Photo: Jeremy Gallman on Unsplash; graphics: author.

Applying circular principles to make Christmas Trees more sustainable

I’m trying something new this month, and if it doesn’t work out I’ll re-badge it the 12 Circular Days of Christmas and say no more about it.

Photo: Jeremy Gallman on Unsplash; graphics: author.

Each day I’ll pick an aspect of Christmas and use circular principles (keep materials and products in use, design out waste, and regenerate natural systems) to explain how we can be more sustainable. Today: Christmas Trees

Keep products in use

Squeeze an extra year out of your existing tree if you can. When you buy a tree, buy reusable. A real tree is preferable to a plastic one, as you can often source them locally. Plastic trees come with a massive carbon footprint from manufacturing and shipping (usually from China).

Design out waste

Dispose of old trees responsibly: contact your local authority about collection of real trees for composting. If buying a fake tree, buy one that can be easily dismantled into its component parts for recycling.

Regenerate natural systems

A potted tree can be taken outside after Christmas to provide a habitat for insects and birdlife


I’ve created a page for additional resources, which I’ll populate with other ideas and companies who are working in this space. In the meantime if you have any tips you’d like to share, let me know.