How to Have the Most Sustainable Christmas 2023

Christmas gingerbread house, candle, walnuts and pine cones


It’s creeping towards Christmas - a time for carols, mince pies, mulled wine and slushy snow (if you’re lucky). But it’s also a time when hundreds of Christmas trees are dumped and old Christmas decorations are thrown away. Plastic toys break after one use, and wrapping paper never gets recycled.


So, if you’re looking for how to have a sustainable Christmas, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got ethical ideas and simple green swaps. Read on for an eco-friendly season.

Bring Joy to Your Home With a Sustainable Christmas Tree


Christmas tree decorated with red Christmas baubles


The UK buys 8 million Christmas trees each festive season. That’s right, 8 million. And 6 million are discarded every year. That’s a lot of waste (over 9,000 tonnes in fact). So what can you do instead? Don’t worry - you don’t have to give up your Christmas tree. But there are some things you can do to make it more environmentally friendly:

Bring Your Tree to a Christmas Tree Farm


Instead of throwing your Christmas tree in the tip, take it to a Christmas tree farm. These are eco-friendly places that give you the tree in a pot. You return the tree, and they re-plant it to use again next year.


Don’t neglect your tree and wait for the pine needles to drop and turn brown. Take it to the farm straight after New Year's to give it a new lease of life. You can even request to have the same tree year after year.

Invest in a Mini Christmas Tree


Mini Christmas tree


Small evergreen trees are becoming more popular, particularly in apartments with limited space. They’re grown in large pots and are a budget-friendly and space-saving option. They will last all year round if they have water and sunlight. 


It’s best to take the tree out into the garden around late February and keep it in a shady spot. Next year, you can pick it up and bring it straight inside.

Make a Christmas Tree From Household Objects


Pile of books with an open book on top


Instead of buying a fir tree, make a Christmas tree using items you already have. Decorate your makeshift tree with lights and decorations to bring it to life. It’s a brilliant option to save money and contribute to an eco-friendly Christmas. You can also burn a soy pine-scented candle for an authentic Christmas smell. Here are a few sustainable tree suggestions:


  • Book Christmas tree - Stack books into a Christmas tree shape by layering and using different angles. Spiral around fairy lights and place mini presents underneath. It’s fantastic for a quirky, eclectic look.

  • Decorate your house plants - Have you got a giant Swiss cheese plant in the corner or a snake plant in the window? Wrap the pot in tinsel and adorn the plant with sustainable Christmas decorations.

  • Ladder Christmas tree - Invest in a wooden ladder and open it up. You already have a triangle shape! Make a curtain of fairy lights, add strings of baubles and finish with a star.

Plant a Tree With Arella Beauty


Woman opening box of Arella Beauty liquid collagen supplements


Arella Beauty plants trees every month. This helps combat deforestation and supports the rehabilitation efforts of tree and animal species. So, switch out the Christmas tree and gift yourself or others with our vegan collagen supplement to play your part in an environmentally friendly Christmas.


Read more: The Terrifying Truth Behind Animal Collagen and Deforestation.

Try Out Eco Christmas Tree Decorations


A Christmas tree branch and pine cones for sustainable Christmas decorations


Stop wasting money on flimsy, plastic decorations and get ones that truly bring you joy. Pick up environmentally friendly decorations that use natural materials, such as wood. They tend to break less easily than ornaments made from plastic and are easier to repair.


You can also use origami decor, which is recyclable or reusable when you store them carefully. If you don’t want to buy anything, make your own decorations for a personal and unique touch.

Be Kind to the Environment Using Sustainable Christmas Wrapping


Brown paper Christmas presents for a sustainable Christmas


Store-bought wrapping paper is often printed with glitter and patterns containing plastic. Even plain wrapping paper can have a plastic coating. Don’t be afraid to go simple with brown wrapping paper. Ditch the classic Sellotape and switch to biodegradable brown tape, string and eco-friendly ribbons. 


If you like a little more pizzaz, try Japanese furoshiki, which is the art of wrapping gifts in fabric. Select a Christmas-themed material, wrap the present and tie the material with a pretty bow or knot. If everyone uses fabric, you can swap with each other and keep it for next year. Alternatively, the receiver can return it to you for the following season.

Cherish Your Loved Ones With Sustainable Christmas Gifts


Young girl opening a Christmas present


Give up gifting family and friends with presents that easily break, or they don’t want. Ask them what they would love this year, or do some digging to discover their interests. Choose something consumable or long-lasting. Here are a few eco-friendly gifts:

Houseplants


Plants brighten any home, improve mental health, provide extra oxygen and even better - they last! Swiss cheese, snake, spider plants and peace lilies are low maintenance and perfect for a plant beginner.

Experiences


Rather than giving someone a physical present, choose an experience. These are memories that last a lifetime. Ideas include tickets to the theatre, a weekend getaway, or even skydiving.

Arella Beauty’s Liquid Collagen


Arella Beauty collagen provides beautifying and healthy results from within, something a skin care product or hair oil cannot give. The supplement is plant-based to prevent deforestation and limit our carbon footprint. It also uses minimal packaging and recyclable materials wherever possible.

Extra Environmentally Friendly Christmas Ideas:

Woman holding Christmas present wrapped in natural materials for a sustainable Christmas gift


If you need more inspiration, we’ve added a few bonus ideas for a planet-friendly Christmas:


  • Use recycled Christmas crackers - Opt for sustainable Christmas crackers that you can use repeatedly. Or choose ones with biodegradable materials, like paper and cardboard, rather than plastic ribbons and cheap toys. 

  • Choose sustainable Christmas cards - Avoid cards with prints and glitter that may be made from glue and plastic. Instead, select ones that are easy to recycle or so beautiful friends want to keep them!

  • Invest in a sustainable Christmas jumper - Don’t get swept up with Christmas fast fashion by purchasing a new Christmas jumper every year. Instead, choose one you love and want to wear time and time again.

Have a Sustainable Christmas With Arella Beauty


Natural Christmas materials, including fir tree branches and berries, for a sustainable Christmas


When you enter the festive season with intention and eco-awareness, a green Christmas is easy. Ask yourself if something is reusable or environmentally friendly and if your gifts are meaningful to your friends and family. With these simple changes, you can enjoy a sustainable Christmas.


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