BDC Update 9th Dec 2020

Dec 9, 2020
Braintree District Council
Environment header

Top tips for a greener Christmas


Now we are in December, many of us will be thinking about putting up our decorations and getting into the Christmas spirit!

Here are some top tips of how you can celebrate the festive season greener:

  • Re-use your decorations each year to save you buying more. If you do need to get more decorations, consider buying non-plastic decorations from second-hand shops, or have a go at making your own with all those empty toilet and kitchen roll tubes (if you remove any other artificial bits like ribbons and fluffy noses, you'll still be able to recycle the tubes afterwards). Another option is to check out your local Freegle group or perhaps look at social media sites such as Facebook Marketplace where you can often find items for free or at a low cost.
  • Say no to glitter this Christmas, as glittery wrapping paper and card can't be recycled. If you do come across this plastic dust, rip off the glittery bits from cards and recycle the rest of the paper. The bits that are left and wrapping paper with glitter will need to go in your grey bin. 
  • Christmas crackers can contribute to a lot of additional waste in the UK. Why not attempt to create your own crackers instead of buying them from a store? This way you can fill the crackers with something non-plastic and personalise them for each guest. You can even make your own crackers using... yes you've guessed it, kitchen and toilet roll tubes! 
  • Where possible, try and shop locally at a market or greengrocers for in-season produce when doing your grocery shopping. Don't forget to take your own containers and reusable bags to carry your items home!
  • Store leftover food in wax wraps or reusable pots rather than using cling film.
  • Try making your own festive snacks and dips to reduce the amount of plastic packaging that is often found on store-bought snacks.

For more ideas, check out the Love Essex website.

Love your Christmas tree

christmas tree

Love Christmas trees? Perhaps the most environmentally-friendly option is to buy a tree with roots. This means you can plant it in the garden afterwards and bring it back into the house next year. If you want to buy a felled tree, choose a local grower with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) accreditation so you know it’s been grown sustainably and ethically. Remember to compost or recycle it when the festive season is over.

If you are looking for an easy way to dispose of your real Christmas tree, why not let Farleigh Hospice take the strain, no need for needles in your car and no queuing at the tip! 

We will also be providing a Christmas Tree Recycling collection service on Saturday 16 January at various locations across the Braintree District. More information will be available in our next newsletter and on our website. 

Artificial trees are less environmentally-friendly as most are made from non-recyclable plastic and the carbon emissions generated to make them are very high. If you do opt for a fake tree, try to reuse it for as long as possible to reduce the environmental impact – the longer you keep reusing it, the better.

Check out more about Christmas trees at Love Essex.

You're in for a chance to win!

plastic pledge  

If you haven't already and want to look at ways to reduce your plastic waste, sign the Essex Plastic Pledge to be in for a chance to win some fantastic goodies. By signing the pledge, you will be automatically entered into the competition. 


Keep safe when visiting play areas

play areaplay area

If you're visiting one of our play areas or outdoor gyms, please remember to stick to the guidance to protect yourselves, children and others when using the equipment to help limit the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Wash or sanitise adults/children’s hands before, during and after using the equipment for at least 20 seconds and thoroughly once home
  • Follow the social distancing guidelines (2m is the safest distance) and encourage children to do the same and do not meet in a group of more than 6 outside
  • Only 1 family member should accompany a child when using the play area
  • Limit the amount of time children use the play equipment where possible
  • Adults are encouraged to wear a face covering and wash hands before putting on and taking off
  • Users are responsible for their own hygiene products to clean hands and equipment after use, with attention to touch points e.g. bars, see saws and handles.
  • People should not eat or drink on play equipment or in the playground
  • Any litter, including face coverings or gloves should be disposed of correctly (in a litter bin or taken home if a bin is not available. Used PPE should not be put in with your recycling.
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) should not attempt to use the equipment.

Disposing of face coverings & PPE

face mask

Photo credit: Respect Great Notley

PPE is the latest litter crisis. 

Single-use masks and gloves include plastic in their manufacture and can’t be recycled. Invest in a reusable, washable face mask – they’re much better for our environment. Love Essex has some great tips on how you can make your own. 

If you need to throw away used PPE, take responsibility and dispose into a general waste bin (not your recycling sacks) or take it home with you if there is no litter bin when you're out and about - don't be a litter tosser. 

If you or members of your household use them when self- isolating or have a positive coronavirus case, double bag and store them for 72 hours before putting in your general waste bin.

Tips on getting started with home composting


As garden waste collections are suspended during the winter months, why not give home composting a try?

Essex County Council offer subsidised compost bins and great tips on how to get started.

From only £9.50 you can turn your food and garden waste into quality soil improver for your garden.

Simply visit and enter your postcode. Your discount will be automatically applied.

Tier 2

This email was sent to using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Braintree District Council · Causeway House · Bocking End · Braintree · Essex · CM7 9HB