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Make 2022 your most sustainable Christmas yet

Make 2022 your most sustainable Christmas yet

Christmas gift shopping is a headache for everyone, and it can be even more difficult if you're attempting to practise mindful consumerism. Every Christmas, the typical British adult spends £512.85 on gifts, amounting to roughly £27 billion in total spending in the UK. If only this amount were spent ethically, sustainably, and in support of small, local businesses.

Why are eco-friendly gifts important?

Sustainable Christmas and holiday gifts are a wonderful opportunity to both cut down on waste and provide something that will last over time. Sadly, millions of tonnes of rubbish end up in landfills due to the subtle art of gift giving. In addition, producing these undesired gifts uses a lot of energy, natural resources, and chemicals. The carbon footprint of returns is really troubling. So much so that annual carbon dioxide emissions from gift returns total around 16 million metric tonnes. Instead, go with eco-friendly presents to make sure that everything is created ethically and sustainably.

Unfortunately we can’t make this Christmas whiter, but below is Squareco’s guide on how to make this Christmas greener, than the last.


  • Shop at Waitrose or Lidl. Waitrose and Lidl have been named the UK's greenest supermarkets. Which? ranked every UK supermarket based on their greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to cut plastic and food waste. The first supermarket sustainability table looked at information from annual reports supplied by the stores. Iceland ranked at the bottom of the list due to the frozen food chain's high energy consumption.
  • Local produce – We know they are not always the most cost effective choice, but farm shops are the best place to find tasty and environmentally friendly gifts. They frequently provide a wide selection of regionally produced food and beverages for sale. This shows that it's possible to find edible gifts that won't have required much travelling. As a result, they have produced fewer carbon emissions than foods from supermarkets. The goods available will vary from store to store, but you might find locally produced goodies like chutney, beer, cheese, chocolate, and cooking oil.
  • Know your logos - When shopping for food, look for UK produce to reduce food miles. Search for sustainability certifications such as RSPO-certified palm oil and MSC-certified seafood.

DIY Gifts

  • Bath bombs – Self-care is crucial, especially this time of year. Bath bombs are simple to make, and homemade presents reflect a little more thinking and consideration. Follow the BBC’s guide on how to make you own here.
  • Vegan Brownies – We have a recipe here!
  • Jam – You may achieve the precise flavour and texture you want by making jam at home. We prefer creating my own because store-bought to be excessively sweet. Also, it's incredibly soothing. You can read Ethical Food's guide to making your own jam here.


  • Apexgray - Affordable, high quality sportswear with great attention to detail. Apexgray use Repreve's world leading performance fibre, made from recycled materials. Repreve have recycled over 32 BILLION plastic bottles in creating these fibres. Shop Apexgray.
  • Billy Rainwear - Around 250,000 tents are abandoned at festivals each summer. Billy Rainwear have saved thousands of metres of Nylon tents from entering landfill, by recycling them into raincoats. Shop Billy Rainwear.
  • Wolven – Wolven make women's activewear using innovative, versatile fabric created by breaking down discarded plastics and recycling them into textiles and apparel. Breathable, incredibly soft, and durable. Shop Wolven.
  • Girlfriend Collective - Stylish and durable activewear made using post-consumer plastic bottles. Girlfriend Collective have recycled over 9 million water bottles, and is adding around 70,000 to that number every month. Shop Girlfriend Collective.
  • Sundried - Activewear made responsibly with recycled sustainable materials. These materials feature advanced performance technology including sweat-wicking fabric, multi-way stretch, and temperature control as standard to take your workout to the next level. Shop Sundried.


  • Table decorations - The toys inside many Christmas crackers are made of plastic, and many of them are not recyclable. Look out for FSC-certified crackers instead. Reusable DIY crackers are a fantastic alternative. You can fill them yourself with eco-friendly options. Avoid using napkins and tablecloths that are only used once. Use the material versions instead because they have a longer lifespan than the paper versions.
  • Make your own decorations: Utilise recycled materials to create new decorations to save money. Or create your own with materials you already have lying around the house.
  • Lights - Use LED lights on your Christmas tree; they are more energy-efficient, last longer, and have an identical appearance. Additionally, turn off your lights at night; it's safer and will save you money.
  • The tree! If you already have a plastic tree, make sure you plan to use it for at least 10 years before you purchase a new one. Otherwise, purchase a live tree from a sustainable forest or garden store. Make sure any real tree you purchase is FSC-certified. You should also know how to dispose of your tree after the holiday season. If it is in a pot, consider replanting it. Alternately, have it recycled and made into wood chips. For information on your local council's sustainable collection services, visit their website. Buying a potted tree is a smart choice because you may use it ever.

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