Low Cost Christmas is a new campaign launched by Winchester City Council, Winchester District Citizens Advice Bureau and The Great Waste to reduce waste and debt this Christmas.

Running for six weeks from 1 November, the campaign aims to help people save money this holiday season and to cut out waste. Comprehensive tips on how to keep costs down focus on six topics: food, presents, cards, parties, keeping warm, and decorations.

Examples include:

  • Reduce - buy things that will last, not something disposable, get your party portions right.
  • Re-use – buy vintage or second-hand gifts, or offer a service or an experience instead of a short-lived present.
  • Recycle - wrap presents in paper that can be recycled; use brown paper that your children decorate or colourful magazines tied with colourful string.

Last January it was estimated that one in eight Britons struggled to make ends meet after spending more than they could afford over Christmas. “There is so much pressure for everyone to spend over their budget at this time of year, it is very easy for people to run up really large debts. We want to help everyone spend wisely and still have a good time” said Natalie Webb Chief Executive Officer, Winchester District Citizens Advice Bureau. “We are here to help people avoid Christmas debt, and help them in the New Year to manage any large expenses”.

Households generate a whopping 25% more waste at Christmas. According to estimates by recycling advisors WRAP, discarded Christmas wrapping paper in the UK alone could stretch to the moon. Along with one billion cards and enough tin foil to cover Suffolk, that adds up to a lot of rubbish over the festive period.

“We encourage everyone to think carefully about what they are buying – both value for money, and how they can limit the waste. It is not just the cost to our pockets, but also the cost to our natural resources and the environment” said Cllr Frank Pearson, Portfolio Holder for the Environment for Winchester City Council. “Buying things that will last and limiting the amount of packaging and waste can make a big difference”.

Frank and Natalie got together this week to try out some of the Low Cost Christmas ideas, including making recyclable wrapping paper and gift tags. To find out more about the campaign and download a copy of tips and advice, visit www.thegreatwaste.org.uk and make this the happiest low waste Christmas ever.

The Great Waste initiative is a joint venture with Winchester City Council and Winchester Action on Climate Change with a year of events and activities to help people reduce waste and increase recycling.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Great Waste initiative is a partnership between Winchester City Council and Winchester Action on Climate Change, with other partners contributing for different activities.   Log onto www.thegreatwaste.org.uk for more information.
  2. Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) works to cut the carbon footprint of Winchester district.  Its members include local residents, businesses and local government, working together to create a better future.  
  3. WinACC runs regular meetings throughout the year to get the Winchester community engaged in climate change and lowering carbon emissions.
  4. For further information visit www.thegreatwaste.org.uk  or call Susie Phillips on 01962 827083 / 07704 325930 or email thegreatwaste@winacc.org.uk
  5. Winchester Action on Climate Change Ltd is a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales with company registration no. 08013043. Our registered office is University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR. We are also a registered charity in England and Wales with charity no 1150754.