Christmas doesn't have to be a time of waste and excess − and overflowing bins. Here are some ideas for how you can enjoy the festive season without costing the earth.
Christmas recycling collections
Make sure that you know when your recycling will be collected over the festive period. Contact your local district or borough council for further information on your Christmas kerbside collection service (sometimes collection days can change). This will help you to put out your recycling and rubbish on the right day.
Our household waste recycling centres are open over Christmas too. They're open for business every day from 8.30am to 6pm except on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
Christmas tree recycling
Once Christmas is over you can recycle (compost) your real Christmas tree by:
placing it in your garden waste bin (if it is collected at this time of year). It may be necessary to break/saw the tree into a manageable size or place it next to your garden waste bin on collection day. Contact your local district or borough council to check whether you can do this.
taking it to your nearest household waste recycling centre. It will then be composted along with other garden materials.
If you receive new electrical items for Christmas you may be wondering what to do with your unwanted old ones. If they're still in good working order you could try making a few quid by selling them on online auction sites. Some charities and furniture projects also accept unwanted good quality electricals. Remember to check first to see what they need and accept.
Alternatively, you could take your unwanted electricals to one of our nine household waste recycling centres − even if the goods are broken.
Most of the waste taken to the centres is sent for recycling but items which could be reused may be resold on online auction sites or at markets. Any broken electricals are sent away to be turned into new components.
Christmas card recycling
Christmas cards and wrapping paper may be included within your recycling collection. Contact your local district or borough to check whether you can. Decorated, foil backed paper and cards with musical features should not be included.
Five tips to save money on festive food
Did you know nearly 20% of food brought into the home ends up in the bin? That's like throwing away one bag of shopping in every five.
Wasting food is estimated to cost the average household £470 a year and up to £700 for families − not to mention the £6.3 million a year Derbyshire council tax-payers pay to send food waste to landfill.
Take a look at this handy Christmas guide to wasting less in five easy steps to make the most of your turkey and trimmings.
- It pays to plan. Christmas is probably the one time of year when even the most 'last minute' of us will sit down, ponder over who is coming to stay and make some sort of plan. Take a look in your cupboards, fridge and freezer and make note of what foods you already have, this will help you to avoid doubling up when hitting the shops.
- Be storage savvy. Most of your Christmas leftovers will keep for up to two days well wrapped in the fridge, or pop them in the freezer to enjoy on a chilly January evening. Keep your food in the correct place to keep it at its best: you can keep bread in a bread bin or cupboard in the original packaging. Potatoes and onions need to be kept in a cool dark place. Fruit and vegetables (except potatoes, onions, bananas and whole pineapple) can be kept in the fridge in their original packaging.
- Keep an eye on the dates in your fridge. 'Use-by' means food must be eaten by this date, or frozen to keep things for longer. 'Best before' is for quality only so food is still safe to eat after this date. Eggs can be eaten a day or two after their 'best before' date if they're cooked thoroughly.
- Take control. Catering for family and friends, not to mention unexpected guests, means it can be hard to know how much to cook, but help is at hand. The love food hate waste website (opens in a new window) has a portion control calculator or you can download the free app.
- Love your leftovers. With a bit of thought you can create some delicious surprises from your festive leftovers − they don't have to mean second best. Try turkey and chickpea coconut curry, or use leftover veggies in a mixed vegetable curry. Panettone makes a lovely bread and butter pudding − why not serve it up with luxurious ice cream made from leftover Christmas pud?
Love your clothes
Research shows that 30% of our clothes haven't been worn in the last year (that's worth a whopping £1,200!).
With a little imagination you can create some jaw-dropping party outfits that you didn't realise you already had. Visit loveyourclothes.org.uk for hints on how to create a fresh look and see your wardrobe through new eyes with great fashion ideas that are on trend, on budget and on track to make the most from your party clothes.
The UK has some of the best-dressed landfill sites − an estimated £140 million worth of used clothing goes there every year!
So if you're having a clear out, make sure your unwanted clothes don't go to waste. Many charities can make use of good quality unwanted clothes.
Visit the love your clothes website (opens in a new window) for information about recycling clothes and tips on caring for garments to make them last longer.