As you know, we have been following with interest the BBC show Hughâ€™s War on Waste and in recent weeks the show has highlighted the amount of waste we produce as a nation. Whether its food, packaging or textile waste, we have developed a dependency on landfill and this is an issue which has come to the fore as we aim to meet European recycling rates by 2020.
We are fast approaching the time of year when we will inevitably produce the most waste â€“ Christmas. From the plastic wrapping on the food we purchase for our Christmas dinners to the Christmas tree itself, so much of the waste we generate at this time of year could be recycled â€“ yet on average we actually produce 30% more waste.
So as we all begin trawling the high street for those festive purchases and stock up our cupboards with delicious food, here are a few things we can all be doing to reduce our impact on the environment this year. We have split them into three categories:
Reduce Your Waste
- Through the introduction of the 5p carrier bag charge, we have already seen efforts to reduce the number of plastic bags we get through during our Christmas shopping. You can make a difference by investing in reusable shopping bags to use when making your purchases.
- It can be easy when wrapping presents to use far more paper than is necessary. By using only the amount of paper you actually require, you can reduce waste, make your rolls of wrapping paper go further and ultimately save yourself money. Better still; why not invest in a Christmas stocking to hold smaller gifts?
Reuse Your Waste
- Every year we spend millions of pounds on cards, paper and wrapping accessories. Instead of spending money buying new tags for your presents, use pinking shears to make your own using old Christmas cards.
- An estimated 8 million Christmas trees are sold in the UK every year and within a few weeks they are all thrown away. You can avoid this by purchasing a tree which still has its roots attached â€“ these can be replanted in the garden in the spring. Alternatively, why not invest in an artificial tree which can be reused year after year.
- More than 620 million batteries are thrown away every year. If you are buying your children electronic toys this Christmas, this could be dramatically reduced by investing in rechargeable batteries.
Recycle Your Waste
- Once the festive period is over, much of your waste can be recycled. Use recycling bins to dispose of your paper, cards, glass, cans and plastics.
- All the peelings generated when preparing the Christmas dinner can be composted.