Tips for the festive season

Tips for the festive season

Here are some top tips to have a more environmentally friendly festive season this year: 

  • Deck the halls with LED lights:  LED lights use much less energy than traditional bulbs and look just as good. Also, switch your lights off during the day when they’re not very bright and before you go to bed - it’s safer and cheaper! 

  • Get creative with your gift wrap: R e-use old magazines, paper shopping bags, or newspapers to wrap up your presents. If you do opt for wrapping paper, look for wrap made from recycled paper and try to avoid metallic, shiny or glitter wrap that can’t be put in the recycling bin.  

  • Ditch the Sellotape: Tape can’t be recycled so try wrapping your gifts with string or ribbon instead. You can even save it and reuse it next Christmas.  

  • Make the most of Christmas dinner leftovers:  It’s easy to buy and cook more food than we can eat at Christmas, but there are many ways to turn your leftovers into delicious meals of their own. You’ll find many ‘Christmas dinner leftover recipes’ online and you can also chop and freeze unused vegetables. 

  • Don’t sweat with your guests:  If you’re expecting guests, try turning the thermostat down a degree or two before they arrive. The extra bodies will give off heat and it will avoid you having to open a window to cool down. 

  • Go for a festive winter walk:  Christmas can be a stressful time, so a free way to unwind or to spend time with family and friends can be to visit a local park or go for a walk. Kent routes and activities for all ages are available at  https://explorekent.org/   

  • Dispose of turkey fat responsibly:  Don’t pour it down the sink! This can lead to blockages. Any grease, fat or oil from cooking should be left to cool and solidify in a container and then disposed of with your usual rubbish or food waste.  

  • Know your recycling!  Mince pie boxes and plastic trays, pie foils, glass bottles & jars, sweet and biscuit tins/tubs, Christmas pudding tubs, tins and cans, Christmas cards and envelopes, gift tags, Christmas crackers (remove the snap first), boxes and packaging can all be recycled, but glittery/shiny wrapping paper, baubles and tinsel cannot, so should be placed in your black bin.  

  • Recycle your Christmas tree:  Real Christmas trees can be recycled, usually at your local recycling centre or with your gardening waste. Check with your local authority for details. If you’ve got an artificial tree you no longer want, you could donate it to charity or check if it can be recycled.  

The Heart of Kent Hospice is running a collection to recycle real Christmas trees again this year from 7-9 January. 

  • Check your bin collection dates:  Normal bin collection days can change over the Christmas period, so be sure to check with the local authority for any changes to avoid a build-up of rubbish. Please make sure you properly break down any large boxes and packaging to avoid bin areas overflowing, and do not block bin chutes with oversized waste.