The 12 Green Days of Christmas

Our Festive newsletter is a little bit different from our normal round up of environmental news and events. In a nod to the well known carol,  we offer The Twelve Green Days of Christmas to get you thinking, talking, doing and changing.

We hope you enjoy the challenge….

On the first day of Christmas… Sunday 26th December. Freeze your bits!

74 million mince pies are part of the 270,000 tons of perfectly edible food waste thrown out during the Christmas period. Don’t throw out food – freeze it to use later on. Use up Christmas dinner leftovers: use cooked veg for soup; cold meats or slices of nut roast are good in sandwiches (cold bread sauce makes a good sandwich filling too!) Advice and recipe ideas can be found at

One step beyond…

If you did have meat for Christmas dinner, boil up the bones with vegetables and herbs to make a delicious stock to use as a base for soup or risotto. Before using, make sure you strain, or pick over, the stock carefully to remove all bits of bones.


On the second day of Christmas… Monday 27th December. Be Social!

Rather than binge-watching box sets, start a discussion with friends and family about environmental issues that are important to you, and find out what they think. If you’re not meeting in person, set up an online get-together. Share your ideas on social media and connect with others who think the same.

One step beyond….

Environmental charities are always looking for people to help them spread their message. Sign up to be a speaker, volunteer to write to your MP or take part in citizen science projects. Check their websites for ways you can get involved.

On the third day of Christmas .Tuesday 28th December. Make Connections!

Have a good old (socially distanced) chinwag with the neighbours over the garden fence – and talk to them about making a hole in that fence. Hedgehogs need to travel up to one mile in a night looking for food, or a mate. Fragmentation of habitat by fences, walls and roads is one of the reasons hedgehogs are in such decline, so create a Hedgehog Highway. Ensuring hedgehogs can pass freely through your garden is the most important thing you can do to help them. Check out the Hedgehog Street website for more details

One step beyond….
Set up a hedgehog group in your community and create a network of highways and habitat for our prickly friends. More details on the website above.

On the fourth day of Christmas..Wednesday 29th December.Book your Seat!

Many people book their summer holidays over the festive break. To make a huge difference to your carbon footprint, ditch the plane and travel by train or bus this summer. For advice and ideas on travelling by train, have a look at the Man in Seat 61 website

One step beyond…..

For a truly low-carbon holiday, try cycle touring and quietly discover some of the wonderful parts of the British Isles.

On the fifth day of Christmas..Thursday 30th December.Pop in to your Local!


Use your local shops and buy local, seasonal produce. Locally produced food is much better for the environment because fossil fuels have not been used to transport the food round the country or half way round the world, it is fresher, and your money supports the local economy. Try a local vegetable box scheme to ensure that fresh, local veg is delivered to your door every week.

One step beyond…..

Sign up to Herefordshire Council’s Shop Local scheme. Every household in the county can apply for a pre-paid card with £15.00 already loaded onto it – the only caveat is that you must use the card in Herefordshire. For more details, and to apply Click here.

On the sixth day of Christmas….Friday 31st December. A Rubbish Idea!

List things you no longer want or need on Trash Nothing, Freegle or Freecycle , so that other people can use them, rather than having to buy new. If you are looking for a particular item, you can list it as wanted – and someone may just have that item lying unused in the garage or the back of a cupboard. It’s a really good way to keep usable items out of the waste stream.

One step beyond…

Encourage your children to pick out some toys they no longer play with and donate them to a women’s refuge, or to refugee groups.

On the seventh day of Christmas…..

Saturday 1st January. Long Live the Resolution!

Make your New Year’s Resolution to sign up to The Great Collaboration

One step beyond…

Get stuck in and start taking the Actions. This is a resolution that really will change your life.

On the eighth day of Christmas….Sunday 2nd January. Bus It!

Get on board with Herefordshire Council’s scheme to encourage people to use public transport more. Buses are free at the weekend within the county, so have a day out: use them visit one of the other county towns, or take the bus out into the country and have a good walk. Just be sure to check the time of the bus home! (You can check the timetables here)

One step beyond…..

E-mail or write to the council, complimenting them on the scheme and asking them to extend it.

On the ninth day of Christmas….Monday 3rd January. Clean your Green!

Do a litter pick round your local area to make it look nicer and be safer for wildlife. Use thick gloves, or a litter picker as some of the rubbish will be pretty unpleasant. Think safety: Make sure someone knows where you are going; if near a road, make sure you can clearly see and be seen – a high-vis jacket is a good idea. Footpaths, churchyards, playing fields and village greens are all safer places than road verges to clear of litter.

One step beyond….

Use your community website, or notice board to set up a group to litter pick weekly or monthly. It’s more fun if you work in a group – but make sure everyone’s safety is assured.

On the tenth day of Christmas….Tuesday 4th January. Green your Clean!

Planning to start spring cleaning in the New Year? Stock up on environmentally friendly cleaning materials. There are plenty to choose from these days. It’s lovely to have a nice clean house, but you don’t want to pollute the earth as you do it.

One step beyond…..

Make your own cleaning materials – Friends of the Earth and Good Housekeeping are two of the many websites that have recipes for home-made cleaning products. Cut up old t-shirts to make soft dusters and floor cloths.

On the eleventh day of Christmas…..Wednesday 5th January.  Be Crafty!

When you take down the Christmas cards, cut them into nice designs , punch a hole in one corner and attach a piece of ribbon, to make tags for next year’s Christmas presents.

One step beyond….

Get the whole family involved: with card, paints, crayons, glue and pictures cut from this year’s Christmas cards, children (and adults) can create cards for next Christmas. An ideal activity for a wet afternoon.

On the twelfth day of Christmas….Thursday 6th January.  Time for Shreddies!

Chop up or shred your Christmas tree, use the green leaves to mulch round acid loving shrubs like rhodos and azaleas and pile up the twigs and logs in a quiet corner of the garden for bugs to create a habitat for bugs and small mammals to shelter in. If you take your tree to one of the local tips it will be recycled with the green waste. In the Ledbury and Wellington Heath area, the local scout group will collect your tree and recycle it. Better still, a rooted tree in a pot can be used year after year.

One step beyond……

Take a moment to reflect on the care you have given the world over the past twelve days of Christmas, and give yourself a pat on the back