It’s no surprise to know that the festive season generates a lot of excess waste.
But as we start to become aware of our impact on the world around us, it’s important we start making conscious decisions to reduce what we throw away- particularly around this time of year.
Here are a few simples ways in which I have made an effort to lessen my waste during the holiday season:
No Wrapping Paper
When wrapping your gifts, opt for brown paper instead of buying and using traditional wrapping paper- which isn’t recyclable.
I got mine from Wilko for £1 and can be recycled after use, or even reused.
It can create a stylish, rustic look when tied with a piece of string or raffia, and can be easily personalised for the recipient with a message, drawings or paints.
When buying your gifts, think secondhand first. You’ll be surprised what unique, special items you can pick up in charity shops or online sites. (It will also save you money.)
Also, keep this in mind if you receive a gift you don’t want/ like- donate it (or re-gift it to someone who would get more use out of it!)
Alternatively, gifting experiences or memories significantly reduce waste and can be more meaningful for the receiver, especially if it’s an experience you can share.
Homemade gifts are also a thoughtful present- get creative!
This year I’m making candles; in previous years I’ve made photo collages and fairy gardens which have gone down great with those who received them.
Also, be conscious of plastic packaging on the items you’re buying and no gifts with batteries!
I don’t tend to send Christmas cards anymore, but if you’re one with a long address book, buy cards that can be recycled (and remind people to do so), or send an e-card instead.
If I do buy cards I buy ones from recycled paper or send a handwritten letter instead.
Ditch the Crackers
Crackers, despite being mostly made of paper and cardboard, are full of unnecessary plastic toys that get lost or thrown away. Instead, you could opt for sweets or a ‘goodie bag’, and get people to write their own jokes,
It’s no secret that Christmas is a time renowned for overeating, but to help reduce food waste plan portion sizes based on how many guests will be at the table, and send them home with leftovers at the end of the festivities.
Also, remember to take reusable bags when shopping and use mesh or paper bags for food instead of plastic-wrapped veg.
Fake trees can be used for years, or a real tree must be properly recycled in garden waste, or get creative and make a tree out of whatever you have!
Opt for solar lights if possible and turn them off when not in the room.