Ten tips from Wealden District Council on how to reduce waste this Christmas:
- Christmas cards
Up to one billion cards are bought for Christmas and destined for the bin by January. Sending electronic cards is a fantastic way to cut your waste at Christmas – and many charities now do them. You can make your own by using family pictures or even sending a festive video message. For the cards that you receive, why not turn them into next year’s gift tags or Christmas ornaments.
- Rethink wrapping
Most shiny metallic or glossy wrapping paper, which is popular at Christmas, can’t be recycled. If in doubt, test it out with the ‘scrunch test’ – if you literally scrunch the paper in your hand and it stays in a ball, it can be put into the recycling. Brown parcel paper or even old newspapers, magazines and comics make a great alternative. Use string or ribbons to decorate.
- Make memories
Instead of giving more stuff to clutter each other’s homes, why not give experiences that you can enjoy together – like concert tickets, a fancy meal, a spa day, arts and crafts classes? There’s something for everyone.
- Make your own
Homemade gifts and decorations are a great option to create something very special and personal for your family and friends. You could even invite friends for a gift-making evening full of fun and creativity.
- Christmas shopping
Only buy what you need! The amount of perfectly good food that is thrown away because of over-buying is staggering. Make a list before you head out to the shops and make sure to stick to it. Check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for lots of tips on planning your meals and portion sizes. To cut down on packaging waste, try to buy your fruit and vegetables loose and don’t forget to take your own bag.
- Christmas greens
A staggering 4 million Christmas dinners go to waste each year. Not only is this a waste of delicious food, but it also has a serious impact on the environment. For some great tips on using up leftover food visit https://lovefoodhatewaste.com
- Re-gift unwanted presents!
If you receive any presents that you know you won’t use, please don’t just throw them away. Why not either donate them to a charity shop, or give them to friends that you know might like them more.
- Home composting
Instead of throwing away your vegetable peelings, turn them into compost. It’s great for your garden and the environment. It will also save you money. For details about the county council’s great value compost bins and food waste digesters, visit https://getcomposting.com
- Christmas trees
It’s easy to recycle your real tree in Wealden. Just cut it up and place it in your brown bin or leave it in manageable chunks (less than four feet tall) next to your brown bin. Alternatively you can take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Site
Don’t forget to remove all decorations from the tree!
- Recycle, recycle, recycle…
Wealden District Council offers a wide range of recycling options, so even if you need to throw something away, most of it won’t need to go to waste. For a full list of what can and can’t go in the recycling bin, have a look at your new Recycling Calendar or visit the Wealden website www.wealden.gov.uk/recycling and click on the ‘What goes in each container’ link.