LED fairy lights

Own your impact this festive season

Green Santa says let’s recycle more and better

It’s easier than you think to do your bit for the planet this Christmas. Simply recycling more of the right things will make a huge difference to the environment and is cheaper for your local council to process than rubbish is.

One of the easiest things to do is avoid buying greeting cards with batteries and glitter and steer clear of wrapping paper with glitter or a lining made of foil or plastic. To stay in Green Santa’s good books this year, you can also:

  • Recycle all your cardboard food packaging.
  • Empty, rinse and dry all plastic food and drink packaging before it goes in your recycling bin – and place all items loose (not bagged).
  • Recycle cardboard delivery and toy boxes and fold them down to make more room in your recycling bin.
  • Place all paper cards, envelopes and wrapping (that are glitter, foil and plastic free) in your recycling bin. Keep bows and ribbons and reuse them on other gifts!
  • Place unrecyclable items such as hard plastic storage boxes, polystyrene, bubble wrap, and flexible plastic film in your rubbish bin. If in doubt, look up items on the Surrey Recycles search tool or download the free app where you’ll also see information about local recycling schemes for some of the above items that you can’t recycle at home.
  • Plan food shops and party food in advance and freeze any cooked or uncooked food you didn’t get around to eating. Have you ever tried a food shopping app?
  • Get creative with your leftovers, try some of our delicious recipes.
  • Put food that can’t be eaten, like bones, eggshells and peelings into your food caddy.
  • Remember that if your gifts replace old items like clothes and small electricals and batteries, they need to be recycled separately, not placed in your recycling bin – in most areas they are collected weekly. Find out what you need to do in your area with the Surrey Recycles search tool or download the free app.
  • Look for places where you can recycle your Christmas tree, or replant and reuse next year. If you subscribe to your garden waste collection service, you can cut up your tree and place in the garden waste bin.

Ten money-saving ways to celebrate sustainably this year

Most of us are looking forward to the festive period but let’s face it, the cost of everything has gone up. If you’re committed to a ‘green’ and planet friendly celebration, we have ten ways you can save money and the planet this Christmas.

1. Only buy wrapping paper and cards that can be recycled. Avoid any that contain glitter, are lined with foil or plastic, and include batteries.

2. Homemade wrapping paper, cards and decorations like wreaths, are a great alternative. This approach will save you cash and you can recycle afterwards. Have you considered wrapping presents in material instead of paper? Watch our short ‘how to’ film.

3. Recycle more and better. Play our waste sorting game to update your recycling knowledge; try the Surrey Recycles search tool or app to find out how to recycle where you live.

4. Make your own crackers and decorations out of recyclable materials. There are lots of great ideas online.

5. Choose a real Christmas tree. They can be recycled in some areas or taken to your local community recycling centre.

6. Repair or re-wear festive jumpers – or buy them second-hand. Avoiding fast fashion is a sustainable choice and it’s easier on your finances too.

7. Upcycle items that you might otherwise throw away. Creating less waste in the first place is a gift itself. Watch our film for inspiration.

8. Support local businesses. Buy presents and decorations from zero waste shops in Surrey – see details below.

9. Choose LED fairy lights. They use far less energy than filament light bulbs and are cheaper. To keep your energy bills lower, consider only switching on lights in the room that you’re in to save energy costs.

10. Plan your festive food shopping to avoid over buying. Have you tried using a food shopping app? We have some delicious recipes that will transform leftovers into tasty meals and you can always freeze what you might need later.

Zero-waste shops in Surrey

It’s easy to think doing any of these things won’t make a difference, but lots of small changes will make a big impact!