Half of adults plan on having their ‘most sustainable Christmas ever’ – by ditching the Christmas cards, cutting back on decorations and buying second-hand and refurbished gifts.

Research polling 2,000 UK adults revealed 58 per cent will try to be sustainable at Christmas – with 51 per cent intending to have their most eco-friendly holiday season yet.

Almost six in 10 (57 per cent) don’t plan on sending Christmas cards this year, while 88 per cent want to keep their food waste to an absolute minimum and nearly a quarter will be swapping the cheeseboard for a vegan substitute.

The study, commissioned by musicMagpie [https://www.musicmagpie.co.uk/store/sustainable-christmas], also found 78 per cent won’t be travelling as much to visit friends and family in a bid to protect the planet, even if restrictions allow.

It also revealed how many plan on gifting sustainably this year, with seven in 10 buying things made from eco-friendly materials and nearly half pledging to buy second-hand or refurbished Christmas gifts.

In fact, nearly three-quarters would consider spending more than their usual budget on a gift that is sustainable.

Liam Howley from musicMagpie said: “Despite the challenges of this year, it’s inspiring to see that many people are planning to have their most sustainable Christmas yet.

“The festive season is a wonderful time of year, but sadly it comes at a huge cost as we produce 30 per cent more waste, much of which will unfortunately end up in landfills and harm the environment.

“It’s inspiring to see that people are really thinking about how they can still enjoy Christmas, while making choices that are smarter for the planet.”

The study also found that it’s not just about protecting the environment, with 49 per cent changing their festive ways to be more eco-friendly in a bid to save money.

And a third want their hard-earned cash to be spent on something more worthwhile.

A further 55 per cent of respondents also said they are making more sustainable choices this year as a result of the pandemic and lockdown.

But four in 10 are doing things differently to protect the future of the planet for their offspring, and a quarter simply want to feel a bit less guilty about Christmas.

Two-thirds agreed Christmas can be one of the most damaging times of year for the planet, so it’s important for everyone to play their part.

Half of adults felt the festive period is damaging because of all the extra energy used for lights, decorations and cooking big meals, and 52 per cent blame it on people simply binning old things to make room for the new – instead of recycling them.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found it’s still important to seven in 10 that their gift-giving has a positive impact on the environment.

And 39 per cent will ONLY buy things which will help the planet, such as donations to charity, buying Fairtrade and shopping second-hand.

Liam Howley added: “There’s so many ways you can make your holidays more environmentally-friendly now, and you shouldn’t have to feel the need to spend a fortune either.

“The small things really do add up to make a big difference – whether it’s cutting down how much meat you have or reducing your food waste, buying second-hand gifts or simply making room for new presents in a responsible way by selling unwanted items. This will also allow you to save and even make money in the process.”

Top 30 sustainable gifts UK adults want or are planning to give:
1. Plants
2. Bars of soap
3. Second-hand books
4. Donation to a charity
5. Shampoo bars
6. Reusable water bottle
7. Sustainable beauty products
8. Reusable coffee cup
9. Ethical clothing
10. Bamboo/sustainable toothbrush
11. Sustainable make up
12. Second-hand clothing
13. Vegan chocolates/sweets
14. Reusable straws
15. Non-plastic jewellery such as wood or metal
16. Bamboo hairbrush
17. Second-hand DVDs
18. Reusable cotton pads
19. Reusable sandwich bags/beeswax wraps
20. Wooden toys
21. Bags or wallets made from recycled materials
22. Second-hand video games
23. Second-hand toys
24. Bamboo/hemp socks
25. Bamboo soap dish
26. Second-hand CDs
27. Biodegradable kitchen cleaning products such as bamboo dish brush, sponges etc.
28. Second-hand/refurbished smartphone
29. Second-hand/refurbished games consoles
30. Second-hand/refurbished tablet

Top 30 ways adults plan on having a more sustainable Christmas:
1. Keep food waste to a minimum
2. Recycle delivery boxes
3. Avoid plastic packaging
4. Buy less plastic gifts
5. Buy less plastic decorations
6. Use recyclable wrapping paper
7. Freeze all leftovers
8. Shop online to avoid travelling
9. Travel less over the festive period
10. Purchase gifts made from sustainable materials
11. Only buy cruelty free beauty products
12. Only buy cards where donations go to charity
13. Eat less meat
14. Use less Christmas lights
15. Buy sustainable gifts such as shampoo bars or bamboo toothbrushes
16. Go palm oil free
17. Not sending Christmas cards at all/sending less to save waste
18. Share transport
19. Shop second-hand for outfits, decorations etc.
20. Buy Fairtrade chocolate advent calendars
21. Go completely ‘present-free’ or give fewer presents
22. Give second-hand and/or refurbished gifts
23. Eat organic
24. Get an eco-friendly Christmas tree (one planted for each tree cut)
25. Get a real Christmas tree rather than a plastic
26. Send e–cards
27. Buy vegan bath products and toiletries
28. Buy edible Christmas decorations
29. Create a homemade advent calendar
30. Donating money to charity rather than giving presents


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