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Have yourself a green Christmas


Christmas may be the season to be jolly, but it's also the least eco-friendly time of year, with an extra 30 per cent of waste created each festive season.

To help you have a green Christmas without being a Grinch, we've produced some handy tips to help you reduce, reuse and recycle.

Sensible shopping

Last-minute Christmas shopping can be stressful, with poorly picked presents likely to be thrown away. Plan ahead to make sure you select the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Choose presents with durability so that they can be enjoyed again and again. Also, don't forget to take your reusable shopping bags out with you.

Green gift ideas

  • Go reusable - reusable bottles, coffee cups and lunch boxes make excellent presents. They can be used all year long and can save your loved one money, as well as helping to save the environment.
  • The gift of time – create some memories together and give your loved one a ticket to a show, event, dinner or a getaway instead of an item they might not use.
  • Get thrifty - second-hand stores can be gold mines for finding the perfect present, and can be much cheaper, too.
  • Get crafty – can anything beat a gift that has been lovingly hand made?

That's a wrap

Over 8,000 tonnes of wrapping paper is used in the UK each Christmas – that's enough to wrap around the equator nine times!

  • Give presents in reusable gift boxes, bags or cloth instead of using gift wrap
  • If you do buy gift wrap and send cards, choose paper that is made of recycled materials and with no glitter so that it can be recycled afterwards.
  • Each year, one billion festive cards that could have been recycled end up in landfill.
  • Send e-greetings instead through social media and email.
  • Reuse decorations you already have, buy second-hand instead of new, or even make your own with friends and family – which will make Christmas extra special.

Festive feasts

Don't end up with food leftovers after the festive period is over. Design a meal plan and then write a list of the ingredients so that you only buy what you need. For tips on planning perfect portions, correct storage or how to love your leftovers visit the Love Food, Hate Waste website

'Tis the season to recycle…

  • On the big day, be prepared, have a recycling bag at the ready when it is time to swap presents for any gift wrap or recyclable packaging.
  • Make sure all of your guests know which one is the recycling bin and what can go in it.
  • Recycle all food waste in your food caddies, not your grey bin. This includes cooked or raw vegetables, bones and skins, plate scrapings, tea bags, egg shells, etc. Top tip: You can line your kitchen caddy with any soft plastic bag, compostable liner or newspaper.

Festive recycling guide

In your blue-lidded bin you can recycle:

  • Condiment jars (rinsed out).
  • Sweet tins and biscuit tubs and trays.
  • Aluminium foil sweet wrappers, mince pie cases and trays - try to recycle aluminium foil in a tennis ball-sized lump if possible.
  • Food, drink and aerosol cans (empty).
  • Cartons (such as Tetra Pak).
  • Plastic and glass bottles
  • Wrapping paper and greetings cards (without glitter or 3D decorations)
  • Cardboard packaging

More information