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5 tips for a green Christmas

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Christmas tree farm - E.ON

Tis the season to… renew! Because E.ON are invested in a renewable future, we want to help you keep recycling at the front of your mind during the festive season. Here are our handy hints on how to think ‘renewable’ this Christmas – some of them may surprise you...

Opt for a real tree

Think fake trees are a good way to do your bit for the planet at Christmas? It’s time to re-think. Whilst fake trees might seem the greenest option (pun intended), their hefty PVC content is non-renewable and uses up valuable resources whilst it is being made and transported. Plus, people tend to discard their artificial tree after just a few years, so it’s not as long-lasting as it could be. A real tree is completely biodegradable, so will naturally decompose if it is disposed of properly. Oh and did we mention most local councils will offer to pick your real tree up after Christmas? Or even better, you can re-plant your tree to use next year.

LED Christmas lights - E.ON

Find that one pesky bulb in your fairy lights

You decorate the whole tree, only to find that at the magic moment, the fairy lights don’t light up. Talk about a downer. But rather than chucking the whole bundle out, check that it’s not just your fuse that’s gone. You can do this by removing the fuse covering on the plug and looking inside – just make sure it isn’t plugged in first! If the fuse is fine, you need a bulb tester. Gone are the days when you unscrewed and replaced every bulb until you found the dodgy one, now you can just hold individual bulbs against the tester to see if they light up. It’s the ultimate Christmas gadget and is available in most good hardware stores.

Make the most of your leftovers

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without the festive food. But did you know that every year we throw away 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies? That’s a mindboggling £64 million in wasted food over Christmas. Cooking leftovers creatively is a longstanding British tradition. Why not try your hand at bubble and squeak with potatoes and brussel sprouts you didn’t quite manage to polish off (though any other veg will do). Turn the Christmas turkey into meatballs, or whip up a good old leftovers sandwich.

If you really can’t bear the sight of another mince pie, you can always take your frozen or non-perishable items to a homeless charity such as Caring at Christmas. Not only does giving to charities share a bit of Christmas spirit with those who need it most, it makes sure that nothing goes to waste.

Christmas tree decorations - E.ON

Upcycle your Christmas decorations

It’s not just food that goes in the bin over Christmas – in the lead up to the holidays we get through plenty of paper, plastic and cardboard. Making your own decorations isn’t just cheap, it’s good for the environment too. You can make home made stars by cutting shapes out of unwanted cardboard and decorating with last year’s wrapping paper, or even make them out of plastic bottles. All you need to do is cut out the bottom of your bottle, and cover with spray paint, acrylic paint or glitter glue. Just make sure the rest goes in the recycling bin!

Lights off at bedtime

Ok, we had to write about this one… Only Scrooge would say that you shouldn’t put Christmas lights up because they waste energy. But you can do your bit for the environment, and still get into the festive spirit this Christmas. Just make sure that, when you head to bed, you switch off all those twinkly Christmas lights: on the tree, in your windows and outside. (Psst… don’t forget your normal lights too!). Check the E.ON site for lots more tips on how to save energy this Christmas.

 So there you have it. Five simple tips to help you feel that little bit greener this festive season. All that remains to say is - have a very merry Christmas from everyone at E.ON!

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