Rent a Christmas tree

It may be hard to believe, but now you can actually rent a real-life Christmas tree. Rental companies have been popping up all over the UK, offering pot-grown Christmas trees available for pick-up and delivery. The trees are then used for the holiday season and returned to the farm, where they will continue to grow for rental the following year. Of course, it's usually best to register your interest several months in advance, but some services such as London Christmas Tree Rental are already registering interest for the 2023 season. 

Use recyclable or eco-friendly gift wrapping and make your own Christmas cards

An eco-friendly choice way ahead of its time, furoshiki is the practice of using traditional Japanese fabric to store and wrap things. There are a bunch of online shops that sell furoshiki wraps in pretty prints, but if you're in a last-minute crunch, you can also use scarves or tea towels. Also, newspapers and paper shopping bags can be helpful in a pinch too.

Have any cardboard or paper packaging hanging around? Think pasta and cereal boxes or toilet rolls for inspiration, but there are so many things around the house you can use to make your own Christmas cards. Just add some ribbons, photos, and old buttons, and you'll have unique (and sustainable) cards that will surely make them smile. 

Gift an experience this Christmas

Stuck in the classic Christmas dilemma of what to get the person who has everything? It's easy to avoid buying unnecessary stuff with our experience gift ideas. Whether they prefer the great outdoors or arts & culture, there are tons of annual passes, such as the National Art Pass, English Heritage Membership, or National Trust Touring Pass. There are also cooking & wine tasting classes, Sofar Sounds live music gigs, and craft workshops you can treat them to this holiday season. 

Make upcycled decorations

Did you know you can make some seriously jazzy Christmas ornaments from unexpected items you'd typically toss in the bin or the recycling box? Think bottle caps, previous year's Christmas cards, old gift cards, and burnt out lightbulbs... the options are endless. Pinterest is brimming with ideas if you need any inspiration, and you can begin to turn your trash into treasure this Christmas. 

Buy or make a reusable advent calendar 

Not only can reusable advent calendars be more eco-friendly, but they're also adorable and can be personalised for an extra magical touch. Not on the High Street has a handful of charming choices for little and big kids alike, or there are a bunch of fill-your-own advent calendars from brands like Habitat, My 1st Years, and The White Company. 

Try to avoid single-use items during Christmas celebrations

We know it can be tempting to use disposable plates, cups, and cutlery, but most of these items often can't be recycled. If using your regular dishes isn't an option, or you need more for all your guests, you can always ask a fellow friend if they could lend some items or browse plenty of lightweight and eco-friendly dinnerware options. 

Incorporate some extra meat-free options into the Christmas dinner

While Brussels sprouts and parsnips have had a long-standing on Christmas menus, it's easy to give these veggies company with more plant-based options like sweet potato parcels, stuffed pumpkins, and spiced roasted cauliflower. If you'll looking for even more plant-based inspiration, check out some of our other tips here.  

Dress up for the party season with vintage finds or borrow an outfit

If you're looking to be a bit more green this Christmas season, there is no better time to find a festive frock or smart jacket than shopping second-hand or renting an outfit for a special evening out. There are plenty of flea markets and vintage boutiques across the UK, including The Brick Lane Vintage Market in London, The Lanes of Brighton & Hove, and the much-loved Herman Brown in Edinburgh. But if you're not near a city centre, there are tons of online shops that cater to all types of budgets, like Etsy, Beyond Retro, Rokit, and Vestiaire Collective. If you would rather rent your next party outfit, tons of fashion rental platforms have popped up over the last few years, making it that much easier to make more sustainable clothing choices. Here are just a few fashion rental sites in the UK:

  • By Rotation: a peer-to-peer shared wardrobe platform
  • Hurr: a designer fashion rental service at a fraction of the cost of buying
  • HireStreet: choose from over 10,000 pieces from high street brands

Swap to train and save the planet one journey at a time

Swapping to train is one of the biggest impacts you can make on your carbon footprint1, and we think that’s pretty amazing. So, join us in moving just one journey a year you would otherwise have taken by car or plane, to rail.

Pledge a journey

See www.icamebytrain.com/FAQs for the facts

[1] https://www.thetrainline.com/terms/sustainability-faqs