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A Christmas Gift

to the Environment

Tips on Reducing, Reusing and Recycling for the Holiday Season!

The holiday season, with its accompanying buying, wrapping and celebrating, substantially increases the amount of waste we Decorating the Christmas treegenerate. However, there are many opportunities for Christmas shoppers to reduce, re-use and recycle the remnants of holiday cheer. Listed below are some tips for reducing your household’s waste during the holiday season.


Tips for Holiday Shopping
When shopping, why not bring your own reusable carrier bag rather than accepting a new bag for each purchase (hold on to your receipts so you can verify your purchases). How about doing without a bag for small purchases? Try also to choose products that are minimally packaged – remember you’re paying for it!

Recycle Christmas Trees
Southend Residents can recycle Christmas trees at the Household Waste Recycling Centres. Trees must be free of tinsel, decorations, nails, tacks or any other foreign materials.

Christmas treeAlternatively:

  • Chip and mulch them for compost or landscaping materials.
  • Recycle tree trunks by using them for firewood or split for kindling.
  • Use branches as mulch under acid-loving bushes and shrubs, such as rhododendrons or evergreens.

Invest in rechargeable batteries

Donate Old Things to Charities or take them to the Recycling Centre nearest you.
New gifts will often replace appliances and clothes that still have a useful life.

  • Many items can also be taken to the recycling centres and the Civic Amenity sites (“tips”).
  • Many household items can be donated to a Charity Shop in your area.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Gift-Wrap

  • Be inventive. How about trying not to use wrapping paper?
  • Brown paper parcel tied up with stringAdd bows to holiday shopping bags or gift boxes.
  • Loop string around gift boxes, then lay it out on paper to determine how much to cut.
  • Try wrapping gifts in brown paper bags or newspaper.
  • Wrap gifts in festive holiday fabric, tea towels or bandannas, which can simply be washed and reused.
  • Give gifts in baskets, tins or jars.
  • Shred used paper to use as filler or instead of tissue.
  • Christmas presentsBuy recycled wrapping paper. Look for recycled paper with the highest “post-consumer recycled paper” content)
  • Try to only use the amount of wrapping paper that you need.
  • Use last years cards or old birthday or postcards as gift tags
  • Write recipient’s name on reusable wooden ornaments and use as a gift tag.
  • Save bows, ribbons and paper to reuse.

For more information on recycling see the Healthy Life page Recycling Facilities in Essex

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council logoRaquel Eldridge
Environmental Services Department
Souhend-on-Sea Borough Council



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