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At Christmas time, give the world a reason to smile and give yourself a warm glow by going green

In part 2 of our Green Christmas guide we look at ways to be green this festive season, focusing on the big day itself.

Read part 1 here, looking at how to be green in the lead-up to Christmas, and later this month we’ll be sharing tips on going green in the new year.

Christmas is a time of year when we’re thinking about those we love (and what to have for lunch on Christmas day).

With so much preparation and planning for the big day, recycling and the environment can slip down the to-do list.

But here is some startling trivia to bring it back into focus:
  • We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink per year in the UK
  • An average UK household with children spends around £680 a year on food that could have been eaten but is thrown away
  • UK households dispose of around 4.9 million tonnes of packaging every year.

This time of year presents a great opportunity to make a few changes to your daily routine that make a real difference to the planet.

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We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink per year in the UK

Waste less food:

We throw away hundreds of pounds worth of food every year.  But we don’t have to.

With a bit of planning ahead you can significantly reduce the amount you throw away.

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Reuse your wrapping paper for packing future gifts

Recycling:

Picture the scene: the floor is littered with empty cardboard boxes, you can barely see your feet over your stuffed belly and the carpet is a distant memory after it was buried under wrapping paper early this morning.

Take action early to avoid this scene of mess, mayhem and tripping hazards!

  • put your used wrapping paper to good use and clean the windows with it (maybe once your dinner has gone down a bit…)
  • shred used wrapping paper and reuse as padding when packaging future gifts
  • decorate boring old notebooks or recipe books with leftover paper
  • recycle it by putting it straight into a recycling bag as you open your gifts
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Leftover smoked salmon is delicious mixed with scrambled eggs and piled on toast

Dinner scraps:

Millions of kitchens are piled high with vegetable peelings and left over turkey during the festive season.  But where does it all go?  Here are a couple of tips on making the best use of leftovers:

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LED bulbs and solar powered lights are pretty, festive, cheaper to run, and greener than traditional ones

Lights off:

In the average home, lighting accounts for around 10-15% of the electricity bill so it’s worth being aware of how you’re using yours.  Here are some tips on going green with your lighting this Christmas:

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Have a green Christmas and a happy & green 2012

I’ll keep wishing for a white Christmas because I just love snow, especially at this time of year, but I’ll also be wishing for a green one.

Come and join us on Facebook and share your green ideas for the festive season.

See you there – and have a great Christmas and a green 2012 (and come back soon for part 3 of Green Christmas on Daisy Hill Living).

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