Keeping Mindful at Christmas
Recycling throughout the festive holidays is more important now than ever, it is believed that an additional 30% of waste is produced over the Christmas period. Unfortunately, most of this waste will make its way to landfill where it goes on to damage the environment. With the threat of climate change going nowhere in the new year it begs the question, what can consumers do to reduce our impact on the planet?
Less is More
For most people Christmas is a time of excess, more eating, drinking and fun with friends and family. Christmas 2020 undoubtedly will be a different Christmas in many ways, but one of the main changes you can make is to impact the environment less.
By making some small tweaks to your Christmas routine you can curve your consumption and have a greener more sustainable Christmas 2020.
Some of the most beneficial changes that consumers can make to go green at Christmas is to reduce overall consumption, this can be in the form of buying local from independent stores or re-gifting second hand and pre-loved items that may have otherwise gone to landfill. Gifting personal and unique gifts do not always have to be store bought. Gifts such as vouchers for services for example nail treatments or experiences to remember can go a long way for a special someone or the whole family. Books, records, electrical equipment or even teapots and cups all make amazing second-hand gift ideas.
Reduce, Reuse Recycle. In That Order.
Many Christmas decorations that are made from glass and plastic can be used time and time again, keeping decorations classic and timeless will ensure that you can use them year after year. To avoid decorations going to the landfill you can donate tinsel and un-recyclable baubles to charity shops or some local food banks may accept them to give some Christmas cheer to those less fortunate (it is best to contact charities directly to make sure they are accepting decorations).
300,000 tonnes of cardboard packaging is said to be used during the festive season, which is enough to cover London’s Big Ben almost 260,000 times. When buying online for home delivery, it is unavoidable that you will accumulate excessive packaging, as cardboard is widely recycled you can break it down, remove excess tape and place in your recycling bin. Over the festive season, some recycling centres take additional bags of paper and cardboard so check online before placing recyclable goods into your general waste bin.
Know Your Bins
Any items that have a plug, use batteries or have a symbol of a wheelie bin with a cross through are known as waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). These items often include Christmas tree lights, fairy lights and Christmas toys. These items should not be sent to landfill and can be recycled at your local household waste recycling centres. To correctly dispose of WEEE products look at your local recycling centres webpage.
And to wrap things up, back in 2017 the UK sent an enormous 277,000 miles of wrapping paper to landfill after Christmas. For greener Christmas solutions you can visit your local council’s website to see what sorts of wrapping paper they accept. As a rule of thumb, glitter cannot be recycled in any form. For foiled and metallic wrapping paper the easiest way to know if it goes in the recycling or the general waste bin is to do the scrunch test. If the wrapping paper stays scrunched then it can be recycled. If it straightens back out then it will need to go in the general waste bin. Some alternatives for wrapping paper is the classic brown wrapping paper, that can be paired with gift tags and yarn. Alternately gifting in gift bags is a good idea as they can be used again and again.
For more tips on staying green over the festive period follow our Instagram @solowaste_ltd where we share sustainable tips every day.