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Eco-Tips for the Christmas Leftovers - Part 1

Last updated: 01/12/23


At Go Ape being environmentally responsible is very important to us; regularly litter picking our sites, selecting our materials responsibly, and even choosing carefully what we use to clean the toilet. That’s got us thinking, how can we apply the same principle to all of the Christmas ‘stuff’ that we’ve got laying around?

We’ve come up with some helpful ideas to tackle all of the Christmas leftovers and do our best for the environment, plus a few of ideas to involve the kids!

Part one is all about food, wrapping paper and cards, part two features eco-tips for Christmas trees and New Year’s sales.



Around 10 million Turkeys are eaten at Christmas each year in the UK, and according to the Bank of England each household spends an average of an extra 20% on food in December compared to other months. Think about what’s sitting uneaten in your fridge and then multiply it for the country. That’s a lot of waste!

Christmas turkey in roasting dish

1. Composting 

First up, raw fruit and veg! We’ve all been a little overzealous when shopping for sprouts, or maybe not, but any uncooked veggies that you just can’t bring yourself to eat are suitable for the compost.

The same goes for the peelings too! Make sure you read up on the best ways to compost at home as the process can take some months or longer.  A little prep reading can go long way. Here’s a starting point.

2. Re-inventing Christmas Leftovers 

What about the cooked stuff? We suggest shooting over to the BBC Good Food, click the search function in the top right corner and search ‘Christmas Leftovers’.

This throws up over 100 suggestions for recipes using Christmas leftovers.

Christmas Pud Ice Cream

Of all the Christmas leftover recipes on the BBC Good Food website, the simplest must be this one for Christmas Pud Ice Cream.

  • 1 litre tub vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
  • 200g leftover Christmas pudding, crumbled
  • Toffee sauce or amaretto, to serve


Whizz the ice cream in a food processor until smooth, fold in the Christmas pudding and scrape into a freezer-proof container. Freeze for at least 2 hrs then scoop into bowls and top with the toffee sauce or amaretto.

Simply smash up some leftover Christmas pudding, mix with vanilla ice cream and pop it back in the freezer until it’s ready to eat. Delicious!

Wrapping paper and cards

Colourful reels of wrapping paper
In the UK we buy enough Christmas wrapping paper each year to go around the world 22 times!


We also throw away 1.5 billion Christmas cards - hopefully into the recycling bin!

Please remember that dyed, printed and glossy papers and card shouldn’t go into the compost.

Find out more about recyling all kinds of paper the right way at home.

Top Tips to prevent Christmas Wrapping paper and cards waste


  • Christmas cards can be cut up to make gift tags for the following year. Make sure to recycle the parts that you’re not saving.

  • If your wrapping paper is still in good condition don't throw it away! Tuck it away in the Christmas cupboard and use it again next year.

  • Cut the wrapping paper into strips ready to make paper chains the following Christmas.

  • Get your kids' creativity flowing by making a Christmas collage from cut up cards and pieces of wrapping paper.

Eco-Tips for the Christmas Leftovers Part 2

Discover eco-tips on how to re-use, re-cycle and dispose of Christmas trees as well as sustainable post-Christmas shopping habits.

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Snow dusted fir plants with orange decoration

Discover fun adventures this winter

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Young boy in grey jumper on Go Ape Treetop Adventure