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Have yourself a sustainable 
little Christmas in 2022

Warwickshire residents are being encouraged to explore some of the options for a greener and more sustainable Christmas.

The high temperatures of the summer may feel like a long time ago, but extreme weather events are a side-effect of climate change, and they pose a direct risk to Warwickshire residents and businesses. To reduce the impact we have on the environment, we need to start living in a more sustainable way – even at Christmas!

Did you know that if you were to stick together all the wrapping paper discarded in the UK at Christmas time, it would wrap around the equator over 9 times? Unfortunately, there are lots of Christmas items that can’t be recycled, including most glossy and printed wrapping paper, single-use Christmas crackers and glittery Christmas cards.

Warwickshire County Council’s Waste and Recycling team is using the run-up to Christmas 2022 to share some of their top tips for making this festive season the greenest and most sustainable ever.

Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and the Environment, said: “Christmas is a time for celebrating with family and friends, for mince pies and merrymaking. Unfortunately, all this consumption has also led to the festive season becoming one of the biggest occasions for creating waste across the UK.

“This Christmas, we are hoping that many of our residents will take some of these tips on board for a more environmentally conscious Yuletime.

“It’s important to stress, this is not about people changing every single that they do, but to be more aware of their impact on the environment. Even just changing one behaviour, perhaps cutting out the non-recyclable wrapping paper or reducing the amount of food that is wasted on Christmas Day, can make a real difference.”

“It has never been more important for us all to play our part in minimising our impact on climate change as we, together, strive for a Warwickshire that is sustainable now and for future generations.”

The top tips for residents wanting to explore a sustainable Christmas 2022 are:

Wrapping paper and cards – Look for cards and wrapping paper made from recycled or FSC-certified paper. Avoid plastic ribbon and tape or foil-backed wrapping paper. Try to choose cards that you can recycle with no foil or glitter.

Check out tape-free wrapping techniques such as furoshiki,  a traditional Japanese method of using cloth to wrap and transport gifts. It makes for beautiful, unique, and reusable packaging. 

Gifts – Every year an estimated 70 million unwanted gifts are given at Christmas. Some simple ways to be eco-friendly with your Christmas presents include buying from local, zero-waste businesses,  get creative with something you’ve made yourself, or give an experience or charity membership instead.

Plan what you are going to eat – Writing shopping lists and simple meal plans are the first steps to reducing how much food is thrown away. This also helps to save your money on your shopping bills.  

Find out more about flexible and simple meal planning here:

Eat Seasonally –One really simple way of making Christmas more sustainable is to eat only those vegetables that are in season in December and that therefore do not carry the environmental cost of being imported from overseas. For Christmas dinner at least, you are in luck as all the staples of a yummy yule lunch – potatoes, sprouts, carrots, leeks, and parsnips – are all in season throughout the winter.

Reducing Food Waste – In the UK, an estimated 5 million puddings, 2 million turkeys, and 74 million mince pies go to waste each Christmas. This is part of a trend that sees one third of all food produced annually go to waste.

Make the most of leftovers and reduce food waste at home this Christmas time by checking out some of the amazing zero-waste festive recipes that are available online: 

More tips for a sustainable Christmas can be found here:

The Council is currently engaging with residents around the draft Sustainable Futures Strategy.  Anyone can find out more and have their stay here:

For more information about how Warwickshire County Council is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit:

Get the latest news about how Warwickshire County Council and partners are facing the challenge of the climate emergency and how you can get involved:

Published: 5th December 2022

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