Friday, 17 November 2017

The Ultimate Collection of Green Christmas Ideas

Christmas is just around the corner and for those trying to lead a more green and sustainable life this can be a difficult time.  The constant pressure from adverts to BUY, BUY, BUY can all too easily force you into the mindset that the only way to have the perfect Christmas is to buy masses of new stuff - presents, cards, wrapping paper, decorations, food and drinks, clothes, new sofas, new technology .... And only when you do this will you have the picture perfect time as seen in all the big budget TV adverts, magazines articles, billboards and so on which are inescapable at this time of year.

It is difficult not to get sucked in.  Who doesn't want a fabulous meal or to see the delight on children's faces as they rip open their presents on Christmas Day?  Perhaps you want to be the decorated home everyone talks about with your magazine perfect brand new every year decorations?  Or maybe you can see beyond the glitter and the tinsel for what Christmas is really all about - plastic, excess packaging, waste, food miles, lining the pockets of big business, exploitation of workers, family debt etc.

Now don't get me wrong.  I am not saying we all turn into Scrooge and bah humbug our way through the festive season.  But I do believe we can all have just as much fun without all the excess.  So I asked on a couple of Facebook groups (Make Do and Mend and Zero Waste Heroes!) and among my fellow bloggers and friends what they do at Christmas to keep keep it green whilst still having fun and I got MASSES of responses.  So much so I have going to have to put them in to 2 blog posts - one for present ideas (Green Christmas Present Ideas - The Ultimate List) and one for everything else!

Ideas for a Green Christmas

Green Christmas Ideas



  • Do not buy new every year but re-use what you have
  • Make your own new decorations - Pinterest and YouTube have loads of ideas.  How about making some festive log slices like these:

Christmas decorations made from log slices
Log Slice decorations by Polly Bramwell

  • Use greenery from the garden and compost it afterwards
  • Collect, dry and decorate pine cones
  • Make you own paper chains
  • Turn old cards into festive garlands
  • Make your own Christmas tree - how about one like this? 

Home made Christmas tree using old branches
Twig and pine cone Christmas tree by Roma Poulter


  • Do not be tempted to overbuy - the shops will be open again if you run short!
  • Make your own eg cakes, sweets, mince pies, sausage rolls, stuffing etc etc - the list is endless but don't feel you have to make everything - making just one or two things yourself will reduce packaging waste.
  • Buy local and in season produce.  Farmer's markets and farm shops are great for this.
  • If you happy to spend more at Christmas then why not buy the same amount of food but go organic. 
  • Do not waste excess food - make stock from the carcass and veg peelings and look up meals from left over turkey etc.  Alternatively freeze excesses if you have them for later.

Family Time

  • Invest in a family game you can all play together of Christmas Day and beyond. These are some of our current favourite games.
  • Get crafting with this kids - I love this festive reindeer from Nature Crafts for Kids
  • Get out for a family walk together
  • Make Christmas Day the day you don't force anyone to eat those sprouts they really don't like.  My over-riding memory of Christmas dinner was being forces to eat turkey that I really didn't like!
  • Make Christmas your own and not what other people and the adverts tell you it should be - dare to be different!

For more inspiration on how you can make your Christmas green and fun these blog posts are jammed full of sustainable Christmas ideas:

Have I inspired you to go green this Christmas?  Which ideas will you adopt this year or have you got more you want to share.  Please do add a comment so we can spread the message:

Have a very happy GREEN Christmas!


  1. Great ideas Rosie. As Kermit the frog said, it's hard being green but you always have good advice. PoCoLo

  2. Fab list Rosie - and yes to making things and not having a new set of decorations this year. This year I'm hoping to make some table decorations from greenery from the garden and some old corks. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

  3. I adore these ideas and totally agree about making Christmas your own :) #PoCoLo

  4. Fantastic post! I am going to be making our own Christmas crackers this year for the first time. My mother in-law has been instructed not to buy any! We are going to have a paper hat making activity (using up-cycled materials) with our parents on Christmas Eve. Then include a charades card inside each one for a post Christmas dinner game.
    I especially love your point about not making Christmas like the adverts or media tells us it should be. It should be what works for your house / the people attending.

  5. So many great ideas in one post! I'll have to sit down later with a cuppa and go through all of the links you've shared #GoingGreenLinky

    1. When the Dec Going Green Linky closes I'll add any more Christmas themed posts to this one .. including yours.

    2. That would be great thank you! :)

  6. Great list of ideas Rosie, pretty much most of which we already do. We give less and less presents and more experiences or ethical gifts like donating to charity. I've always hated the waste of wrapping paper and have always recycled. Some of our paper must be as old as the (adult) Teen!

  7. Love the idea of daring to be different. So true. Quite happy not buying the same as others. Much prefer to make and bake. Cuts down on food waste and excess, as there are only so many hours in the day.#GoingGreenLinky

  8. Great ideas, and love the links to everyone else's ideas too. Good to see so many people on the same wavelength #goinggreenlinky


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