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Sustainable Christmas ideas: 5 ways to make festivities forest friendly

FSC label on Christmas present

FSC label on Christmas present

Small choices as consumers can make a big impact on the planet, and with a bit of planning, it is possible to have a more sustainable Christmas.

LLANIDLOES, POWYS, UNITED KINGDOM, December 1, 2022 / -- Sustainable Christmas ideas: 5 ways to make festivities forest friendly

The Christmas adverts are already here, and Mariah Carey seems to be on repeat in every shop. Although Mariah doesn’t want a lot for Christmas, the season is famously a time of excess and waste. Our small choices as consumers can make a big impact on the planet, and with a bit of planning, it is possible to have a more sustainable Christmas. We’ve put together some tips below on how to make sure your festivities are forest friendly.

1. Use responsibly sourced and recyclable wrapping paper, gift bags and gift tags

That shiny, glittery wrapping paper may look pretty but it’s not environmentally friendly, it can’t be recycled and glitter is a microplastic. Opt for plastic-free gift wraps, bags and tags, which are recycled and recyclable. Just remember to make sure they are FSC-certified, meaning that the products are made with materials from well-managed forests and/or recycled sources.

2. Send responsible Season’s greetings

It is estimated that UK consumers send 1 billion Christmas cards each year. Choose FSC-certified Christmas cards when shopping to ensure that season’s greetings come from a responsible source and do not contribute to deforestation. To help spread even more Christmas cheer, buy FSC-certified charity Christmas cards to raise funds for good causes. As with gift wrap, avoid any Christmas cards containing glitter or other unrecyclable decorations. Lots of cards now come without wrapping to help further reduce waste.

3. Give eco-friendly Christmas presents

Every year, UK citizens spend £700 million on unwanted gifts so take some time to think about what friends and family really want. For a greener Christmas, look for gifts made from sustainable materials with minimal packaging (and make sure any packaging is recyclable – and preferably FSC certified!) and remember that it is ok to re-gift!

For forest-friendly Christmas gifts, keep in mind that it’s not just wood and paper that can be FSC-certified. Viscose textiles, rubber, bamboo, and cork can be certified. The FSC label can be found on books, yoga mats, board games, clothes, wellies, hairbrushes, and bird boxes, to name just a few.

Help to support charities whilst Christmas shopping - WWF, Woodland Trust, Oxfam and the RSPB are just a few who offer a range of sustainable Christmas gifts online.

4. Choose environmentally conscious Christmas Crackers

On Christmas Day, about 40 million Christmas crackers are anticipated to be thrown away. The sparkly crackers, the small gifts, the shiny ribbons and the snap usually can’t be recycled. To make Christmas dinner start with a bang, choose plastic-free crackers that are recycled and/or recyclable.

Instead of buying Christmas crackers, why not make them, using FSC–certified paper and card or using fabric and a loo roll tube! A quick search online will bring up many tutorials.

5. Reuse and recycle

After the big day is over, remember to reuse and recycle to extend the life of forest resources for as long as possible. When it comes to gift bags, these can easily be re-used and, if wrapping paper is still in one piece, roll it up to re-use next year.

Before recycling wrapping paper, make sure to remove any Sellotape and ribbons and carry out a ‘scrunch test’ to check if it is recyclable. Scrunch the paper into a ball; if it remains in a ball it can be recycled. However, not all councils accept wrapping paper; whether it passes the scrunch test or not, check local guidelines.

Shockingly, only one out of every four Christmas cards is recycled. When the time comes to take Christmas decorations down, remember to recycle the cards; just remove any unrecyclable parts/decorations first.

For more information about making forest-friendly choices with FSC, visit

Tallulah Chapman
Forest Stewardship Council UK
+44 1686 413916
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