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The District Council often produce wise counsel and here is one of their press releases to do with being Green at Christmas (we think a repeat from last year, but worth a reminder:

Being Green at Christmas

With the festivities fast approaching here are a few simple tips from Rochford District Council’s Recycling Team to help you have a greener Christmas:

Reuse old wrapping paper and make present labels using old Christmas cards. Avoid buying glossy foil or metallic wrapping paper. You can do a beautiful wrapping job for your gifts without having to use metallic wrapping paper. This kind of 'paper' is difficult to recycle since there are heavy metals used in it. Foil gift wrap is also harder to reuse, since it wrinkles and creases easily when the gift is being unwrapped.

Think carefully about the amount of food you buy. There is lots of information about portion sizes, leftover food recipes and storage tips at

New clothes and electrical items as presents? Don’t forget, old and unwanted textiles and small electrical items can be recycled.

Use LED lights as they use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional Christmas bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors.

Give 'battery-free' gifts, discarded batteries are an environmental hazard. Even rechargeable batteries find their way into the waste stream eventually.

Save any special gift wrap, ribbons and bows. When unwrapping gifts, save the paper for reuse; it can often be cut down for smaller presents. Creased wrapping can be ironed flat. Ribbons and bows are easy to save and reuse.

Don’t forget the garden birds. Use excess cooking fat from the goose or turkey and muesli to make your own fat balls. While the fat is still warm, spoon into muffin cases; add a hanging string or make sure they fit your bird feeder.

And how to reduce food waste at Christmas

The run up to Christmas is a busy and often expensive time of year, so Rochford District Council would like to ease those worries by giving residents some smart tips on reducing food waste over the festive period.

One of the ways to reduce stress is to do some meal and menu planning in advance as this saves us both money and time, shopping locally can be a huge time saver.   A meal plan and shopping list will keep you from overspending and getting in a load of food “just in case”. If you think you need additional stocks of food, go for things that can be popped into the freezer, or that have a long shelf life.

With everything from parties to late night shopping and nativity plays, having to organise and cook meals can become an added hassle.  People might be eating at different times and visitors will be arriving, it’s really useful to have some meals or some individual portions all ready to eat.  It’s just one less thing to have to think about.

When preparing meals make sure to keep your food waste caddy or dedicated tub to hand to collect your peelings, bones and plate scrapings in for kerbside compostables waste collection.

If you are having a festive party but don’t know how much to cook then use the Love Food Hate Waste online portion planning tool, you can still put on a great spread without going to excess. This can be found on the Love Food Hate Waste website.

If you have had your party, however tired you might be, it’s best to wrap and pop any leftovers in the fridge or freezer before going to bed because if they are left out they can go off or go soggy.  Freeze some of our delicious nibbles and then use them to cheer up post-holiday lunchboxes when we return to work.

Alternatively visit and browse their extensive recipe section for using up leftovers including turkey gratin and Christmas pudding strudel.

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Councillor Jo McPherson said: “When it comes to the festive period, planning meals and food shopping is fundamental in helping reduce food waste and saving money.

“Residents can avoid wasting food by being prudent about how much food they actually need, cooking meals with leftover food and correctly storing it so it can be eaten at a later date.

“At a time when we all trying to save money on energy bills and rising food prices, it makes sense not to waste good food.

“With a little thought and pre-planning we can all try to reduce our food and packaging waste this Christmas as well as saving a few pennies for the January sales”.