We’re dreaming of a greener Christmas

Gloucestershire County Council Press Release – 8 November 2021

A campaign is being launched today to encourage residents to waste less over the festive season to help make it a #greenerchristmas.

County Council’s waste team, in partnership with district councils, is asking people to make ‘greener’ choices this year to reduce the impact Christmas waste has on the environment.

The campaign will focus on four key areas – food waste, gifts, trees and traditional items such as advent calendars and Christmas crackers. The advice includes:

Food waste

  • Meal plan for Christmas – decide what meals and treats you are going to cook, write a list of the ingredients you need and then keep to that list when shopping. This will help to avoid buying extra food which may get wasted at home.
  • Make the most of your leftovers to save food from going to waste by trying some low waste recipes.
  • Buy local this year and plastic free where possible, to reduce single use plastic waste and your carbon footprint.

Gifts

  • £42 million of unwanted gifts are discarded in the UK every year, so buy presents thoughtfully and try to ensure they will be well received.
  • Why not gift something sustainable? Perhaps something for the garden to encourage home grown veg or more wildlife. And a tree is not just for Christmas!

Trees

  • Consider what is the most sustainable tree for you. Artificial trees have a higher carbon footprint than real trees, but if you keep an artificial tree for 10 years its carbon footprint would be less in the long-term.
  • If you go for a real tree, rentable ones are available which are already grown and potted for you to take home before returning after the festive period. If you choose a traditional cut tree, try to get one which is local and sustainably grown and dispose of it correctly after Christmas, via a tree collection or your garden waste bin if allowed by your district council.

Traditional items

  • More sustainable, recyclable and reusable options are available for traditional items such as advent calendars, crackers and home decorations.
  • You could make your own foraged door wreath, get a reusable advent calendar or make your own, and opt for plastic free or recyclable Christmas crackers.

You can find out more about the campaign by visiting www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershire-recycles/reduce/greener-christmas and looking out for #greenerchristmas on social media.

Cllr David Gray, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “With Christmas approaching we would really like to encourage residents to think about ways of reducing their waste and choosing more sustainable options to help the environment.

“Following some of these simple steps, whether it’s cutting back on food waste, choosing the right tree or making your own decorations, can make a big difference – so why not make it a #greenerchristmas and help us to achieve our target of a carbon neutral county.”