The festive break is a time for friends and family to gather together and celebrate the year that has past and all that we have to be thankful for, and perhaps eat a little too much. However, amongst all the merriness of the holidays there are some important things that we all should remember. According to WRAP the amount of Christmas wrapping paper thrown away every year in the UK could stretch to the moon! Although this is an impressive statistic, there is something deeply concerning about this figure. We all have the responsibility to do something about it, but this doesn’t mean we to be Scrooges. So how can we still enjoy the festive period in sustainable ways?
This festive period, the UK will generate millions of tonnes of rubbish that can be saved from going to landfill. Aside from recycling, there are some fun, creative and hassle free ways of saving and reusing those spare turkey trimmings, wrapping paper and cards. We have compiled a Green Christmas Guide to help you start planning what to do with your left overs and to inspire you to think beyond Christmas Day to how we might conserve our planet during the busy festive period.
The #greenChristmas Guide
Your Christmas tree can be recycled! Most councils will pick up your Christmas tree for you to be composted so be sure to check out your local councils’ website for specific details.
Using LED lights to decorate your home will not only reduce your energy usage by up to 90% compared to traditional lights, but also save you money on your utility bills. Remember to turn the lights off before going to bed to avoid wasting energy.
Christmas decorations can be expensive to buy on top of everything else at Christmas. Why not try making some of your own decorations by using some these effective ideas: http://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/crafts/recycled/projects/5-recycled-christmas-decorations-crafts.htm.
Christmas cards and wrapping paper
We all know how many cards come through our letter boxes, and the dreaded feeling we have when we remember that we’ve forgotten to send someone a card, but can’t quite remember who. We all know too well the huge mound of wrapping paper in the middle of the room at the end of the day, but it all doesn’t have to be thrown away to landfill. Wrapping paper can be recycled, or if you are a neat person you could try and reuse it the following year! Cards can also be recycled but check out these fun and creative ways of reusing them:
- Cut off the side of the card with the picture to make present name tags that can be used the following year. Use a whole punch and some ribbon to tie!
- Cards can make lovely little gift boxes! Check out this link for more details http://www.kinderart.com/recycle/cardbox.shtml
- Make some Christmas confetti for the table for the following year by cutting out small shapes from your cards’ designs
If you receive something you already have, or if you have that family member who is particularly bad at choosing presents don’t throw it away! Perhaps in time you will come to love that present or find a use for it? Otherwise, why not think about donating it to a charity shop or to a friend who may have always really wanted those socks your grandmother knitted you!
Every year during the Christmas holidays we eat too much, yet every year we inevitably leftovers, but what should we do with it all? Now is the time to plan what you want to do with your leftovers and when you want to eat them. And, leftovers CAN be delicious! Did you know that brandy butter makes an excellent ingredient when making sweet short crust pastry! Weigh and use the label to calculate how much butter is contained in what you have left. For more exciting and yummy recipes follow the link: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/christmas-leftovers.
Glass and Cans
Remember you can recycle glass and cans! From wine bottles to cans of beer, to jars of cranberry sauce to cans of tinned tomatoes, make sure you recycle recycle recycle this Christmas and New Year.