Have yourself a merry but sustainable Christmas

The temperature has dropped, and Christmas is officially ‘just round the corner’. But following COP26, I find myself trying striving for a more sustainable Christmas – using less plastic, producing less waste, and doing more recycling.

Rent a Christmas tree

Between 6 to 8 million Christmas trees are sold in the UK every year. If not reused or recycled, these trees end up in landfill, with a cost to both the environment and the tax payer - of around £22 million!*. For this reason, my journey to an eco-Yuletide had me considering a rented Christmas Tree instead.

The concept is pretty straight forward - you receive a tree in year one and look after it over the festive period. It is then collected by the company, replanted and returned to you the following year.

It is much greener than buying and disposing of a new tree each year and, what's more, you contribute to much less pollution and can improve your carbon footprint, as the trees only travel from the farm to your home, and back again.

There are, of course, other ways that you can have a more sustainable festive period. From using recycled wrapping paper and crackers, supporting small and local businesses, and sending e-cards.

Below are some of the funds, that are investing in a sustainable Christmas', which you might want to add to your Christmas list.

Recycled wrapping paper

Consumers in the UK will use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year, with the average household using four rolls** – enough to wrap the island of Guernsey! Over 83km2 of this will end up in our bins**.

You may have seen that supermarkets are now offering recyclable, or eco-friendly wrapping paper, and many have started to ditch the cellophane wrapping to go with it.

Chelsea Selection’s IFSL Marlborough Multi Cap Income fund has a holding in Mondi PLC*** and ASI UK Ethical has a holding in DS Smith**** – both industry leaders in sustainable packaging, recycling and paper products.

LF Montanaro Better World also invests in paper and packaging, and Rathbone Greenbank Global Sustainability invests in recycling products, while Schroder Recovery - also from the Chelsea Selection - invests in Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s****.

Supporting small businesses

Many smaller businesses have suffered during COVID, so now is a great time to support them. Platforms like Etsy allow small businesses to reach more people and sell more goods.

Through our holding in Granahan US Focused Growth, VT Chelsea Managed Aggressive Growth has a holding in Etsy****.

American Express, a holding in Ninety One Global Special Situations****, is also playing its part: for the nineth year, it is promoting its ‘Shop Small’ offer, rewarding card holders who purchase from local businesses.


And finally, why not take your Christmas card list digital? Sending e-cards to friends and family not only produces less waste, but you also don't need to rely on the post and meeting those Christmas deadlines either.

Moonpig.com, a holding in Liontrust Special Situations**** on the Chelsea Core Selection and ASI UK Ethical****, offers this service.

The company has done well during the pandemic as demand for cards and personalised gifts ordered online has grown substantially and, by using data to predict consumer preferences, it has managed to position itself as an e-commerce player rather than just an online card retailer 

*Source: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, January 2020.
**Source: GWP Group, Christmas Packaging Facts 2021
***Source: FE fundinfo, full portfolio listing, 31 August 2021
****Source: FE funfinfo, full portfolio listing and fund factsheet, 31 October 2021

Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. You may not get back the amount originally invested, and tax rules can change over time. The views expressed are those of Juliet and do not constitute financial advice. The mention of specific securities is for illustration purposes only and not a recommendation to buy or sell.

Published on 06/12/2021