This period of Christmas and New Years can be a pretty wasteful season. In the UK alone, it creates 30 percent more waste than usual. Think about all the extra food, decorations, and gifts that comes with this holiday season, and most of it ends up being thrown away. Below are some UK facts (Based on Wrap Research):
· About 300,000 tons of packaging are wasted each year during Christmas season
· Around 1 billion Christmas cards are thrown away each year
· 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is used on Christmas presents
· 230,000 tonnes of festive food are wasted during the festive season.
Sounds like a lot of waste, doesn’t it? So, this year we could make it all less wasteful, by following these 7 tips:
Wrapping paper can be quite difficult to be recycled, this is due to all materials that are added to the paper, like glitter, laminated film, colouring, plastics, and all the sticky tape that we use to wrap it.
Instead of wasting wrapping paper that will be ripped apart and thrown away, why not using old newspapers or leftover brown paper. A beautiful and creative wrapping style is to use reusable fabrics. This video shows how you can do it in a stylish way.
You also can ditch the tape. Here is a tutorial on how to wrap your present without any tape.
To be less wasteful you don’t need to forgo decorating for the festive season, you will only need to make a few adjustments. Instead of buying a lot of Christmas decorations, why don’t you make your own using materials you have in your home. Here and here are a few ideas.
If you are not into arts and crafts, you can also head to a charity shop/ vintage store and get some second-hand decorations. They are unique, and you will not be adding any more waste to the environment.
If you still prefer to buy new decorations, try to invest in quality instead of quantity. Get decorations that will last you for decades.
This time of the year is when we spent the most on gifts for all loved ones. This year try to do something different. Here a few options:
· Make your own gift. Here and here are some great DIYs and treats ideas for gifts.
· Give a nice bottle of wine, beer, olive oil, chilly oil, or coffee from a local farmer’s market or your area.
· Look for gifts that are handcrafted and locally made.
· Give experiences. What about treating a loved one to a concert, exhibition, theatre or a day out?
· Give something they really want and will use, if you can get it second- handed even better. A second-hand book can be a great gift.
· Write a thoughtful letter. It is always nice to receive it.
· Give something they can download or use it online, like e-books, online subscriptions, memberships, classes, or courses.
· Plan a Secret Santa with your family and friends, that way you minimalize gift giving and will be able to give something someone really wants.
4. Shop Smart
Make a list before you go shopping with all your meals already planned. That way you save money and prevent food wastage.
Also get creative and make new recipes with leftovers from Christmas dinners. Here are some quick and delicious recipes.
Make sure all your Christmas waste is separated, washed and recycled properly. Try to buy all your food with no or less packaging and choose packaging that can be recycled or upcycled. Choose glass instead of plastic. Here are some ideas on how to upcycle wine bottles and glass jars.
6. Christmas Cards
In the UK around 17 cards are given to each person a year. That’s a lot of money and waste produced. It is possible to send your best Christmas wishes without being wasteful. Why don’t you create your own e-card and send it via e-mail or social media? A great website to create our own personalised e-cards is Picmonkey and Paperless post.
If you are more old school and prefer to give physical cards, a great idea is to make your own cards. Here are some great DIY and recycled Christmas card ideas.
This Christmas, instead of throwing your food scraps in the bin, compost them. It is great for your garden and even better for the environment. Check if your council collects food scraps to turn into compost. If you have space and a garden, you can make your own compost at home, here is how.
Don’t forget to also recycle your Christmas tree at your council designated recycling centre or call the local council contractor to come and collect it.
These tips will make your Christmas much less wasteful and save you money. The environment will be thankful for your effort.
If you want to learn more about how to reduce your waste at home, click here. Do you also want to get to know more about our projects to reduce wastage and improve recycling? Click here and find out more.
Do you have any more tips to reduce your waste during the festive season? Leave your comment below