It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most wasteful.

Just making a few simple changes here and there this Christmas can make a difference to your impact on the environment. Are you up for the challenge?

From decorations to dinners, here are our top tips and tricks to help you on your way to making this year your most eco-friendly and sustainable Christmas yet:

The tree

Despite their colour, Christmas trees are not always the greenest element of the festive season.

Up to 8 million real Christmas trees are bought every December in the UK. Here are some ways how you can source yours more sustainably and dispose of it responsibly:

Look for a tree with an FSC-Certification. This means that it has been grown and sourced sustainably. Once Christmas is over, drop off your tree with decorations removed, at a local tip or council Christmas tree recycling point where you can recycle both real and artificial Christmas trees. Or alternatively, purchase a tree with roots and re-plant it after Christmas to use again next year.

From Brighton? Find your nearest tree recycling point here.

Buying an artificial tree? Purchase a preloved one or choose a tree that will last a lifetime. And if you need to dispose of it, drop it off to your local council Christmas tree recycling point.

Plan a zero-waste dinner

Around four million Christmas dinners are wasted every year in the UK.  We have some great ways on how to avoid overstuffing yours:

Before hitting the supermarket shelves, avoid over buying by planning what you need in advance, writing a list, and checking what ingredients you can source locally to support your local community and minimise your carbon footprint. Avoid buying products in pointless plastic packaging. Purchasing loose fruit and vegetables is a great way to cut down on this.  And don’t forget your re-usable shopping bags!

Pop your fruit and vegetable peelings in the compost bin and if you do end up knee deep in leftovers or food that you know you won’t get around to eating – get creative. Turn your delicious leftovers into post-Christmas dinners that can be enjoyed from Boxing Day and beyond.

Shop small

When tackling the dreaded Christmas list, a good place to start would be to visit small and local retailers. Not only does this help reduce your carbon footprint and help boost the local economy, but you are more likely to find something unique that you can’t find anywhere else.

When buying physical gifts, try purchasing something that is designed to last and won’t end up down your local tip in a few months’ time. Think reusable or recyclable bamboo coffee cups, soy wax candles, gift vouchers, sustainably sourced clothing or even edible gifts in reusable or recyclable packaging. A hamper filled with delicious chutneys, jams, chocolate and biscuits would go down a treat. Or if you have time, you could even try making some gifts yourself this year.

And don’t be tempted to panic buy. If you realise you’ve missed a few items from the list or forgotten Great Aunt Betty’s gift an hour before closing time on Christmas Eve, avoid rushing out and buying something meaningless. Why not purchase an e-gift voucher experience? We have some great selection of options here at British Airways i360 that can be purchased even on the big day itself. No one will ever know…

Choose the right wrapping paper

Choosing the perfect wrapping paper to wrap your loved ones’ Christmas gifts can be a long and thoughtful process. But what many of us don’t know is that many rolls of wrapping paper contain non-recyclable elements like foil, glitter and plastic.

Our top tip when deciding on your wrapping paper this year is to choose a reusable material like brown paper or tissue and decorate it with twine, sprigs of holly, pinecones and mistletoe. Not only does this look beautiful it means you’re avoiding throwaway decorations like bows and ribbons.