4 tips for cutting down your Christmas waste
Every Christmas 30% more waste than usual is generated by households globally. As much as we want to be as festive as always every December, we also want to reduce our impact on the environment (well, I mean, I hope that's the case). That’s hard when Christmas traditions involve a lot of waste, from crackers to wrapping paper, and food. So here are four tips you can use to reduce your impact on the environment this festive season.
Loads of festive season waste that is recyclable somehow escapes the recycling bin. Collect used wrapping paper and other packaging to reuse and recycle what’s left. Just be sure that what you want to recycle is indeed recyclable.
- If it tears easily, if it doesn’t, chances are it isn’t recyclable
- When all cellotape and embellishments are removed
- If it doesn’t have glitter or foil features
- If it isn’t metallic
- Cards and envelopes
- as above
- Flattened cardboard boxes
- Glass bottles (unless broken)
- Plastic Christmas trees
- Decorative lights
- Ribbons and bows
- Bubble wrap
- Batteries (for when your new electronic gift runs flat) - dispose of batteries at grocery stores in the hazardous waste bin at the front
If what you’re looking to recycle isn’t on this list, you can probably find it here.
- Use plastic bags or newspaper as protective packaging rather than bubble wrap because they are recyclable while bubble wrap is not.
- Reuse ribbons, bows, and decorations.
- Opt for eco-friendly and low-waste wrapping options in the future.
2. Donate food waste
Loads of people aren’t as fortunate as you are, so rather than letting that half-eaten fruit platter rot in the fridge, donate it to a nearby charity or homeless person as soon as you can so they can also enjoy the Christmas festivities.
3. Compost food waste
If your leftovers aren’t in a decent condition for human consumption, compost them and let them return to the earth. Don’t give poor-quality scraps to somebody on boxing day just because they’re less fortunate – be considerate and only donate decent-quality food rather than scraps that are going off.
4. Return, exchange, or donate gifts you do not want
Just imagine how many unwanted Christmas gifts end up in landfills every January. Our throw-away culture is as big a culprit of unnecessary waste-production as our dependence on single use plastics and papers is. Be honest with yourself and if you really won't use that gift, donate it, re-gift it or return it to the shops if possible.