More and more Somerset families are saving their Christmas by keeping the festive fun and tradition but cutting back on waste, cost - and plastic.
Preparation is key, and focusing on not just good value but what you
value, from sharing with others to bringing together your family.
Here are a few simple ideas that may help:
* Know the waste schedule, where to take your tree - the recycling
site, yes, or find a local chipping service - and check the weather in
case of collection disruption.
This year, that schedule is
unchanged on Christmas Eve, but with no pick-ups on 25 and 26 December,
collections that week will be two days' later, including Thursday on
Saturday and Friday on Sunday 30 December.
With New Year's Eve
pick-ups as usual but no service New Year's Day, that week's collections
will be one day later, including Friday on Saturday. All services
resume from Monday 7 January. No garden waste collections 24 December - 4
Recycling sites follow usual schedules, except all
sites will close at 4pm on Monday 24 and 31 December. As usual, all
sites close 25-26 December and 1 January.
* Meanwhile, it is
never too early to get clear for Christmas; go around the house to make
sure everything not needed is recycled, sold, given away or turned into a
* Ditto for wish lists - demand them now so every present is wanted. For grown-ups, think low-waste, low-cost secret Santa.
* Maybe cut back Christmas cards and make a donation to a favourite charity.
* Eat your freezer now to save money and have space for Christmas food
and lovely leftovers. PS: avoid waste by getting a smaller bird and prep
everything in advance.
* Children's home-made paper and card
decorations - recycled later or kept for 2019 - look great, as does
traditional garden greenery.
* For the tree, drop costly,
easily-broken plastic baubles for a box of fun items with meaning, from
child-decorated pine cones to old photos.
* For gifts, consider
instant, waste-free digital downloads or subscriptions, or add the love
by making your own, from foods to beauty scrubs.
* Check charity shop bargains, and buy and donate back a festive jumper.
* Seek out gifts from recycled materials, or those that help others
recycle, from can crushers to mushroom kits for coffee grounds.
* Whether presents or decorations, cards or wrapping paper, steer clear of plastics that only go one way: to landfill.
* Buy rechargeable batteries and a charger to have them ready for the big day.
We will have plenty more low-waste, high fun ideas and inspiration here
in the run up to Christmas and beyond, so do follow or like this page,
and check us out at www.twitter.com/somersetwaste
For the what and when of collections, the where, what and when of
recycling sites, what to do in severe weather, plus how to waste less
food and cut back plastics, see www.somersetwaste.gov.uk