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This time of year it can seem hard to escape producing lots of waste, from food going uneaten and presents packaged within an inch of their lives, to mountains of unravelled paper and ribbons. To avoid spending the whole festive season worrying about waste, here are some easy ways to have a more sustainable Christmas…

Greg the golden beetroot xmas
Office regular Greg the Golden Beetroot is getting in the Christmas spirit

1. Use those leftovers to make some of these delicious recipes.

2. Plan your meals carefully, taking into careful consideration the number of guests and the number of mince pies one relative can physically eat in two days! Check out Love Food Hate Waste’s on planning meals, storage and dates.

3. Indulgence is a big part of many a Christmas, but there is only so much a person can eat in one sitting. Ask for a goody bag if you go out for a big Christmas meal with friends or colleagues and can’t finish your plate.

4. Been given an edible gift that isn’t to your taste? Hold off opening it to show willing, and wait to re-home it with someone who does have a penchant for marzipan fruits… Or anything long-life can be donated to FareShare through our supermarket collection points.

5. Re-gift any presents you’re not going to use – it’s far better than bath salts sitting in your cupboard for years and then being thrown away! Why not hold a gift-swap with friends after Christmas?

This beautiful hand-made advent calendar takes pride of position on our noticeboard
This beautiful hand-made advent calendar takes pride of position on our noticeboard

6. Buy your gifts second-hand, or re-purpose things to make gifts and decorations. Some great examples here.

7. Re-cycle last year’s Christmas cards to make… new Christmas cards! Or, save the paper entirely by sending an e-card. You can support FareShare Sussex at the same time by sending a charity e-card on JustGiving. Just select FareShare Sussex or City Gate Community Projects – our partner charity – from the ‘search for a charity’ drop-down menu.

8. Re-cycle last year’s wrapping paper, or better yet, use cloth wrap.

Xmas tree plant
We’ve opted for a Christmas plant in our office, beautifully decorated by volunteers

9. Share lifts! Ask around if you’ve got space in your car and are driving across the country to see friends or family – there might be someone in need of transport who could help with petrol costs.

10. If you’re buying a Christmas tree, consider buying a potted tree that can be kept in garden and looked after until next year. If you have a Christmas tree in a stand, be sure to recycle it after use. Check out this map of the Christmas tree recycling points in Brighton and Hove.