Tips For A Greener Christmas

December 19, 2023

Here are just a few ideas of how to avoid waste and reduce your carbon footprint this Christmas.

Real or fake trees – the age-old question. In terms of carbon it’s much better to go for a real one as long as it is disposed of correctly after Christmas, by wood-chipping, burning or better still – replanting. Amersham Town Council has a tree collection scheme, and can turn your tree into mulch, for the benefit of our local environment. See https://amersham-tc.gov.uk/christmas-tree-recycling-3/

227,000 miles of wrapping paper is used each year in the UK. That’s enough to go around the world nine times. We can reduce our impact by choosing recycled and recyclable options, or reusing what has already been given instead of buying more. Make sure that anything you can’t save for next year goes straight into the recycling bin (unless it’s glittery or plasticised).

13350 tonnes of glass is sent to landfill during December and January every year. Recycling all that glass would save about 4,200 tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to taking 1,300 cars off the road for a year.

An extravagant lighting display can cost as much as £210 to power for 12 days over Christmas. The good news is that LED lights use about 90% less energy than incandescent and last much longer too.

The Christmas season generates a huge amount of plastic waste, with an additional 125,000 tonnes collected in January bins. That’s five times heavier than the Statue of Liberty. We can all reduce our personal plastic footprint – gifting items without plastic packaging, buying loose fruit and veg, refilling detergents and recycling whenever you can. It takes a lot less energy and natural resources to recycle than to manufacture from raw materials. Read more about recycling here: https://amersham-tc.gov.uk/dont-throw-away-recycle-today/

From cans of drink to mince pie casing, we use a lot of extra aluminium over Christmas. Manufacturing new aluminium is a very energy and carbon intensive process, but producing it from recycled materials uses 95% less energy. While cans normally make it into the recycling, smaller bits of foil often don’t. It helps to make sure that the foil is free from crumbs and food and scrunch items together into as big a ball as possible before placing it into the recycling.

Not forgetting all that food we tuck into. You can make Vegan Wellington for your roast: https://veganhuggs.com/vegan-wellington/  Or how about mince pies? https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/vegan-mince-pies. Not forgetting the Christmas cake: https://www.thevegspace.co.uk/recipe-the-ultimate-vegan-christmas-cake/

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