown paper and string

Forget the glitter (a nasty microplastic) and shiny, plastic-coated wrapping paper – brown paper and coloured string is a classic, biodegradable way to wrap presents. And why not save the wrapping paper from your own presents this year? It’s estimated that Brits will throw away the equivalent of 108 million rolls of wrapping paper, so save some from the bin and save yourself a bit of money next year, too.

An open sign in the window of a shop

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2. Shop independent

Independent retailers need all the support they can get, and many offer some really unique gifts you won't find elsewhere. A lot of independents also donate a portion of their proceeds to charity, so as well as treating friends and family you’ll be giving back to a very worthy cause.

Eco-friendly bottles and products in The Nest gift shop at Brockholes

3. Visit the Brockholes gift shop

From locally-brewed beers and sustainable scented candles to wildlife-themed stationary and an array of nature books, there is a Christmas treat for everyone at The Nest gift shop. Plus, all sales go back into conservation on the reserve – what’s not to love?

Freshly-picked carrots and kale

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4. Buy local produce for Christmas dinner

If you can, why not swap some of your supermarket buys for local produce? Find a farm shop or even go straight to the farm for beautifully fresh, sustainably produced food with next to no carbon footprint. It’s also worth getting your planning head on and properly estimating how much food you’ll need over Christmas. It’s thought that, per family, the equivalent of a whole plateful of food will go to waste on Christmas Day – that’s a lot of food waste across the whole UK. Make use of those leftovers!

A hedgehog walking through fallen autumn leaves

Tom Marshall

5. Give the gift of wildlife

Why not buy the wildlife-lover in your life a gift membership? Not only will they receive a lovely welcome pack, they’ll get that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from giving back to the wildlife on their doorstep. Our work depends on generous supporters like you, and thanks to your Christmas contribution, local wildlife will blossom.

With just a few small changes, you can enjoy a Christmas that is better for the environment and still chock-full of Christmas cheer. And when it comes to the New Year? Take a look at our Green Living tips and see how you can make a difference throughout the year.

Advice for greener living