News & Insights

Read and share Parliament Hill insights and news on the tips, trends, and key developments we’ve identified for benefit management and member satisfaction.

Cremating a turkey or a meat free alternative

As part of our ‘Have yourself a sustainable Christmas’ series, we look at how you can celebrate Christmas in a more sustainable way

It’s great to have the whole family together at Christmas, in fact the Carbon Trust suggest the more the merrier at Christmas (reducing the heating bill and use of the oven). But, how can you make more sustainable decisions for your festive menu?

Food Waste

Try to cut any waste by planning ahead. Be realistic about how much food you need and make a plan in advance on how you can use up leftovers. The Soil Association estimates that there are 5 million puddings, 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies going to waste each Christmas. Click through to their website to check-out some of their ‘Zero-waste’ festive favourites from Brussel Sprout Sauerkraut to a Sweetcorn and Turkey Chowder .

Seasonal products

Buy seasonal products, locally produced if possible (the Campaign to Protect Rural England , defines ‘local’ as within 30 miles of where you live). This will reduce the energy spent growing foods out of season as well as the transport of the food from farm to your fork. Here are three helpful websites to help you find what it available to you locally;

  • UK Farm Shop Guide – Search the UK Farm Shop Guide to find your closest farm shop.
  • Also, take a look at your local National Trust properties to see if they have a local produce shop available to you.
  • The BBC Good Food website has a useful ‘Seasonal Calendar’, so you can check the seasonality of your favourite fruit and veg.

Meat-free Christmas

Animal Aid estimate that the carbon footprint of a vegan diet can by as much as 60% less than a meat-based one, and up to 24% smaller than a vegetarian diet. There are many more options available now from both specialist shops and also the bigger supermarket chains. So, if this is something that you would like to try then here are some recipe and meal-planning suggestions;

  • Animal Aid provide a useful summary of the Vegan Christmas options available through the supermarkets each year, click here to see the Christmas 2023 summary.
  • Our own brand partner Planty, has a Vegan Christmas Box for 2 available.
  • BBC Good Food has over a 100 Vegan Christmas recipes available for free on its website – click here to find out more.

There are plenty of ways to be sustainable through the festive period. You don’t have to do all of these things, just remember that every little helps and have a very Merry Christmas!

If you have any tips to share on how you have made your Christmas more sustainable, then we would love to hear from you.


Christmas is such a magical time of year for all the family and an excuse for family and friends to get together and celebrate. We wish all of our clients, partners, staff and soon-to-be clients a fantastic Christmas and New Year.
To read the other Blogs in our ‘Have yourself a sustainable Christmas’ series including; ‘5 ½ things that you could do to make Christmas 2023 more sustainable’ and ‘Gifting sustainably this Christmas’ click here .



Josh Defty is the Development Manager at Parliament Hill. He is a keen foodie and part of our Sustainability group.
Parliament Hill have been on their Sustainability Journey since the beginning of 2020. Since then, we have become Green Mark Level 3 accredited, launched a sustainability hub for our clients’ members. and updated our internal policy to enable our team to work more sustainably. To see more, visit ‘Our Sustainability Journey’

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