Claire Sumners is passionate about living a zero waste lifestyle and helping others to do the same. A regional rep for the group Surfers Against Sewage and founder of Plastic Free Seaford, Claire shares with Your East Sussex her top tips for having an eco-friendly Christmas.

Claire Sumners at a beach clean

Claire Sumners at a beach clean.

Yup. It’s here and I feel it! I watched and read The Grinch with my two Herbert’s this weekend and you know what, I’m normally very tight when it comes to letting the Christmas button ‘START’. Christmas eve is traditionally when we decorate the tree, but 2020 isn’t a normal year, is it?

I’m really hoping this year hasn’t drained away all of the good intentions I know people have been making for our planet and oceans. How about a recap? So that you, like me, can really enjoy the festivities without damaging our little piece of the universe. Here are a few little tips to help you make swaps for an eco-friendly Christmas.

Top tips for an eco-friendly Christmas:

  • Shop local and independent. Don’t make a default dash to Amazon, buy books from Hive or just trawl through local Etsy groups and virtual Christmas markets on Facebook.
  • Being a little more spick and span over Christmas is what I like to do. After all, whether you don sequins or not there will be surfaces to clean! Change your cleaning products to ones with ingredients that won’t harm you like Splosh and OceanSaver drops.
  • Use a loofah instead of a plastic sponge. Health shops will have some you can cut up or try out. Check out Seep.
  • Invest in a guppy bag to wash all your Christmas jumpers and frocks. These stop all the micro plastics getting into our beloved oceans.
  • Going for the National Lampoons Christmas lights look? I’m all for the cheer and twinkle that lights bring – so make it a renewable energy company that you pay your bills to like Electricity or Good Energy.
  • Who doesn’t love a real tree, grown locally that you can plant in the garden after? If you think a fake tree is better for the planet, then check out Carbon Trust for reasons why a real one is better than a long lasting plastic one (unless you reuse your plastic tree for ten years).
  • A tres chic and simple swap – buy all your mixers in glass not plastic!
  • No household will be without crisps. Keep the packets and recycle them. There are loads of schemes up and down the country with TerraCycle, and locally bags are being recycled for the Air Ambulance.
  • Who doesn’t enjoy chocolate at Christmas! Make every mouthful count and go for the best ethical bar you can afford. I’m a Tony’s Chocolonely fan.

Lastly, just enjoy it! Be Merry and Be Bright (with your eco choices!) and look at what you throw away. Our homes are our sanctuaries, especially over the festive season so let’s end 2020 with the power to bring positive change to the world by throwing less away and reusing more.

By Claire Sumners.

You can follow Claire on Instagram and Facebook under Zero Waste Maman.


Make sure you are recycling everything you can this Christmas by checking our guide to Christmas recycling.