Festive cheer, delicious food and beautiful decorations – Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most wasteful, with rubbish rates in the UK going up by 30% during the festive period. This creates a lot of pollution as well as costing families a fortune.

So what can we do to help the environment, and our bank accounts, this Christmas?

In this post, we offer a few pointers on how you can cut your waste by reducing, reusing and recycling.

Reduce

Traditional Christmas lights are a big energy waster, but you can cut your carbon footprint by using LED lights instead. The environmentally friendly bulbs use 90% less energy and are much more robust so far less likely to break. You should also try limiting the time that the lights are on, for instance, only turn them on when it gets dark – and always remember to switch the lights off before you go to bed.

We might not be able to count on snow at Christmas, but we can always rely on the cold, and when the temperature plummets it’s natural to want to turn up the heating. Instead of heading straight for the thermostat, however, try putting on an extra layer first and see if that warms you up.

Reuse

Every Christmas, we get through enough wrapping paper to cover Big Ben almost 260,000 times. You can help to reduce this astonishing figure by keeping your wrapping paper and reusing it. Use sticky tape sparingly so that wrapping paper remains intact once a present has been opened.

2 million turkeys, 17.2 million Brussels sprouts and 74 million mince pies are thrown out every year over the festive period. If you find you’ve got Christmas leftovers, don’t discard them. Instead, reuse them in a leftovers inspired dish like a Christmas casserole, tandoori turkey or Brussels broth. You can also plate up your leftovers and pass them on to someone less fortunate – find out more at www.casseroleclub.com.

Recycle

Old Christmas cards, sweet wrappers and food containers should all go in the recycling bin, along with any scrap wrapping paper and packaging from new toys.

When the sad moment comes to dispose of your Christmas tree, you can take it fully intact to Notcutts Garden Centre off Oundle Road and the Household Recycling Centre in Dogsthorpe. Or, if you pay for a brown bin collection service, you can put it in your brown bin – but remember to cut it into pieces first.

Lakeside

Set in the heart of Ferry Meadows, we’re reminded every day of how beautiful nature is, so at Lakeside we do all we can to help the environment to ensure it remains this way.

Wherever possible, we source our produce from local suppliers, helping to keep the energy required to transport goods at a minimum. We also try to use organic ingredients, a factor that can help to protect soil from pesticides and overuse. Additionally, earlier this year, we scrapped the use of plastic straw at Lakeside and Ferry Meadows Café.

We’re always trying to reduce our impact on the environment, so please let us know if you have any tips of your own.

We hope you have a very merry and environmentally friendly Christmas!