Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Party urges green Christmas time

Christmas dinner
The Green Party recommend people reheat appropriate foods

Environmentalists in the South East have urged people to have a less wasteful Christmas this year.

Representatives of the Green Party issued a challenge for residents in Kent, Sussex and Surrey to save energy, reduce waste and recycle packaging.

A spokesperson for the party said recycling and waste collections after the Christmas and New Year period were the bulkiest of the year.

It could also help many households keep the costs of Christmas down, he added.

Dr Hazel Dawe, from Kent Green Party, said: "By all means, have a happy Christmas and new year but remember, now is the season of waste, not just good cheer, and why waste money if a little thought will make it go further?"

The group recommends people follow the eight Rs - reuse packaging, reheat appropriate foods, redistribute usable goods, reclaim unwanted items for second-hand use, rot down kitchen waste into compost, recycle, re-educate the household and "redeem the maximum benefit from the money we all spend".

Susan Murray, a town councillor in Lewes, East Sussex, added: "Much of the advice is similar to what we'd say the rest of the year over.

"A warm, insulated home cuts bills and saves energy whether it's Christmas time or not."

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