For hundreds of years, green has been one of the traditional colours of Christmas so this festive season, why not go a little greener? There is no doubt that Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year but often can create unnecessary waste. By simply making a few small changes, you can help make a big impact. Here are some top tips on how to have a Christmas that’s kinder to wildlife and the planet too.

Christmas is a time for giving, so if you are wrapping a gift, consider your choice of wrapping. Rolls that contain foil or glitter can’t be recycled and end up in landfill. Look out for paper that be recycled, or you could opt to wrap gifts with colourful festive fabric squares and string which can be reused year after year.

You could also give greener gifts this year – like home-grown plants or flowers or even an experience. Shared experiences can bring joy, create warm memories and is often more appreciated than a purchased gift. Getting out to a nature reserve is a great way to reconnect, and here in Northern Ireland, the RSPB have lots of wonderful nature reserves to explore. A family membership with the RSPB can cost as little as £6 a month and is a great way to help your loved ones discover nature this Christmas and throughout the year.

Deck those halls with boughs of holly…and other greenery too! Natural decorations such as pinecones, dried fruit or evergreen foliage like holly and ivy can make beautiful centrepieces, wreaths, and garlands. Make sure you forage responsibly and only pick from abundant sources to ensure you are leaving plenty behind for birds and other wildlife to feed on. Also consider making your own crackers or look at eco options which can still make a bang at your Christmas table.

If you are looking for activities to keep the family entertained over the holidays you could give upcycling a try. Bottles, milk cartons and yogurt pots can all be repurposed to create bird feeders and there are some easy to follow tutorials on the RSPB website. You could attract some new birdlife to your garden just in time for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch which takes place on the last week of January.

There are lots of ways we can all be a little greener this festive season. The RSPB’s online shop is full of ethically sourced, environmentally friendly items from eco-crackers and wrapping paper to wildlife themed gifts and all profits go towards helping birds and wildlife. For more green Christmas inspiration go to