Recycle your real Christmas tree – and other festive eco-hacks

19 December 2019

Elvis sung of a Blue Christmas. Kelly Clarkson asked for a Christmas wrapped in red. In Brent, we think Christmases should be green.

Brent’s Christmas tree recycling scheme launches Saturday 28 December and runs through to Sunday 12 January. The Council is organising special Christmas tree drop-off points, which will be available throughout the period, as well as one-off pop ups. Drop-off locations are spread all around the borough.

Last year 2,300 trees were recycled in this way. Your tree will be chipped and recycled into mulch which is useful for protecting plants, nourishing soil, and keeping weeds at bay.

But recycling your tree isn’t the only way to have a greener Christmas. Working with Veolia, we’ve pulled together our top ten ways you can help save the planet (and your pocket) without compromising on the trimmings.

  1. Upcycle items into beautiful Christmas gifts and decorations. Pinterest is a good place to start for inspiration – just search ‘upcycle Christmas’.
  2. Shopping for gifts? Take your own bags with you to cut down on plastic.
  3. Rent a living Christmas tree, or search for sustainable cut trees near you on Forestry England’s website.
  4. Did you know that we waste 230,000 tonnes of food once our festive feasting is finished? Go to Love Food Hate Waste's website for handy recipes to use up your leftovers.
  5. What to buy for the friend that has everything? How about a reusable water bottle, beeswax wraps (as an alternative to cling film), or even reusable make-up remover pads! Experiences, like a membership to Lexi Cinema or a course at Brent Start, also make great gifts.
  6. Some wrapping paper can’t be recycled. Instead, get creative with newspaper or brown paper and reuse ribbons or twine.
  7. Check out the Energy Saving Trust’s website for ways to keep your home warmer without turning the thermostat up this winter.
  8. Those roasties might look harmless, but they could be harbouring a big carbon footprint. Where possible, try to buy food that’s locally sourced.
  9. Recycle your real Christmas tree! Use the special drop off points in our parks and pop-up locations, or, if you have already signed up to our Garden Waste Service, cut your tree into pieces and place these in the green bin.
  10. Finally, turning off your appliances at the mains, rather than leaving them on standby can save huge amounts of carbon, and cut your electric bill.

Cllr Krupa Sheth, Lead Member for Environment, adds: “Many of the steps we can take to live more sustainably come with lots of other benefits. Like saving money, keeping our streets free of rubbish, making our homes warmer, or helping us to focus on the important things at Christmas – time with friends and family. I wish everyone in Brent a very Happy Christmas.”


Find more tips for reducing your carbon footprint on our Climate Emergency pages.