It is nearly December and as the temperature is finally beginning to drop, the countdown to Christmas begins for many. With soaring costs and pressure to make Christmas still feel special, it can be hard to make environmentally friendly choices too. Over the next few weeks we will be posting a short series of blogs with tips on how to have a low waste, eco-conscious Christmas starting with Christmas Prep.

As you get those boxes of decorations out and blow off the dust, have a good look at what you’ve got. The most environmentally friendly decorations are the ones you already own. If you really want some new decorations look for those made of natural materials or try your hand at making some. A DIY advent calendar is a great option too. You could include Christmas activities, random acts of kindness and the odd chocolate coin of course.

Do you wrap your presents as you go, or do you leave it all until Christmas Eve? There are lots of ways to reduce our waste with wrapping. Reuse the gift bags you’ve stashed away ‘just in case’ or use fabric and a ribbon which can then be used again. You could keep it simple with newspaper or the brown packaging paper that comes with certain online orders. Colourful paper ribbon or twine instead of plastic or foil bows can help jazz things up. Paper tape is also becoming increasingly available and is just as good as plastic. Don’t forget to check if your paper is recyclable and dispose of it appropriately. Christmas cards and wrapping paper that have glitter on them cannot be recycled. If you have a compost bin and the paper has no metallic or plastic paint, throw it in there.

Our last tip for this week is around Christmas cards… Do you send Christmas cards, or do you think they are a waste of paper? For many there is something sentimental about sending a Christmas card, but the environmental impact can be huge. If you aren’t ready to stop just yet, maybe cut down the list a little and try to choose cards which are made from recycled paper. Many charities rely on Christmas time for donations. You could buy your cards from your chosen charity or make a direct donation instead.
We hope you have found these tips helpful.

Please email: environment.strategy@rother.gov.uk if you have any other ideas.

In the next tip we will be talking about gifting.