Twelve tips for a green Christmas

Cookie dough cut as the shape of arrows of recycling

Broadland District and South Norfolk Councils are encouraging residents to go green this Christmas with some festive top tips for reducing, reusing and recycling.

South Norfolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Clean and Safe Environment, Councillor Graham Minshull, said:

“Christmas is all about excess, we eat more, drink more, buy more and of course unwrap presents and cards. All this creates much more waste than usual, in fact about 30% more for an average household, but with a little bit of planning and by following our tips this figure can be dramatically reduced.”

Broadland District Council’s Portfolio holder for Environmental Excellence Councillor Judy Leggett, said:

“The best way to reduce waste is not to generate it in the first place, but if that’s not possible, you can put a lot of your Christmas waste in your recycle bin. Many people don’t realise that you can recycle clean aluminium baking trays used to cook turkeys, plastic sweet trays, biscuit boxes and inner trays, and mince pie packaging including the box, plastic tray and foil tins. You can even recycle the foil from chocolate Santas and chocolate coins, and even your old advent calendars can go in your recycle bin if you separate the plastic insert, foil, and cardboard box. So have a great Christmas and use our tips to make sure it’s a green one too!”

Take a look at some of our favourite green tips that we can all use this Christmas.

  1. Plan ahead and buy only the food and drink you will need for Christmas and the New Year. When shopping around for deals, search for the ‘half price’ stickers, rather than ‘buy one get one free’ to avoid accumulating extras that will end up wasted.
  2. Find recipes that use leftover items from Christmas to save on money and waste. Head to Love Food Hate Waste for recipe suggestions.
  3. Consider sending e-cards, it’s much cheaper for you and better for the environment.
  4. If you’re not sure if your wrapping paper can be recycled, give it a scrunch. Unless it springs back into shape, you can recycle it.
  5. Compost your real Christmas tree at any of Norfolk County Council’s Recycling Centres. Find your local Recycling Centre or providing it fits put it in your brown bin.
  6. Consider gifts which don’t have excess packaging and where packaging is unavoidable don’t forget to recycle as much as you can in your recycling bin and use reusable or recyclable gift wrap.
  7. If you’re inviting company round this Christmas, remember to have a recycling bin and a separate rubbish bin for your guests to use and ensure that all recycling is clean, dry and loose.
  8. Avoid purchasing disposable items such as plastic cutlery and paper plates.
  9. Buy loose fruit and vegetables, preferably in season, and only buy what you need. When all the work is done you can compost your peelings in your home composter or your food waste bin in some Broadland areas.
  10. Hold on to your Christmas cards and use these to make gift tags or new cards for next year. Remember, most non-glittery cards can also be recycled in your recycle bin.
  11. Donate any old toys, games, or clothes to charity shops or find a new home for them through your local Freecycle Group.
  12. Remember to make the best use of your local recycling centres. Some towns and villages may have their own recycling banks to provide additional recycling capacity for glass, textiles, books and CDs.

If you are unsure about what can and can’t be recycled in South Norfolk or Broadland, please visit our what goes in your recycling bin page.

To find out when your bins will be collected over the festive period, visit our Christmas bin collection dates page

Published: 14 December 2021