This Christmas make extra savings not extra waste

We can make choices at Christmas which reduce the waste we make and the money we spend – good for the climate and good for us too.
Paper snowflake

Make your own decorations

Instead of buying plastic tinsel you could make your own paper chains instead.

Swap buying more decorations for the tree with making edible (zero-waste) Christmas decorations such as biscuits instead – see BBC Good food biscuit decoration recipe.

Use this guide to make a bauble out of a Christmas card

See this video on how to make a wreath using foliage from your garden.

Wreath making with foliage

Try repair instead of replace

If your fairy lights have lost their sparkle – instead of rushing to replace them why not contact your local repair café to see if they can help you fix them.

Wooden toys and book

Preloved presents

As well as local charity shops, there are many online sites such as eBay, Depop, Vinted, World of Books, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree where you can find new and preloved items such as clothes, games, toys and books in a great condition which are a fraction of the price of items in traditional shops.

You can make money by selling what you no longer want and possibly find bargain gifts at the same time.

Reduce food waste

Every year the average family in the UK throws away £730 worth of food – according to circular economy charity, WRAP. This is at its worst at Christmas when people are not used to catering for larger groups and often end up over buying and wasting food and money.

Let’s save both by following a few tips:

Plan your meals and make sure you get the portions right eg when making roast potatoes you need 180g per adult and 90g per child (under 10) per meal. For more information see Love Food Hate Waste’s portion planner

Make a shopping list based on the recipes and portions – and stick to it.

If you do buy too much, consider donating it to your local foodbank, community larder, community fridge, or food distribution charity like Oxford Food Hub. You could also use food sharing apps for free or cheap food such as Olio or Too Good to Go. And you could ask friends, family or neighbours too, and if there are veggie leftovers, pets like rabbits might like them! 

Buy what you can loose, i.e. without unnecessary packaging. We’re talking about fruit and vegetables, in particular. Buying them this way means you can buy exactly what you need rather than pre-packaged portions – saving wasted food and unnecessary packaging.

Try to buy local to save you (and your food) from travelling far.

Leftovers – make sure there’s space in your freezer for Christmas leftovers and see Love Food Hate Waste recipes for leftovers.

Send e-cards

Every year the Royal Mail delivers around 150 million cards. You could try the low-waste (low-cost) way to say Happy Christmas this year by sending an e-card, video message or voice note instead.

How about a sustainable Christmas jumper?

Instead of buying something new try the proved online shopping sites or charity shops for your jumper. Swap with friends and family or create a DIY festive knit - charity hubbub has some great ideas for decorating a jumper or cardi you already own.  

Christmas jumpers
A selection of christmas cards with ribbons attached

Plan for next Christmas

Save wrapping paper for next year. After presents have been unwrapped, fold the paper carefully and put it away with your Christmas decorations ready for reuse next year.

When it’s time to take down the Christmas cards, cut them up to make gift cards for next year. Or upcycle them as bunting decorations