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Councillor Pickering’s green Christmas tips

Published: Thursday, 21 December, 2017

As chair of Stroud District Council’s environment committee, Simon Pickering is a councillor on a mission – to encourage the district’s residents to have a green Christmas. Here are his top ten tips for a happy and sustainable Christmas:

1. Flatten your cardboard boxes

If you’ve been online shopping you’re probably awash with cardboard but make sure you recycle the boxes. As tempting as it is, don’t jump on them to bash them down. Instead, take a minute get them as flat as possible by cutting and folding, then stack vertically and keep dry until recycling day. This method saves space in the recycling trucks, meaning we can use less fuel to transport more.

2.  Make the switch to LED Christmas lights

They use less power and last longer, saving both money and carbon.

3. Buy local

Buying fresh local produce for your Christmas dinner supports the local economy and reduces the ‘food miles’ it travels.

4. Don’t drown your sprouts

Save energy by minimising the volume of water in every pan. And don’t forget to put leftover food in your food recycling bin.

5. Recharge your batteries

Using rechargeable batteries are better for the environment and more economical in the long run. The chargers are even available with USB fittings so you can recharge them on the move.

6. Recycle your Christmas cards

I’m sending email cards this year, but I’ll be recycling the real cards I receive. has teamed up with the Woodland Trust to allow people to recycle their cards throughout January at participating retailers. With an average of 17 cards in the UK for every man, woman and child, that's a lot of trees saved.

7. Recycle your wardrobe

Did Santa bring new clothes for Christmas? Don’t add to the estimated 80,000 tonnes of clothes that will be thrown away this year. Donate your old clothes to a local charity shop.

8. Recycle your Christmas tree

A real, potted tree that you bring in the house every year is the most sustainable way to enjoy a Christmas tree, as long as you consider where and how it has been grown. If you buy a cut tree, Stroud District Council has teamed up with Longfield hospice this year, which will collect your tree for a donation. Find out how at

9. Wear your Christmas jumper with pride  

Then you can turn down the thermostat by 1 degree.

10. Draw the curtains at night

You’ll be keeping the heat in and pressies out of temptation’s way from passersby.

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