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  • Writer's pictureSoo Hammond

Top 5 Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Christmas

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Christmas is wonderful time of year to come together with your tribe and celebrate the winter festivities. However, there is no escaping the fact at Christmas, we produce even more waste than usual.

Here are some simple ideas to enjoy a more Eco-friendly Christmas

Fairy lights are beautiful, we love our solar powered ones here at Top of the Woods!

1. Christmas Cards

These Christmas cards from Western Sketch are brilliant!

Christmas cards are a great way to spread cheer and let others know you are thinking of them. But after Christmas what happens to them?​ One way to reduce waste is to send e-cards instead.

You can get a bit creative and send personalised messages, pictures and more to your loved ones! There are loads of templates out there, so even the technophobes among us can have a go.

Reuse & Recycle – I reused last years Christmas cards by cutting them up to make labels for presents.

You could also create new cards out of the old ones. Or you could frame them to create beautiful, lasting Christmas decorations!

Many people don't send cards at all - instead they donate what they would spend on cards to their favourite charities.

If you do want to purchase Christmas cards, look for independent crafters who sell Christmas cards as these will often have travelled less miles and you will be helping to bring Christmas cheer to a small business owner & their family!

I love re-using old Christmas cards to make something new

2. Food Over-eating and Christmas go hand-in-hand (well, for me anyway! I’m already having to hide the chocolates from myself!). But do we need heaps of food?

Christmas baking is a great way to spend time together! Baked goods can also make fab presents!

Plan your meals and don’t over-shop the perishable goods to reduce food waste.

Buy local & organic where possible, farmers markets are amazing places to find delicious food, and will lower that carbon footprint (less food miles, pesticides etc!). Buying loose, organic veg without the packaging will help reduce plastic use.

We have fantastic local farmers markets here at Top of the Woods in Pembrokeshire

Compost your veg peelings! This will create beautiful rich soil - you could use it to grow next years Christmas vegetables or feed gorgeous flowers for the pollinators in Spring & Summer.

Soil glorious soil! It's so important for everything! We always try to reduce, reuse & recycle, even by giving the piggies our food scraps!

Use your leftovers – this is probably my favourite tip, boxing day leftover sandwiches always hit the spot! There are loads of recipes out there, from stir-frys to pies.

The BBC have some good ones here.

If you find you have over-bought on long-life food products, why not see if you can donate them to a local charity or food bank? You can find your nearest food bank here.

3. Decorations

Decorations are a great way to add that uplifting Christmassy sparkle, especially on dark, moody winter days.

These pinecones are currently in Soo's dining room in the farmhouse at Top of the Woods.. maybe we could make some glamping decorations for next year?!
It's amazing what you can do with some twigs, holly, pine cones and a bit of imagination!

Every single year since I can remember, me and my mum set aside a whole day to 'deck the halls' together. It means we get to spend some quality time together among all the Christmas madness.

A lovely idea is to go into the great outdoors with loved ones to collect beautiful, natural things to decorate with. This is a great way to spend time outside with each other and lets us top up on a bit more of that Vitamin D that we all need at this time of year!

If you already have plastic or foil decorations, of course reuse them! If they are a bit worn, think about how you can up-cycle them.

There are some brilliant Christmas decoration tutorials out there, too!

Family time is so important. We see on our camping & glamping holidays how much nature can help everyne have an amazing, relaxed time.

4. Trees

Christmas trees are a huge part of the celebrations.

We love trees! Christmas ones or not, they are amazing.

Artificial trees - get as much use out of them as you can!

"So if you have an artificial tree at home you would need to reuse it for at least 10 Christmases to keep its environmental impact lower than that of a real tree"

- Dr John Kazer, at The Carbon Trust

If you really don’t want to keep on using it and it’s tidy enough, you could look into donating your old Christmas tree to a local charity, hospice, school who can enjoy it.

The Wreaths circle shape It's represents eternity, and with the evergreen foliage it's supposed to represent the circle of life
If it’s a bit tatty, you could try re-purposing it; chop the branches off to create wreaths, garlands etc.

If you’re looking to get a new tree, get a real one! They always look amazing and you get that beautiful Chrismassy smell!

Look for sustainable sourced trees; The British Christmas Tree Growers Association have a strict code of practice and can tell you where to find local sustainable sourced & grown trees.

Sustainble means "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Living trees stay fresher and don't drop as many needles as cut ones!

Instead of getting a cut tree, you can get a living potted one, with roots still attached!

This means that the tree can be replanted after Christmas and used again next year (either by yourself, or some companies will take the tree back after Christmas, a kind of 'rent-a-tree').

You can also recycle real Christmas trees; many councils & garden centers will take them after the festive period to use as mulch to fertilise soil.

5. Gifts

Buying presents for others is one of the most rewarding (and sometimes frustrating!) parts of the festivities.

You can also have fun creative eco-friendly, nature inspired gift wrapping!

The ‘gift of giving’ is a great thing, but we should avoid buying for the sake of buying.

One of the most important things to me is; buying from small independent businesses & individuals. You will be giving the small business owners a better Christmas, too!

Buying from small businesses also tends to reduce your carbon footprint as the presents will have traveled less miles and won't have been mass-produced in a factory.

See out latest blog on for Welsh Christmas Gift Ideas!

Surprise friends and family with unique, meaningful gifts this Christmas

Making your own gifts can be fun, hugely satisfying and will probably mean more to the recipient - you have to put a bit of time, effort & thought into it, which makes it all the more personal!

Make sure the gifts you do buy are durable and nothing ‘disposable’ or unwanted that is going to be thrown away.

You can also think about buying experiences instead of physical gifts that might cause clutter and waste!

Cinema tickets, local comedy club tickets or a small amount towards a holiday could be much more meaningful than another bath gift set. It doesn't have to be extravagant.

We hope these tips help to inspire you to go a bit greener this Christmas!

Top of the Woods Holiday Glamping or Camping Holiday Gift Vouchers in Pembrokeshire, Wales!

Give lasting camping and glamping holiday memories with freedom and space to reconnect with nature, family and friends. Receive a personalised gift voucher for you to pass on! Buy here.


Top of the Woods Provides the Best Eco Luxury Glamping & Camping Holidays in Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay in Wales, UK. Sustainable Staycations. Beaches. Nature. Woodlands. Dog Friendly.

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