How to make Christmas more eco-friendly? (7 ways to reduce waste during Christmas) 

This article aims to investigate some strategies that can help reduce our environmental footprint during this holiday period. 

How to make Christmas more Eco-friendly?

The festive season of Christmas is usually associated with joy and celebration, yet it can also be characterised by wastefulness and overindulgence. 

Each year, it is estimated that over 2.3 billion people celebrate Christmas which makes it nearly a third of the global population. In the US alone, the holiday season brings around 942 billion USD which many big corporations take advantage of.

Given the increasing awareness of the impact of human activities on the environment and the urgency to address climate change, it is crucial to examine how we can make Christmas more environmentally friendly. 

There are some easy ways in which we can make this joyous holiday more eco-friendly. This can be done in several ways:

Energy Consumption

One effective approach to enhance the eco-friendliness of Christmas is by reducing energy consumption, which can be accomplished through various methods, including

  • LED lights: Swapping traditional incandescent bulbs with LED lights is an efficient way to reduce energy consumption. LED lights consume up to 80% less energy and can last up to 25 times longer. They are also much cheaper now compared to the past and can be found nearly everywhere. They also help reduce electric bills.
  • Turn off lights: Turning off Christmas lights when not in use can help conserve energy. Leaving them on overnight or throughout the day can result in substantial energy wastage.
  • Unplug devices: Unplugging Christmas tree lights and other appliances when not in use can reduce standby energy consumption.
  • Solar-powered lights: Considering the use of solar-powered lights to adorn the outside of your home can be an excellent option. Solar-powered lights use renewable energy and can lower your electricity bill. The life of these panels can be over decades and is a one-time cost.

Sustainable Christmas Trees

While Christmas trees signify the holiday season, their growth, transportation, and disposal can have a significant environmental impact. Here are some sustainable ways to choose Christmas trees:

  • Artificial trees: If you prefer artificial trees, select those made from eco-friendly materials such as recycled PVC or cardboard. These can last for years and can be reused every Christmas rather than having to buy a new tree each year.
  • Rent a tree: Many firms offer rental services for living trees, which can be rented for the holiday season and returned after use. This is a cheaper option and does not require a large investment unlike buying a live tree.
  • Real trees: Choose a sustainably grown real tree, preferably from a local supplier and certified by reputable organisations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Some organisations plant more trees to make up for the trees that have been cut down to prevent environmental degradation.

Environmentally Conscious Gifts

Although gift-giving is a vital aspect of Christmas, it can also lead to wastefulness. Here are some strategies for selecting eco-friendly gifts:

  • Eco-friendly brands: Prioritise brands that have a firm commitment to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Using sustainable products by a larger population will make it a trend and both producers and consumers would follow that trend eventually.
  • Sustainable materials: Select gifts made from sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, bamboo, or recycled materials. These do not have any impact on the environment or have a very low footprint. Some of the products can even be composted.
  • Experiential gifts: Rather than giving material gifts, consider gifting experiences such as concert tickets, a cooking class, or a day trip to a nearby location.
  • Donating to charities: Rather than spending extravagantly on Christmas decorations and gifts, donations to local charities or food banks can also be made so the poor and the needy may also be part of this joyous occasion. 

Reduction in wastage

During Christmas, a lot of waste is generated, from wrapping paper to food packaging. Here are some suggestions to reduce waste during the holiday season:

  • Recyclable wrapping paper: If you must use conventional wrapping paper, choose recyclable or recycled material alternatives. These can be composted when they are no longer usable and do not harm the environment.
  • Local and organic: For food, choose products that are organic and sourced locally. This significantly decreases the carbon footprint as much of the food produced is usually imported over long distances which in turn degrades the environment.
  • Food waste: Plan your Christmas dinner carefully to reduce food waste. Freeze leftovers and use them later, compost vegetable scraps and use them as fertilisers, and donate unopened packaged food to your local food bank for the poor.
  • Reusable wrapping paper: Employ reusable fabric bags, boxes or wrapping paper. Alternatively, you can use old newspapers or magazines to wrap gifts. This will reduce wastage and fewer trees would need to be cut down.
  • Reusable plates and cutlery: Use reusable plates and cutlery instead of disposable ones to reduce waste. These can last for years and will have a very low impact on the environment.
  • Eco-friendly Christmas cards: Instead of purchasing Christmas cards made from virgin materials, seek out ones made from recycled paper or send e-cards. Each year, many trees are cut down to produce Christmas cards.
  • Utilise decorations and other ornaments that are made of glass, wood or fabric that are reusable and can last for years at times. These also do not have a negative impact on the environment.


To sum up, transforming Christmas into an eco-friendlier event is about making deliberate decisions to decrease our environmental footprint. By reducing energy consumption, and waste, and choosing sustainable Christmas trees, and eco-friendly gifts, we can rejoice in the holiday season while also keeping in mind our impact on the environment.

The practices mentioned, if done by many people, will also force big corporations to make products that are eco-friendly and will definitely make a very positive impact on the environment.

Let us unite in our efforts to create a Christmas celebration that is both joyful and sustainable.


  • (2021). Energy-Saving Tips for the Holidays. Retrieved from

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