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Home  >  Latest News  > How to have a sustainable Christmas

How to have a sustainable Christmas

Christmas is a time for getting together, eating delicious food, and celebrating the wonderful things in life. However, it’s also a time when our carbon footprints and the waste we produce increase significantly. In the UK, we use 227,000 tonnes of decorative paper each year, which emits the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as around 250,000 return flights from London to Australia!    

Why not embrace the season of goodwill this year and do something good for the planet by making your Christmas a little more sustainable? By all doing our bit we can work together to move towards Nottingham’s ambition to become the first carbon neutral city by 2028 (CN28).  

Suggestions for a more sustainable Christmas:

  • Gift experiences instead of physical gifts – you could browse the upcoming shows at the Theatre Royal and gift some tickets!  
  • Stock up on dry goods and buy gifts that are both lovely and sustainable at your local zero waste shop – Shop Zero offers NCC colleagues 10% off when you show your City Council badge in store. 
  • If you are buying a new Christmas tree, go for a real, locally grown one. Or, to save buying a new one every year, you could grow your own and replant it in the garden each year! Alternatively, buy a fake second-hand artificial tree and re-use it year after year.  
  • Looking for a new party outfit? Why not find something second hand in a local charity shop or online instead of buying something new. 
  • Don’t buy new plastic ornaments (but keep using the ones you already own!) and have a go at creating some more sustainable ones yourself. You could make paper chains from old wrapping paper, recycle old Christmas cards into ornaments, or have a go at making your own wreath! 
  • Replace non-recyclable wrapping paper with more sustainable alternatives such as gift bags, recyclable brown paper, or paper saved from last year. Remember – use up your current stocks of wrapping paper first before buying more!  
  • Ditch the single-use plastic heavy Christmas crackers and replace them with a new sustainable tradition. For example, on Christmas morning when you’ve opened up your presents you could use the wrapping paper to make your own hats – make it a competition to get everyone onboard! 

We all know that climate change is a significant cause for concern across the world, with the last 4-year period being the warmest on record. Extreme weather events are becoming more severe and common, and July 2022 recorded the highest ever UK temperature of 40.3°C! 

Nottingham City Council has responded to the climate crisis by setting the ambitious CN28 goal, and we all have a role to play in working together to reduce our emissions. For more tips on how to have a sustainable Christmas take a look at City to Sea’s Plastic Free Christmas campaign.