Tips and tricks for a sustainable Christmas

This year it is more important than ever to consider the environment at Christmas. 2020 has seen an increase in disposable masks, coffee cups and gloves amongst other things. Finish off the year with nod to Mother Nature with these handy sustainable tips.

Buy a digital Spicers gift voucher and encourage your family and friends to return the favour
No wrapping and no need to worry that your gift will be re-gifted! Vouchers can be used for accommodation, dining, spa reatments and experiences. Click here for more info.

Christmas stockings
Invest in high-quality Christmas stockings for the family, just pop the gifts in and forget the wrapping. It comes off quicker than you can say ‘Christmas pudding’ anyway!

Alternative to wrapping
Be creative with your gift wrapping and use a beautiful scarf to wrap your Christmas gifts! Or why not try newspaper and spread the news of creative sustainability!

Artificial vs real trees

  1. A quality artificial tree lasts between 6-10 years and produces roughly the same amount of carbon emissions as purchasing a live tree each year.
  2. Real trees are easier to recycle as some councils offer a free tree collection service, or small trees can simply be cut and placed into your green compost bins. Additionally, some nurseries may take tree drop-offs and turn the tree into mulch, or even trim the branches to be used as decoration in other pots and plants.
  3. Artificial trees, if taken care of, can be upcycled into smaller decorations by trimming the branches off to be used to table pieces or around the house. Alternatively, the tree may be donated to some schools, community centres or non-profit organisations.


  1. Instead of driving up your energy bill with festive outdoor holiday lights, invest in solar powered lighting! As we have Christmas in summer there is plenty of sunshine to charge up your lights, and they turn off as soon as the battery runs out further saving you money and the hassle of remembering to turn them off yourself.
  2. If your strands of lights are older than 10 years it will be more efficient to replace them with newer, LED bulbs. They can also save you up to 90% or more on power costs and will last longer than traditional bulbs.

Christmas Lunch

  1. The feast of the year is coming up, and everyone enjoys an impressive Christmas lunch.  However, this means higher than average food waste, but this can be avoided by planning your meal carefully and with Christmas leftover recipes in mind.  For inspiration, check out Taste’s 185 recipe collection here
  2. Skip the disposables and bring out the fine china, utensils and cloth napkins. Or gather resources from several houses for large gatherings. 

    Seed packets instead of bon bons

  3. Consider an alternative to bon bons or crackers. This lovely little tradition started in 1847 by a man called Tom Smith who created the crackers as a development of his bon-bon sweets. Smith added the “crackle” element when he heard the crackle of a log he had just put on a fire. The size of the paper wrapper had to be increased to incorporate the banger mechanism, and the sweet itself was eventually dropped, to be replaced by a trinket: fans, jewellery and other substantial items (thanks Wikipedia for that info). Why not try an alternative this year. At Spicers Retreats we have incorporated seasonal seed sets from Settler’s Hives.