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, Dacorum Borough Council has produced some handy tips to help you 'reduce, reuse and recycle'.
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 8000 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 go to landfill which could have been recycled!
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!
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: www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
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 and 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)
For more information on Christmas recycling visit: www.dacorum.gov.uk/christmasrecycling
For more information on recycling, visit www.dacorum.gov.uk/recycling or call 01442 228000 and ask for Waste Services.
For more information please contact Dacorum Borough Council's communications team