Corby Borough Council’s 10 top tips for an eco-friendly Christmas

Don't forget to recycle during Christmas
Don't forget to recycle during Christmas

A new scheme within the Corby Borough Council office has seen members of staff sign up as “green wizards” and become ambassadors for the environment, encouraging their colleagues to save energy and recycle.

Corby Borough Council’s lead member for environment, Cllr Mark Pengelly, said: “We are very pleased to have launched our Green Wizard scheme, being cleaner and greener is something that is important for us to promote and these members of staff are doing just that throughout our offices.”

Here are the green wizard’s top ten tips to enjoy a green Christmas at home.

1. Christmas trees – natural or artificial?

Research and carbon calculations show a natural tree is best. It is biodegradable while an artificial tree uses toxic materials in its plastics, takes a lot of energy to produce, and doesn’t last forever. Not so green after all! We suggest buying local, direct from a certified Christmas tree grower.

2. Don’t forget to recycle your natural Christmas tree. Simply chop it up and place it in your green bin so we can collect it (please make sure the lid is down)

3. Keep warm and save money. Just by turning the thermostat down by 1 degree you can save carbon and money – it’s also a great excuse to drag out that Christmas jumper you love. This will help save a whopping £100 a year off your gas bills.

4. Buy local. Support your local small businesses and buy your loved ones locally crafted gifts. Why not pop down to the Foxy Woodland Shop at East Carlton Park to see what amazing items have been made out of Corby’s felled trees.

5. The Christmas gift which keeps giving. Okay so we doubt that Santa will bring solar panels on his sleigh and squeeze them down your chimney, but getting free energy from the sun can cut electricity bills throughout the year.

6. Recycle your wrapping paper. It is estimated 82 sq km of wrapping paper will end up in UK bins this Christmas. Keep and re-use large sheets but recycle everything else. We will also throw away an estimated 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging over Christmas, so either try to buy presents without excess packaging or add it to the recycling pile.

7. Dinner parties. Tis the season after all! However if you’re throwing a big party don’t buy masses of new plates and over-packaged food. Ask each guest to bring plates and a dish so everyone can share.

8. Christmas dinner scraps. If you really can’t eat any more, use your left overs creatively. Turn your peelings and scraps into compost for a blooming marvellous garden next summer. You could reduce your waste by over 20%. While the fat is still warm, spoon into muffin cases, add hanging string or make sure they fit your bird feeder – they will love it!

9. Recycle properly. Make sure all empty cans, bottles and jars find their way to your recycling bin. Start by cutting down on the amount of glass you use and buy large bottles of drink rather than lots of small ones.

10. Unwanted Christmas presents. These presents can be the perfect fundraiser for Corby’s local charity shops.

11. New Year’s resolutions. We know it was only our top ten tips but here is one extra to get you thinking about a green 2015. Make sure your New Year’s resolution is something green that you can actually stick to: why not get involved with your local park? Corby has one of the largest urban woodland in the UK.