Here are some ideas for reusing and recycling to have an environmentally friendly Christmas

1 Buy second hand Christmas decorations


There’s no need to miss out on a fabulous Christmas display in your home. There are plenty of second hand Christmas decorations available at bargain prices – try a local charity shop or visit the Crow Recycling Scrapstore to reuse instead of buying new.

2 Wrap presents in fabric or paper that can be recycled

Fabric squares make great reusable wrapping. For paper wrapping avoid metallic paper which is difficult to recycle. Or why not use plain brown paper or newspaper then add some colourful reusable touches such as fabric ribbon and buttons?

Brown paper is available at 30 pence per metre from the Crow Recycling Scrapstore along with fabric, ribbon and buttons.

3 Use last year’s Christmas cards as this year’s present labels.

The cards with plenty of snow on them have the best white spaces for writing.

4 Send e mailed cards or make your own. 

Crow Recycling has card, paper and envelopes donated by organisations for reuse as an alternative to recycling. Come and buy some and make your own.

5 Give presents which won’t need to be sent to landfill when they’re finished with

Give homemade sweets or biscuits in a reused container, send an offer to do something nice for someone or make a charity donation in someone’s name as a gift.

Or how about buying someone a year’s membership of the Crow Recycling Scrapstore? The cost is £10.

6 Buy fewer or cheaper presents

Families with older children and adults could opt for secret Santas so they only buy one present each – there are even apps and websites which organise the giving.

Alternatively adults could agree to stick to  small budget for each present or agree to settle for swapping cards rather than presents.

7 Christmas trees – reuse rather than buy new, use a pot plant or try an arty improvisation.


Buy a second hand artificial one and use it each year or get a pot grown one that can grow in the garden in between Christmases.

For a non traditional approach decorate a large indoor pot plant such as a Yukka every year. If you’re feeling creative create a giant Christmas tree collage on a bare wall or make one out of cardboard tubes painted green and stacked in a triangle shape.

8 Make your own decorations

Make paper chains out of last year’s wrapping paper and Christmas bunting out of last year’s cards.

The Crow Scrapstore has instructions on how to make bows and origami stars out of scrap paper. There are also lots of back copies of magazines at 25 pence each full of Christmas craft ideas.

9 Get creative with leftovers

From a Brussels sprout casserole to making bubble and squeak or pie with leftover turkey there are scores of online ideas to reduce food waste at Christmas.

Other ideas are to buy cuts of meat rather than a whole bird or freeze ready to eat dishes such as turkey curry.

10 Make sure everything possible from the post Christmas clear out gets reused

Parents giving away toys their children have grown out of can make sure they are reused. Charity shops are the obvious first stop. As an alternative charities such as Coventry based Carriers of Hope accepts good quality toys to pass on to parents struggling financially.

The Crow Recycling Scrapstore is open Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 3.30pm and Fridays 9.30am to 12 noon. It’s a membership only shop. Membership costs £10 per year.