Reduce, reuse & recycle: Six tips for a more eco-friendly Christmas

Eco-friendly Christmas

Defnyddio, ailddefnyddio, ailgylchu: chwe phwynt pwysig ar gyfer Nadolig ecogyfeillgar.

It’s a sad fact that Christmas is a time when we all create more waste – from the extra food we buy to the volume of packaging we generate from Christmas gift purchases.

But this means it’s also a prime opportunity to make little changes that can really add up. I’ve teamed up with Wales Recycles on their BeMightyRecycle / Bydd Wych, Ailgylcha campaign to share some easy wins for a more eco-friendly Christmas in 2020.

This is a sponsored post, in collaboration with BeMightyRecycle.org.uk.

Reduce: Embrace Experiences Over ‘Stuff’

It’s a sad fact that beneath all of the sparkle and glitter of the Christmas period, it can be an exceptionally wasteful time of year, creating enough waste to make anyone wince.

But you can skip some of the eco-guilt that comes with splurging on unnecessary tat, by gifting experiences rather than ‘stuff’. Restaurant gift vouchers, experience days, and even hand-written IOU’s for future plans can often be even more meaningful, and will give the recipient something lovely to look forward to in 2021.

Recycle: Shop For Glass, Not Plastic

Whilst convenience-culture has seen staples like mayonnaise and ketchup repackaged in ‘squeezy’ plastic bottles, it’s far more eco-friendly to keep going for the traditional glass jars. Glass is super easy to recycle – and, unlike plastic, it can be recycled into new products again and again. 

If you’re not re-using them to store homemade treats – give your empty glass bottles and jars a rinse, and pop them in your green bags (or blue glass caddies) for council collection. Making sure all of your glass is recycled helps to tackle climate change, by reducing reliance on raw materials.

Reuse: Say Hooray for Handmade

Speaking of homemade treats, why not give friends and family something you have made yourself this year? There’s something lovely about receiving a gift that someone has spent time and effort creating just for you.

You can reuse those aforementioned glass jars and bottles to store homemade chutneys and jams. I’ve decided to have a go at making my own soy-wax candles this year, using some festive scented essential oils, and reusing some empty glass jars and containers. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Homemade chutney

Recycle: Your Christmas Tree

‘Real’ Christmas trees are 100% recyclable. Check with your council to see if they’ll collect them with your garden waste, and if they don’t, you can take them to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre instead.

Even plastic Christmas trees, with or without embedded lights, can be recycled if you’ve decided yours has had its day – it can be dropped off and placed with ‘rigid plastics’ at your local household waste recycling centre.

Reuse & Recycle: Your Food Waste

It’s definitely worth making a tasty stock from your turkey bones, and veg offcuts from your Christmas dinner. But if not, make sure you put it all into your food waste caddy – along with other waste like tea bags and coffee grounds, eggshells, veg peelings and stale bread. Even food which is mouldy can go into your caddy.

80% of Welsh citizens currently use their food recycling service, however not everyone recycles everything they can. Making sure any unusable food waste goes in your kitchen caddy for recycling and not in the bin means it can be turned into green energy. Most local authorities in Wales send their food waste to an anaerobic digestion facility, where it is turned into renewable energy to power homes and communities. Anaerobic digestion involves the natural breakdown of food into methane and carbon dioxide gas. These gases are then used to generate electricity to power homes and the local community.

Recycle: Your Paper, Cardboard & Packaging

We consume more cardboard over Christmas than any other time of year, but the good news is, 86% of people in Wales recycle their cardboard. Good, but there’s still room for improvement!

Remember to remove any packaging tape, and to flatten boxes to save space in your recycling container / bags. Christmas cards can also be recycled but remove any ribbons, bows, glitter or foil before putting into your recycling. If paper and card is recycled separately in your local area, place cards in your card container and place envelopes in your paper container.

Making sure we all recycle properly helps to save energy – we can use existing materials to make new things rather than need to extract new materials from the earth.

If you’re unsure about what you can recycle at home, use the Recycling Locator which tells you what can be recycled in your local area www.walesrecycles.org.uk/about-recycling-locator  

For more information on Wales Recycles’ 12 days of Christmas campaign, visit BeMightyRecycle.org.uk or ByddWychAilgylcha.org.uk.

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2 Comments

  1. December 15, 2020 / 4:40 am

    Great ideas here! I love giving experience gifts! I’d like to give more homemade items too, but it can be hard to find the time and effort to make things. Good luck with the candles!!

    • HungryCityHippy
      Author
      December 15, 2020 / 10:34 am

      Thank you 🙂 And yes, totally agree on experience gifts, we always get restaurant vouchers from my husband’s side of the family which is great! x

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