News & Insights

Read and share Parliament Hill insights and news on the tips, trends, and key developments we’ve identified for benefit management and member satisfaction.

5 ½ things that you could do to make Christmas 2023 more sustainable

As part of our ‘Have yourself a sustainable Christmas’ series, we look at how you can celebrate Christmas in a more sustainable way

UK waste and recycling firm Biffa sees a 40% increase in the amount of waste it handles over the Christmas period. Waste can come from all sources, whether that is wrapping paper, food or decorations, in this blog – our marketing director Kyra Ingrao shares some tips that she has discovered on how you could have a more sustainable Christmas.

1) Christmas cards

Back in the 80s, when I was a child, we would sit down in early January with my Nan and Mum to cut out the pictures on the Christmas cards we had received, place them in a box and then use them as gift tags for presents the following year.

But, there has been a reduction in the number of the cards being sent – Card Factory noted that there was a 3% reduction in the UK greeting cards market from 2020 to 2021. Although the factors for the decline can’t just be linked to consumers becoming more green-savvy, it is interesting to see how others are still marking Christmas with a card or message to their nearest and dearest.

2) Christmas wrapping

For the last 5 years my wrapping paper has come from a roll of recycled brown paper, which can also be recycled itself. It is cost effective, easy to store, and ensures that you are never without wrapping paper for any occasion. Well, that doesn’t seem very festive I hear you say? Well, it can be if you let your kids loose with some colouring pencils… and allow them to create their own paper.

3) The more the merrier – invite your friends and family

The Carbon Trust’s tips for a more Sustainable Christmas in 2023 includes an invitation to your friends and family to have a shared Christmas. Also, a budget friendly option, using one oven to cook the festive feast and coming together to make use of one households central heating – is not only kind to the environment, but also on the wallet (just make sure to make a donation to the host for all their effort).

4) Christmas Tree

There is a lot of debate as to what is the most sustainable option when it comes to Christmas trees. The Soil Association say that you would need to use an artificial tree 10 times for it to negate its 40kg carbon footprint, and for it to be better than purchasing a real tree that is burnt after its use. A real tree will typically take 10-12 years to grow to 6 feet, over that time the tree will have had a positive impact on the local environment; producing oxygen, capturing carbon in the atmosphere and providing a habitat for wildlife.
The key takeaway is that if you buy an artificial tree, then be prepared to keep for 10+ years, if you buy a real tree – make sure that you dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way.

5) Recycle, recycle, recycle

As the mother of a vibrant 8 year old boy, we have had a fair few Christmases when the unwrapping frenzy has caused chaos. Even with my recycled wrapping paper, it can be hard to keep tabs on where the packaging is going. Over the past few Christmases we have set up a recycling station in the house for Christmas, to make sure that we are keeping tabs on what goes where so that we can keep on top of what goes where.

5 ½) Food wastage

We couldn’t write a piece on Christmas celebration without covering one of the most important elements – the food! In fact, it’s so important, we have written a whole piece on this entirely. To find out more click here .


If you have any tips to share on how you have made your Christmas more sustainable, then we would love to hear from you.


Christmas is such a magical time of year for all the family and an excuse for family and friends to get together and celebrate. We wish all of our clients, partners, staff and soon-to-be clients a fantastic Christmas and New Year.
To read the other Blogs in our ‘Have yourself a sustainable Christmas’ series including; ‘Cremating a turkey or a meat free alternative’  and ‘Gifting sustainably this Christmas’, please click here .



Parliament Hill have been on their Sustainability Journey since the beginning of 2020. Since then, we have become Green Mark Level 3 accredited, launched a sustainability hub for our clients’ members and updated our internal policy to enable our team to work more sustainably. To see more, visit ‘Our Sustainability Journey’ .


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