LED fairy lights

Reduce, reuse and recycle your way through the festive season

Did you know that Santa is going green again this Christmas? The festive season is the perfect time to think about our environmental impact and it’s easy to give a gift to the planet as well as your loved ones.

During and after Christmas

Follow Green Santa’s top tips for a greener Christmas:

  1. Choose cards and wrapping paper that can be recycled (leave anything with batteries, glitter or wrapping that is foil or plastic lined on the shelf).
  2. Plan your festive food in advance and freeze any cooked or uncooked food you didn’t get around to eating.
  3. Plan your food shopping using an app.
  4. Get creative with your leftovers and try out some new recipes.
  5. Put any food that can’t be eaten, like bones, egg shells and peelings into your food caddy to be recycled.

Make sure you stay on Santa’s nice list by recycling:

  • Empty mince pie, chocolate and biscuit boxes
  • Cardboard delivery and toy boxes
  • Magazines
  • Envelopes
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Drinks cans and food tins
  • Mince pie foil cases
  • Cards and wrapping paper (that are glitter, foil, plastic and battery free)
  • Christmas trees (these can be taken to your local community recycling centre or collected from your home if you subscribe to the garden waste collection.)

Check what else you can recycle this festive season by using our search tool or download the Surrey Recycles app.

Christmas prep

If you’d like to make more eco-conscious choices, save money, and maybe try your hand at some new activities during lockdown/coronavirus restrictions, here are some great ideas for your prep.

1. Only buy wrapping paper and cards that can be recycled

  • Avoid glitter, anything lined with foil or plastic or with batteries because they cannot be recycled.
  • Some supermarkets and well-known brands have dropped glitter from their products this year, so it is easier than ever to buy recyclable options online – or in-store if it is open during the lockdown period. Many charities are selling recyclable cards online too.

2. Try making your own wrapping paper

  • Watch our short ‘how to’ film.

3. Make your own crackers

  • You can fill with non-plastic toys so they can be recycled easily.
  • Plenty of recyclable cracker-making kits are available online.

4. Choose a real Christmas tree

  • You can recycle Christmas trees in some areas of Surrey.
  • Alternatively take it along to your local community recycling centre.
  • Or if you’re a garden waste customer you can cut up your tree and place in your garden waste bin for collection.

5. Reboot your festive jumper!

  • Share the joy and swap your festive jumpers with friends/family in your household or support bubble.
  • Or simply rewear your own jumper.
  • If it’s a bit holey why not repair it, there are lots of tips here.

6. Upcycle and reuse

  • Upcycle items that you might otherwise throw away. It’s fun, it’ll save you money and is a great way to stay busy during lockdown.
  • You can offer as original gifts.
  • Or use as festive decorations.

7. Choose energy-saving LED fairy lights

  • They use far less energy than filament light bulbs.

8. Buy from local zero-waste shops 

The following shops are based in Surrey and most offer online shopping and so even if they have to close during lockdown you can still support a local business: