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6 Steps To Your Best Ever Zero-Waste Christmas

The festive period can still be magical without the waste and expense to the planet – Anna Blewett finds out how you can make simple swaps this season

6 Steps To Your Best Ever Zero-Waste Christmas


Your welcome to guests starts here, so a fully-compostable wreath is a great statement of intent. Luckily, tradition is on your side; our ancestors are likely spinning in their graves at the plastic-spun, battery-powered fripperies that adorn modern wreaths. Gathering evergreen foliage, pine branches, berries and seed heads is an easy first step. Weaving a sturdy willow base to poke them into is more challenging, but can be sidestepped with a ready-made option. Dark Natural Willow Wreath Base, £4.84,

6 Steps To Your Best Ever Zero-Waste Christmas


According to the Carbon Trust, you’d need to reuse an artificial tree for 10 Christmases before its annual carbon footprint fell to that of a natural tree. If you lack the space for an adult Norwegian Spruce, it’s time to think creatively. This ‘letterbox tree’ magically squeezes inside a cardboard postage box, so you get all the pine needle aroma and decorating decisions without losing important house space. Even better, the living trees can be planted and reused every Christmas. Letterbox Christmas Tree, £32,

6 Steps To Your Best Ever Zero-Waste Christmas


“All that glitters ain’t gold,” Prince warned us back in 1995. And, Friends of the Earth couldn’t agree more, arguing that the twinkly microplastic, which coats many a bauble, has dangerous consequences for the marine wildlife that ingests it. Biodegradable alternatives made from plant cellulose look just as fabulous, and will add sparkle to recyclable card, glass, wood or salt dough decorations. Try Cosmic Shimmer: it’s not cheap, so embrace the maxim ‘less is more’. Cosmic Shimmer, £4 for 10ml,

6 Steps To Your Best Ever Zero-Waste Christmas


Whether you put out a wonky stocking that got a B in GCSE textiles or a smartly-printed sack that cost more than you like to let on, check the fabric Santa will be handling. All cloth sneakily sheds microfibres, but did you know the tiny filaments from synthetic textiles make up a big share of the microplastics found in oceans and rivers? Replace outgoing stockings with something worked in naturally biodegradable cotton, linen or wool, like this felted stocking by Gisela Graham. Felted Stocking, £20,

6 Steps To Your Best Ever Zero-Waste Christmas


Glitter, laminating films and lashings of sticky tape all make for parcel wrappings that can be rejected by kerbside recycling collections. If you’re ready to ditch the plastic from your parcels, Re-wrapped ( is a great resource. Its designer-led papers are made using 100% post-consumer waste, and the unbleached papers are printed with vegetable-based inks before being dispatched in recyclable packaging. We love this retro Italian Terrazzo design by Kate Heiss! Italian Terazzo Reyclable Paper, £1.75 per sheet,

6 Steps To Your Best Ever Zero-Waste Christmas


To the Christmas dinner, and a chance to retire old habits of buying glittered candle holders, glitzy (but unwashable, single-use) charger plates, and faux-berry napkin rings. Not that a zero-waste Christmas should lack the gleam of gold – wise investment buys can bring a flash of indulgence that outlives the feast and will brighten your table for years to come. These hand-hammered brass candle sconces in oak, chestnut, avocado or rowan make the perfect festive family heirloom. Leaf Candle Sconce Rowan, £225,

6 Steps To Your Best Ever Zero-Waste Christmas

Planning your Christmas feast? Don’t forget to try these delicious recipes!