Top tips for a sustainable Christmas dinner

Back to actions and tips

Top tips for a sustainable Christmas dinner

It’s getting closer and closer to Christmas, which brings not just festive joy but also a huge annual carbon footprint that we can’t blame Santa for. The good news is that starting with simple twists on our holiday meals is a great way to make the season more sustainable.

The WWF’s recent living planet report names eating less meat and dairy as one of the best things we can do to reduce the impact of human-related climate change. Veganuary broke all records in 2023, with over 700,000 of us pledging to try a plant-based diet. All of this means that Christmas dinner hosts will be catering for more non-meat eaters this year. That’s where we come in.

If you are looking to reduce the amount of meat at your Christmas table or want to try some other ways to make it more sustainable, dig in!

These tips are part of something bigger. At Hubbub, we want to see a world where everyone makes choices that are good for the environment. Check out what we do and how your actions add up.

Sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop with our handy tips, playful campaigns and lots more.
Sign Up

1) The veggie version

Almost 1 in 5 people in the UK will be cutting down the amount of meat at the table for the big meal. Whichever type of meal you’re rustling up, we’ve got a whole spread of options for delicious alternatives to put a fun twist on the traditional turkey.

The WWF even say that adopting a more plant-based lifestyle can cut down your food bill by up to a third! Don’t wait till the new year to try this resolution for yourself.

2) Reduce food waste

If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitting country in the world. People spend all year looking forward to a good Christmas dinner (and all the treats that go with it), so make sure you make the most of it and it doesn’t end up in the bin. 

And did you know... most food (even cooked turkey) can be frozen to save for another day? Unsure about what can be frozen? We’ve got you – check out our list of food you can freeze.

Watch the Food Waste Fairy share her top 3 tips to reduce food waste this Christmas.

3) Reduce plastic

The battle against single-use plastic is here to stay and Christmas is generally a time when a huge amount of single-use plastic is used. There are loads of ways you can cut down, but one really easy way is to try and buy food unpackaged. Bring your own cloth bags or tote bags to hold loose veggies – some supermarkets provide paper bags if you forget.

4) Meal planning in advance

Whether you put pen to paper or create a colour-coded spreadsheet, planning meals ahead of time will help make sure you only buy enough food for meals you’ll be cooking and the guests that will be there.

What about unexpected guests? Your freezer is the gift that just keeps on giving; freezable back-ups will ensure everyone who comes round can eat, drink and be merry without you having to worry about last-minute shops. You can also stock up on treats that don’t perish too quickly like biscuit tins (or have fun batch-baking and freezing in advance to put a homemade sparkle in your spread).

5) Go organic

If you have the budget to spend a bit more, eating organic meat is better for the planet. It means farmers don’t use as many pesticides and tend to use fewer imported resources that pollute through manufacturing and shipping.

Buying a whole turkey rather than a crown also reduces the amount of meat that gets thrown away before it gets to the shelves.

Organic also applies to your veggies - have a look and see if anywhere local to you sells organic.

What do meat certifications all mean?

Want to freeze your food bills this Christmas?

From pre-Christmas planning to post-Christmas sharing, it's snow joke how much money you can save on your food bills.

Want to know more about Hubbub?

Check out our tips for change for easy inspiration on how you can live in a more sustainable way.