Climate change is front of mind for so many this winter. More of us than ever before are looking to make truly sustainable changes to protect the planet in our daily lives.

In the UK we produce 30% more rubbish than usual over the festive period, including discarded trees, wrapping paper and lots of wasted food. However, with just a few tiny changes to their celebration, new homeowners at The Arbour can have a much eco-friendlier time this Christmas. Follow our top tips below to save money and the planet…

Having an eco-friendly Christmas without missing out on festive fun could be easier than you think, with the help of Chelmsford’s local businesses and sustainable Christmas crafts.

1. Improve your Eco-Gifting Game

To decrease your carbon footprint this Christmas, choose presents that the recipient, and the planet, will thank you for! This may include jewellery made from recycled materials, a funky reusable travel mug, or a beauty product made from natural ingredients.

Think local! Essex has a huge number of local and independent business that make excellent, eco-friendly gifts.

For the friend that loves to keep their home smelling incredible, Olive Tree Home is a local business that sells candles with a classic design, made from high quality oils and natural wax. If you need a gift that stands out from the crowd, Olive Tree Home also hosts candle-making workshops in a village on the outskirts of Chelmsford, perfect for those who like getting stuck in!

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something for the little ones in your life, Roars and Rainbows is a sustainable local business that creates headbands and clothes with fun patterns for children and adults alike. A great idea if you’re looking for something comfy yet stylish to wear on Christmas day!

For the family member with a sweet tooth take a trip to The Refill Den, who sell reusable jars that you can fill with sweet treats, including fudge and jellybeans.

2.  Sustainable Wrapping

Once you’ve bought your gifts, it’s always a good idea to find an eco-friendly way to wrap them up for the recipient. A great way to do this is by purchasing recycled wrapping paper or making sure to reuse your wrapping paper each Christmas. If you’re worried that reusing your usual wrapping paper would lead to a less aesthetically pleasing gift, you can purchase reusable fabric wraps or bags, or use recyclable newspaper for a unique finish. To add a festive touch, pop a short branch from the Christmas tree on the top.

3. Decorations with a Lesser Carbon Footprint

There are plenty of ways that you can make sure your Christmas decorations good for the planet. If you’re feeling creative, you could always make your own eco-friendly Christmas crackers, and fill them with sustainable sweet treats. To take it a step further, you could spend a day doing Christmas crafts, and make your own Christmas tree decorations using bits you find around the house!


If you are worried about the environmental impact of a Christmas Tree look out for FSC-certified trees, as these indicate when a product has come from a responsibly managed environment. Once Christmas is over, you can plant it in the garden for use in years to come. Alternatively, we’ve discovered there are more and more companies offering trees for rent, where you can return it to the farm, before collecting the same tree the following year.

There are plenty of ways to have a sustainable Christmas, without compromising on festive joy, it’s just about thinking outside of the box!