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Tips for a greener Christmas

Food waste

Christmas can be a costly time of year, and at a time when we spend more, we also seem to waste more.

  • Plan ahead, check how many people are coming and if anyone actually likes cranberry sauce or sprouts!
  • Buy the amount of food you will need and remember leftovers and those ‘just in case’ purchases can be frozen and used later.
  • Plan to have a couple of ‘leftover’ meals or freezer meal days if you need more flexibility in your meal plans, this means you don’t need to feel guilty if you get invited out for Christmas drinks and nibbles and skip dinner that night.
  • There are loads of lovely recipes on for using up leftovers too.
  • Recycle what you can't eat in your kitchen caddy: there's no reason why those turkey bones, brussel sprouts or anything else you couldn't quite finish can't still serve a useful purpose. Remember if you are lining your kitchen caddy using compostable liners, make sure they feature the seedling logo.

Dreaming of a waste-free Christmas?

For top tips to reduce and reuse over the Christmas period: follow us on Twitter @NorthHertsDC to see our favourite ideas, share your best Christmas recipe ideas and reuse ideas.

  • Christmas cards - You can cut off the front of Christmas cards to make gift tags for next year or skip the cards altogether and send an e-card this year.
  • Wrapping paper - Try wrapping gifts in newspaper or tin foil, which are both recyclable, and decorate with reusable ribbon for a modern finish. Or use reusable gift bags. Ordinary wrapping paper can also be re-used.
  • Gifts - Avoid buying gifts with excess packaging and disposable parts such as non-rechargeable batteries. Consider homemade gifts such as chutney, biscuits or truffles and ‘experience’ gifts such as theatre/cinema tickets, spa treatments and activity days or trips instead which have much less waste and don’t add to the clutter.
  • Decorations - Reuse old decorations again with some new homemade / recycled decorations - try Pinterest for some amazing ideas such as Salt Dough tree decorations, popcorn and cranberry tinsel and natural wreaths.

Clearing out the clutter

If you’ve decided to clear out the old toys, books, games, clothes and jewellery you no longer need to find space to put away all your new presents, consider giving good quality items to charity for reuse or sell or giveaway items using online sites.

Electrical items should be taken to your local tip (Household Waste Recycling Centre) to be recycled.

Textiles such as old clothes and shoes can be recycled by putting them in a carrier bag next to your recycling bins on collection day. It’s best to tie the top of the bag to keep the clothes dry.