Have yourself a very eco Christmas...

Dec 15, 2022 | written by:

  • 43% of Brits are hosting a more environmentally-friendly Christmas this year
  • One in five (21%) will be ditching meat for their Christmas dinner 
  • 25% of Brits are ditching their real Christmas trees this year to give back to the planet


London, 15th December 2022: New research commissioned by digital tree planting platform Treedom reveals a record number of Brits will be enjoying a completely plant-based Christmas lunch this year in an attempt to go green, with vegan and vegetarian options replacing a traditional roast dinner in as many as 5.1 million homes. 

Of the 2,000 polled, one in three (29 percent) are ditching the meat because it is better for the environment, creates less food waste (26 percent), is easier to prepare (25 percent) and cooks quicker so will use less energy (22 percent).

Rising awareness of the climate crisis and our personal impact on it means that many more of us are looking to make small changes to the big day in order to do our part for the planet. In fact, a quarter (28 percent) of Brits go so far to say that the traditional turkey lunch will go out of fashion, as the nation adopts a more sustainable attitude.

A fifth (21 percent) admitted that cutting down on meat would make them feel less guilty, with the most popular vegan or vegetarian swaps being vegan gravy (32 percent), a classic nut roast (23 percent), pasta dish (23 percent), and Quorn, plant based ‘turkey’ slices and rice dishes, instead of a traditional roast with all the trimmings (24 percent). One in six (14 percent) are opting for a plant-based meal due to the fact that the ingredients are more readily available.

In fact, four in ten (43 percent) admit they’ll be hosting an altogether more environmentally friendly Yule this year and one in ten are going the extra mile, saying that they will be buying eco subscriptions to offset their carbon footprint next year.

Brits are looking to address their environmental impact in a number of ways too, through reusable Christmas trees (30 percent), wrapping up warm and turning the heating down (30 percent), no single use plastics (27 percent) and not sending any Christmas cards (25 percent).

When it comes to gifting, 17 percent will only be buying second hand gifts, a sixth (16 percent) won’t be buying any plastic gifts, 12 percent will be making their gifts and seven percent will plant trees instead of buying gifts. 

For a third of Brits (34 percent), being mindful about their consumption is a big driver behind opting for a more environmentally-friendly Christmas, while one in three (33 percent) believe that it is a critical time for the planet and they are worried for its future. A third (29 percent) agree that more people will be thinking about their impact on the environment this Christmas. 

32 percent of Brits are thinking about the future lives of their children and grandchildren, while a quarter think the world’s animal population deserve a safe place to live. Wanting to feel less guilty (20 percent) and trying to be environmentally friendly so that they can occasionally treat themselves (16 percent) are also key factors in Brits opting for a more sustainable Christmas this year. 

Anna Weston, head of development in UK & Ireland for digital tree planting platform, Treedom,  who commissioned the study, commented: “Christmas is a key moment for us to remember the importance and impact our choices have on the planet and communities around the world, and it’s great to see that so many Brits want to do their bit for the environment during the festive period from reducing meat consumption to crafting their own presents.” 

“Caring for our planet has risen in popularity among Brits of all ages - not just with the younger generations - with many opting for eco-friendly decorations and gifts this year. With the climate crisis worsening, it’s clear that people are looking to make changes to do what they can to combat this and make a difference for families all around the globe. However, it’s important to remember that these good habits aren’t just for Christmas and we should aim to incorporate them into our daily lives as we enter a new year. Small things like recycling more, buying second-hand items and signing up to eco subscriptions are simple and cost effective changes many of us can take into 2023.”

It’s clear that awareness around the impact of our choices and shopping habits has grown over the last few years, with half (47 percent) admitting that they are more concerned about their carbon footprint this year compared to previous years, and four in ten (39 percent) saying they are more aware of the waste they will produce this festive season.

When it comes to the wider sustainable steps Brits are taking this Christmas, a third (30 percent) will be reusing wrapping paper, a fifth (22 percent) are planning to make their own Christmas cards, decorations (20 percent) and presents for family and friends (18 percent). A quarter (24 percent) will be ditching shop-bought to make their own mince pies, one in ten (13 percent) are going to make their own advent calendar, or wrapping paper (13 percent), and a tenth of those polled have even said they’re planning on making their own Christmas tree.

In a further bid to reduce their impact on the environment, a quarter (23 percent) of Brits say they will be going without the usual festive splurges this season. Lots of presents (34 percent), a new Christmas outfit (29 percent), a real Christmas tree (25 percent) and Christmas lights (23 percent) are the main festive ingredients being left behind.

Continuing this commitment, a quarter (26 percent) of Brits will be pledging to be more sustainable as part of their New Year resolutions. Four in ten (44 percent) will aim to recycle more, while a third (33 percent) will buy more second-hand items and not consume single use plastics (30 percent). 

Notes to editors
This research of 2,000 Britons was commissioned by Treedom and conducted by Perspectus Global during December 2022. 


About Treedom
Treedom is the first platform in the world that allows people to plant trees remotely and follow the story of the tree planting project online.  Since Treedom’s foundation in 2010, more than 3.5 million trees have been planted across Africa, South America, Asia and Europe. All trees are planted directly by local farmers, bringing environmental, social and financial benefits to their communities. In 2014, Treedom became a certified B Corporation, part of the global network of companies that stand out for high environmental and social performance. Every Treedom tree is geolocated, photographed and has its own online page on treedom.net

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