Ten money saving ways to celebrate Christmas sustainably this year

Better for your wallet and the environment

Christmas is fast approaching and whilst many are looking forward to the festive period, it is hard to ignore the impact the cost of living may have on some families this year.

Surrey Environment Partnership have come up with some money saving, planet friendly tips to have a more sustainable Christmas, without breaking the bank.

1. Try to buy wrapping paper and cards that can be recycled. Avoid any that contain glitter, are lined with foil or plastic, and include batteries as they make the paper non-recyclable.

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 the video below for inspiration.

3. Learn more about recycling. Play the Recycle Right waste sorting game Recycle Right to update your recycling knowledge. You can also use the Surrey Recycles search tool Surrey Environment Partnership What to do with an item web page to find out how to recycle where you live.

4. Make your own crackers and decorations out of recyclable materials. You can find lots of great ideas online via Google or Pinterest.

5. Repurpose or recycle your real Christmas tree. If you buy a real Christmas tree why not consider a potted tree? Potted trees are more sustainable as they can live on after the festive season and be planted in the ground to grow to maturity. Don't forget they can also 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 wallet too.

7. Upcycle items that you might otherwise throw away. Creating less waste in the first place is a gift itself. There are 5 Revive re-use shops at Community Recycling Centres in Surrey which sell secondhand items for the home and garden, including holiday decorations and Christmas tree stands. They are a perfect place to pick up extra plates and chairs for your big family meal or quirky items to upcycle into gifts.

Watch the video below on how you can upcycle your glass jars at home.

8. Support local businesses. Buy presents and decorations from zero waste shops in Surrey, you can find a list of businesses on the zero waste shop Surrey web page

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? This is a great tool to help you plan your meals, so you only buy what you need thus reducing waste. Surrey Environment Agency also have some delicious recipes that will transform leftovers into tasty meals and you can always freeze what you might need later.

For more information on recycling visit the Surrey Environment Partnership web page.

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