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Environment Matters: Getting Rid of Christmas Waste

29 November 2021

#ValleysMag |

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Reduce your Christmas Waste

During the festive period, waste increases due to all the extra food, gifts, and packaging. This year, consider making small changes to help the environment and save money. Check out our top tips on how you can reduce your waste and make a difference this Christmas:

Christmas Cards:
  • Why not consider donating to a charity close to your heart instead of buying and sending Christmas cards? Let those who you would typically send cards to know that you’re supporting a charity this Christmas and you’ll be reducing your waste too.
  • As we all continue to move more towards digital options, you could send E-Cards to loved ones this Christmas. You will be saving money, reducing waste, and still spreading the Christmas spirit.
  • If you like to save old Christmas cards and have some available to use, get creative and make your own cards to send. Making your own cards will give them a more personal touch and you’ll be helping to recycle and reduce your waste.
  • If you do buy cards to send or receive cards, make sure they are recyclable or recycle them where possible. Most cards can be recycled but you may need to remove additional features such as plastic, glitter or ribbons that are attached before recycling.
  • Are you in need of new Christmas decorations? Get the family involved with creating your own, such as paper chains, tree ornaments, displays and more. You’ll be reducing your waste and the decorations will be more sentimental than shop bought. Check out our Christmas Snow Globes craft, a great decoration.
  • If you have a real Christmas tree, ensure that you dispose of it correctly and that it gets recycled. Visit your local council website to book in your slot and for more information.
  • Using natural decorations is a great way to save money and help save on waste as once Christmas is over, you can place them back outside where they will decompose. Get outside and look for pinecones, holly, and mistletoe to add a little bit of Winter into your home.
  • Switching your Christmas lights to LED lights and placing them on a timer or ensuring to switch off when not in use is not only a good way to keep you and your family safe, but it will also help you to save money and electric.
  • If you have a gift lying around from a previous occasion that you have no use for, you can always re-gift it to someone who may use it more or donate it to a charity shop so that it can get used rather than ending up in the bin.
  • Many charity shops have items that have not been used and are in original packaging, which make great gifts at Christmas. Not only will you be saving money, but you’ll be supporting the shop and giving an item a new lease of life.
  • A gift doesn’t need to be a physical item, you could gift an experience for someone to create memories instead. From days out, tickets to a show, relaxing break or once in a lifetime experience, there are plenty of ideas to choose from.
  • Host a Secret Santa by getting a group of friends or family involved. Set a budget, everyone selects a name at random and buys for that one person. You’ll save money, reduce unnecessary waste, everyone receives a gift, and it creates a great guessing game of who bought the gift.
  • Get creative and make handmade gifts for your friends and family this Christmas. You’ll be saving money and creating a personal gift that is more special than a shop bought item. Check out our Christmas Snow Globes craft that would make a great gift or our What’s Cooking Hot Choc Stirrers, some homemade sweet treats that can be given as gifts, if you don’t eat them all!
Wrapping Paper:
  • If you’re buying wrapping paper to wrap Christmas gifts, check what it is made from as many include plastic coatings or glitter detailing that prevents it from being recycled. Look out for the recycling logo on the packaging to help with your waste this Christmas.
  • Get creative with what you use to wrap your Christmas gifts. Try using brown paper, fabric, newspaper, or magazines to wrap up gifts that can be recycled or reused after using. Use string to tie gifts and cut up old Christmas cards to be re-used as gift tags. You’ll be saving money too.
Food Waste:
  • Making a shopping list and only buying what you need will help to reduce your food waste this Christmas and prevent overspending on items that will not be consumed.
  • Re-use your Christmas leftovers for other meals such as one-pot dishes, soups, sandwiches, pies and more. Store your leftovers in your fridge for no more than two days or pop into the freezer. Freeze food before the use by dates or ensure cooked food is cooled correctly and placed in the freezer, labelled with a date. NHS has more information on storing food safely, here:
  • Any food waste that you do have, if you’re not using it for composting, ensure you recycle it using your food waste bins.
Getting Rid of your Christmas Waste

This Christmas, ensure you recycle your Christmas waste where possible to help make a difference. Recycling and bin collection days may differ due to Christmas hours, you can find out more information on your Christmas collection days by visiting your local council website: or

This story is from the Winter 2021 issue of our Trivallis Valleys Magazine. To read the full issue, visit our Valleys Magazine page.