Have yourself a sustainable little Christmas

Christmas for everyone will be a little different this year, but it is also an opportunity to reduce waste, save money and be kind to the environment along the way.

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport, and Environment, said: “Christmas can traditionally be a time of excess, but we can have an equally good time whilst taking simple steps to reduce wasted food and packaging by planning ahead as we shop. We are asking people to remember that extra items bought over the holiday period can be recycled, such as empty biscuit tins, plain brown wrapping paper can be recycled, but wrapping paper with foil or glitter cannot be recycled. It’s also better for the household budget to plan meals and use up leftovers rather than buy too much food only to end up throwing some of it away.

“This year more than ever we have been doing a lot of our Christmas shopping online, so if people end up with extra packaging and their own recycling bin is full, remember that lots of items can be still taken to the nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC). Please take empty glass bottles to local bottle banks or use your kerbside glass collection service where this is available.”

Hampshire County Council’s Smart Living initiative has some great tips to reduce Christmas waste and save money.

These include:
• Try using second hand fabric such as scarves or other textiles to make reusable wrapping paper. You can tie it in place with ribbon or string so that every element can be used again.
• Are you planning to buy Christmas presents from local businesses this year? There are zero waste shops all over Hampshire where you can pick up presents with less waste, here in Andover we have the Love and Joy shop at The Cafe, The Fairground Craft Centre, Weyhill. Many local businesses offer delivery options too.
• Did you know that glitter can be harmful to the environment? Glitter is a microplastic and unless managed properly, can get into the food chain and harm wildlife. Some shops are banning glitter in their own-brand Christmas decorations, and people could think about upcycling materials to make glitter free Christmas decorations or cards #ZeroWasteChristmas Items such as metal biscuit and sweet tins, cardboard delivery and toy boxes, plain cards and envelopes can all be recycled in your kerbside collection.
However, wrapping paper, which contains foil, and moulded plastic packaging, such as toy packaging, cannot be recycled. For more information on what can and can’t be recycled visit the County Councils’ waste and recycling web pages. Your local Household Waste Recycling Centre is open seven days a week except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – remember to book your slot before you go

 ‘Real’ trees are recyclable and will be composted if you take it to your local HWRC or can be shredded into chippings which are then used locally in parks or woodland areas. Local authorities often arrange drop-off points or special collections of ‘real’ trees in early January and advertise the dates this will take place with any other changes to collections over the Christmas period. Please check Test valley to see if they will be collecting Christmas trees as part of their festive bin collections days.

For more information visit: