Have a Green Christmas!



Christmas is just around the corner, and we are highlighting ways in which we can all improve the environmental impact of the holiday season; particularly honing in on our wonderfully decorated trees! From office decks to your tree at home, there are plenty of criteria to consider when finding the most sustainable option.

RECOMMENDED READ: Get involved in National Tree Week

Make the most of your Christmas tree by reusing an artificial tree each year. When it’s seen better days after several uses or you’d just like a change, why not buy a good quality second hand replacement online and donate yours to charity or a local hostel / refuge?

The lighting effects of a fibre optic tree provide light without producing heat and last for an average of 200,000 hours (about 20 years)! Fibre optic trees use less than 10% of the energy consumed by a tree decorated with traditional fairy lights, making these trees more economical and energy efficient.

If you prefer the traditional option, then buy a UK grown eco-friendly tree from a retailer with the ‘British Christmas Tree Growers Association’. Alternatively, to buy an organic tree the seller should be approved by the ‘Soil Association’. Keep your tree well watered so it can still stand pride of place during the 12 days of Christmas!

Buy a potted tree with roots so that when January comes, you can plant it outside and reuse it again the following Christmas. This gets you that traditional real tree at a fraction of the price, as well as being more environmentally friendly!

When you recycle your tree, it will usually be shredded into chippings and used in local parks and woodlands areas. Find out how you can recycle your cut tree locally.

Enjoy eco-friendly festivities with a rented Christmas tree! The Little Tree Company and Forever Green Christmas Trees deliver fresh trees that haven’t been in nets or left without water for several weeks beforehand. Select your tree and get it delivered on a day that best suits you, as well as getting it collected after the holiday. What could be more practical than that?

RECOMMENDED READ: How can SMEs prepare for Christmas?

Further Festive Tips

1 billion Christmas cards are thrown in the bin each year without being recycled.

Turn off appliances when the office is closed for Christmas and turn down the thermostat by 1°. Put your Christmas tree lights on a timer, as lights left on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas produce enough CO2 to inflate 12 balloons.

Consider group transport when organising your office Christmas party. Are there locations ideal for group pick ups / drop offs to reduce journeys?

Over 80,000 tonnes of old clothes are thrown away every Christmas. Encourage employees to bring in any unwanted clothes, toys and food donations which can be accumulated and donated to local charities, shelters and hostels to bring some Christmas cheer to those in need.

BULBS: Consider switching your festive lights to LED alternatives, solar panel lights or energy saving bulbs in order to save capital over the festive period.

Encourage employees that when purchasing Christmas presents, to buy local or buy less. This will help sustain the local environment, as well as reduce the number of unwanted gifts hidden in the back of cupboards and wardrobes!

Wrapping paper has been confirmed as the biggest Christmas waste, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimating that last year’s wasted paper would be enough to wrap up the Channel Island, Guernsey! If we all recycled half of the 80,000 tonnes produced, we would save 25,000 trees. With this in mind, encourage staff to wrap their ‘Secret Santa’ gifts in recycled paper / brown paper / newspaper, etc and use string or raffia to decorate.

The British Assessment Bureau specialises in certification to the ISO 14001 environmental management standard, helping organisations to demonstrate they are green-thinking. For more tips, follow us on Twitter.