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Be an eco-elf this Christmas by Thinking Green!

Press Release: 08/12/2023

Food waste

THIS Christmas, Tameside Council are encouraging residents to not only save their pockets but also save the planet by thinking green and recycling and upcycling where they can.

There are many opportunities for residents to do what is best for the environment, whether that be recycling a real Christmas tree, zero-waste gifts or saving energy this winter.

When choosing your Christmas tree, whether this be real or artificial, it is important to consider how it will be reused, or how and when it will be disposed of.

Artificial Christmas trees are more environmentally friendly, as they can be reused between seven and 20 years after purchase. They can also be disposed of at your local recycling centre, but remember to remove the decorations and lights. Lights will need to be disposed of with the electrical items. Alternatively, you could donate to your local charity shop.

However, if opting for a real tree with roots, these can be potted in the garden for most of year and brought inside to decorate just in time for the festivities. As a result, this will spread the carbon footprint over several years and avoid transport emissions.

Willow Wood Hospice have also collaborated with Tameside Council to offer a service to you, to recycle your real Christmas tree. Residents must be registered by Wednesday 3 January 2024.

The next step to decorating a tree would be adding the lights. It is recommended to make the switch to LED lights, as they use around 80% less power and last longer.

On the day, most Christmas crackers and the gifts tucked up inside them end up unused and in the bin. An alternative idea for dinnertime entertainment is to have trivia quiz cards and jokes, which can be reused year after year.

Or, see this video for how to make Christmas crackers from scratch, these can then be recycled in the paper and card bin after use. Gift tags for your presents can also be made at home, which adds a personalised and saves money.

Additionally, wrapping paper can be recycled in the paper and card bin, as long as it doesn’t contain glitter, foil or sticky tape. When unsure do the scrunch test, if when scrunched into a ball it remains a ball, this can be recycled.

When planning presents, zero-waste gifts could include plants or flowers, an old jar filled to the top with treats, homemade jam or chutney, a reusable coffee cup or water bottle, second-hand gifts, digital gifts (such as cinema tickets and e-books) or an experience. To check out what’s going on in Tameside you can download the Discover App here.

On the other hand, you could walk into your local town centre and support local businesses. For inspiration of where to shop in Tameside, take a look at the Christmas Window Trail.

On the topic of food waste, in the UK 4.2 million Christmas dinners are wasted each year, this can be reduced by using leftovers to make additional dinners such as, turkey curry, festive sandwiches, soup and much more!

Tameside Council Executive Member for Climate Emergency & Environmental Services, Cllr Denise Ward said: “To have all of these top tips on how to be more environmentally friendly this Christmas is wonderful. With there being so many ways and alternatives, without it having an impact on how we spend Christmas is inspirational.

“I would encourage all residents to save the planet and your pockets where you can so we can work together to Think Green and help the environment we so heavily rely on.”

For more top tips on how to reduce waste and save money click here for Think Green and here for 10 ways to save energy this festive season.

Reuseable Tableware

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