13 Dec 10 Ways to Minimise Waste this Christmas
Christmas is the best period to spend quality time with family and friends; everybody loves the festive season! However, it’s also a time of overindulgence and consumption, meaning we create more waste than usual. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way! Being a bit more mindful this season will ensure you can have a conscious Christmas and joyful time!
Household waste typically increases by approximately 30% over the Christmas period, making it one of the most wasteful times of the year. This is why our team at Indaver have compiled some great ideas to show you how we can minimise waste and have a greener Christmas, whilst enjoying the party!
Wrapping paper spread everywhere across the floor, leftover food on the table, a pile of unwanted presents hiding in the corner, sound familiar? Christmas day could be even more pleasant without the unnecessary waste that comes with it. Create new traditions and get creative this holiday season with environmentally conscious alternatives!
Don’t give presents
Yes, you heard us correctly! You could stop giving physical gifts, and alternatively, you could create wonderful memories with your loved ones, especially young children. The idea is to give the gift of having fun together and be present. Gather your loved ones to go ice skating, take a trip to the zoo, try skydiving, or go out for a nice meal; there are plenty of choices to suit everybody!
Buy preloved gifts
There are many second-hand shops where you can get stylish clothing, with the benefit of not costing an arm and leg! Preloved may mean it’s not perfect, but re-using items certainly reduces our impact on the environment. The loved one receiving will certainly appreciate a thoughtful find from a local charity shop, and don’t forget that you could also giveaway unwanted items from your own wardrobe too!
Rent a Christmas tree
As we all wind down from the festive season, millions of people will be looking to take down their Christmas tree. The government’s waste agency estimates that the UK’s wasted trees weigh in at around 160,000 tonnes, and the cost of landfilling 8 million trees to be £22 million! This is why eco-trees are such a fantastic idea! In order to minimise waste, if your tree is from a participating supplier, they will collect your tree after the big day and replant it on the farm, meaning it’s available to rent again in the future!
Use sustainable decorations
We all love to decorate our homes at Christmas time – adding that extra sparkle can really add to the excitement! With many of us now opting for a more sustainable lifestyle, or at least looking to minimise waste, environmentally friendly decorations are a must have. There are many unique, plastic-free, ideas available, ranging from dried orange garlands and salt dough stars, to crochet baubles or rosemary wreaths!
Check your wrapping paper
Prior to buying any wrapping paper, it’s definitely worth checking if you have any leftover from last year. If you find that you do need some more, you ought to keep in mind that not all wrapping paper is recyclable. Try to avoid plastic laminated paper, paper with a metallic film, tissue or crepe paper, as well as paper with additives, as these are not recyclable. Keep an eye out for paper labelled with the FSC certificate, as this means it’s made from a sustainably managed forest or it contains a high amount of recycled material already.
Send less cards
Did you know that 1 in 4 Christmas cards are unrecycled? This is detrimental to the environment, let alone your pockets! Buying and posting cards can quickly become costly. To reduce expenses as well as lessen the impact on the environment, many people are choosing to send digital ‘e’ cards rather than physical cards. If you prefer to send a card directly, then you should use cards with the FSC certificate or those marked as recyclable.
Reduce food waste
Astoundingly, over 75 million mince pies are wasted every year! Households usually buy even more food over Christmas compared to everyday, meaning the proportion of food wasted is even larger. This comes with both an environmental and financial cost. The secret to avoiding food waste is to plan ahead; check your freezer space, plan your meals in advance, make a shopping list, and store your foods appropriately. If you do find yourself with leftovers at the end, compost bins are a great way to dispose of your organic waste.
It’s estimated that around 50% of all Christmas purchases will be made online. That represents a lot of delivery vehicles on the road as well as additional packaging. Shopping local and supporting small businesses means less packaging is used and less travel emissions, resulting in a better outcome for both the community and the environment. If you do find yourself buying gifts online, then many retailers use cardboard boxes that can easily be recycled. However, it’s worth noting if the packaging contains plastic film air pillows, which will need to be popped prior to recycling.
Recycle fairy lights
With over 500 tonnes of Christmas lights disposed of every year in the UK, this is a major cause for concern. If you find that your lights aren’t working, it’s worth the effort to fix them as it’s both cheaper and more environmentally friendly. However, if you do want to dispose of your lights, then you can donate unwanted working lights to local charity shops. If they’re not fixable, then they should be recycled at a suitable facility. Also, shockingly, traditional incandescent lights use up to 90 times more electricity than LED lights! You should always check the amount of electricity the lights will use to avoid unnecessary energy consumption. Even better, battery powered lights are very efficient and when teamed with rechargeable batteries, this can make for a great pairing. If you only have non-rechargeable batteries and it’s time to replace them, you can simply recycle them at a local battery collection point.
Wear second-hand jumpers
Most people love wearing cosy Christmas jumpers at his time of year. However, unfortunately, they only tend to come out of the closet once a year and you may not want to be seen in the same outfit again! Swapping jumpers with other people in your community is a fantastic way to update your look. If not, it’s worth considering a visit to the local charity shop or second-hand market to find a bargain! Remember to donate your unwanted jumpers to a clothing bank or try to sell them for somebody else to love.
At Indaver, we are keen to minimise waste this winter! If you’d like to find out more about our sustainable waste management services and how we support the local community, then please get in touch with us today! Our team can be contacted via email at email@example.com.