There is a good chance that the festive season will leave you with mountains of wrapping paper, heaps of extra food and online deliveries piling up on the doormat. But by following our 12 green tips of Christmas, you can avoid getting a lump of coal in your stocking for any bad Yuletide habits and help the planet at the same time…
Wrap up well
Look at alternatives to wrapping your presents using materials that usually cannot be recycled, such as metallic and glittery materials. Use fabric, recycled paper and re-used gift bags instead.
Give friends and family a personalised gift by making your own presents. It is greener, far better for your wallet and home-made gift might even mean more to the receiver.
Green decorations for your Christmas tree
Choose decorations that can be reused rather than flimsy ones that will be used once and thrown away. Also, use energy efficient lights where possible.
Support local businesses by shopping close to home as an alternative to making long car trips and ordering online.
Say no to fast fashion
Fast fashion focuses on quantity and speed over quality and sustainability – all at a high cost to the planet. This Christmas, take your pick from charity shops and vintage boutiques, some of which are now online.
Cut food waste
Plan ahead when considering your Christmas menu to prepare better and cut the amount of food that is left over and thrown away. There are plenty of delicious dishes that can be made from leftover food and ingredients as an alternative to chucking it in the bin. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste campaign website for some helpful advice and tips.
Check your revised collection day
Your normal rubbish and recycling collection days will change over the Christmas period. Make sure your waste gets collected by leaving it out on the right day.
Clear up and save space
Make sure all food is cleared out of card, paper and plastic packaging before recycling to avoid contamination. You can also flatten cardboard boxes to save room in your recycling bin.
Recycle your Christmas tree
Dispose of your tree in an environmentally friendly way by using a recycling drop-off point, which will be running in some local parks. Alternatively, leave it out with your black refuse bin on your collection day to ensure it is recycled.
Send an e-card instead
Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of card are used for Christmas cards every year in the UK. Send e-cards to friends and relatives instead to reduce this staggering amount.
Make a difference to someone else
Pass on any unwanted presents on to your local charity shop rather than throwing them away – there is sure to be someone who will value them.
Think big for your party
Planning a party? Buy food and drinks in large containers, rather than a lot of small ones and avoid using throwaway plates and cups.
Tackling climate crisis: ‘Small changes can make a big difference’
Councillor Deirdre Costigan, the council’s cabinet member for climate action said: “Climate crisis is something none of us can ignore and even small changes – like following some of these tips for a greener Christmas – can make a big difference as we tackle this enormous challenge and continue to make Ealing a better place to live.
“Seasonal celebrations inevitably lead to more household waste so please check your collection dates over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays as they will be different to your usual ones.”
- The holiday season also means changes to rubbish and recycling collections across the borough. Visit the council’s website to check your collection days.
- The council is once again giving residents a helping hand to recycle their Christmas tree once the festive season draws to a close.