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How can I be more environmentally friendly at Christmas?

Create happy memories with your carefully choosen decorations. (Photo:Lucy Saunders/The Gardens Group)
Create happy memories with your carefully choosen decorations. (Photo:Lucy Saunders/The Gardens Group)

Louise Burks of The Gardens Group has won multiple awards for their Christmas displays and sustainability is at the heart of every single on

Great British Life: Look for decorations that use recycled materials such as glass. (Photo:Lucy Saunders/The Gardens Group)Look for decorations that use recycled materials such as glass. (Photo:Lucy Saunders/The Gardens Group)

Recycled razzle dazzle

Look out for festive items that have been made using recycled materials, including glass in Christmas tree decorations, plastics in toys and wax in candles. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure that recycled materials are used whenever possible. Even our cuddly toys are now made from recycled plastic! They are no less soft and cuddly, but all the better for the planet.

A sustainable mindset has been instilled in the whole team at The Gardens Group, so even our award-winning displays are full of props, fixtures and fittings that are reused or recycled from previous years.

Great British Life: Recycled Christmas gift bags from the UK. (Photo:Lucy Saunders/The Gardens Group)Recycled Christmas gift bags from the UK. (Photo:Lucy Saunders/The Gardens Group)

Keep it eco-friendly

For those Christmas essentials that can’t be used beyond the day itself, it’s important to avoid any single use plastics. And make sure that everything can go into the recycle bin.

Our suppliers have made great strides with these over recent years, and we now have wrapping paper and gift bags that are made in the UK from recycled paper and are fully recyclable after use. We have eco-friendly Christmas Crackers too – made with recycled and recyclable materials, with no plastic used in the wrapping or in the all-important gift inside the cracker!

Great British Life: Nordmann firs at one of The Garden Group's centres. (Photo:Lucy Saunders/The Gardens Group)Nordmann firs at one of The Garden Group's centres. (Photo:Lucy Saunders/The Gardens Group)

The journey of your Christmas Tree

Real Christmas trees have a long life before they end up taking pride of place in our homes. For example, one of our most popular Christmas trees, a 7foot Nordmann fir, can take up to 10 years to grow. So, we like to make sure it’s had a positive impact on the planet during the festive celebrations and after.

Our real trees are all carbon neutral, recyclable and non-toxic. We only source Christmas trees from growers who have clear replanting policies, and they are usually grown in areas where very little else could be grown. After Christmas, some local councils will collect trees for recycling, and we do too if the tree is purchased from one of our centres (Poundbury, Sherborne and Yeovil). We then shred the trees on-site; this is then used as mulch or for soil improvement around our three garden centres.

Great British Life: Investing in a Nativity scene could be a family Christmas display that comes out every year. (Photo:Lucy Saunders/The Gardens Group)Investing in a Nativity scene could be a family Christmas display that comes out every year. (Photo:Lucy Saunders/The Gardens Group)

Quality not quantity

One of the best ways to avoid waste at Christmas is to choose high quality decorations – just adding a few new pieces to the collection each year. This will make the decorations you choose more significant and connected with family memories of Christmas past.

We’re seeing more and more customers moving away from the full festive refit each year. Instead, come December, they are adopting the more traditional approach of dusting of a box of Christmas decorations that are full of family heirlooms. Set aside some time to seek out a handful of beautiful additions to the collection, which then grows with the family every year.

Celebrate a local Christmas

Buying local – or at least buying items made in the UK – is a smart way to reduce our impact on the environment at Christmas. There is no shortage of wonderful makers and suppliers helping us to achieve this with our displays every year.

We have tinsel, candles, toys and decorations that are all sourced from UK suppliers, and we make sure to stock our shelves with as many local products as we can so we can support local makers. We are proud to say that this carefully sourced collection grows year-on-year!

See their award-winning Christmas displays at Castle Gardens in Sherborne, Brimsmore Gardens in Yeovil and Poundbury Garden Centre. thegardensgroup.co.uk



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