Christmas is a time of celebrations and gift giving – of decorating Christmas trees, eating merrily and painstakingly wrapping gifts. It’s also a time of excessive consumption, with researchers determining that during this time we use and discard more single use and non-recyclable items. Then there’s food waste to consider, with Australians consuming a staggering 10 billion dollars’ worth of food, with over a third ending up in a landfill. With landfills nearing capacity and resources becoming scarcer, it’s up to all of us to produce less waste. Here are 7 ways to do so over the festive season.
Start a family tradition by investing in quality festive decorations that will last a lifetime and can be passed down from generation to generation. Cheap Christmas lights and plastic baubles wear out quickly and some aren’t recyclable.
Living Christmas trees can be recycled unlike fake trees made of non-biodegradable plastic. Although the practice of cutting down trees each year may seem like the less environmentally friendly option, the pine trees used are actually farmed specifically for Christmas, and after they are chopped down, new seedlings are planted in their place.
Avoid preparing Christmas dishes your family doesn’t like just because they’re ‘traditional’ and choose foods you enjoy instead. Don’t cook more than you need, and if there are leftovers, enjoy them for the next few days or freeze it for another time.
Increased energy consumption has a negative impact on the environment. You can decrease your consumption by using energy efficient LED bulbs or battery-operated lighting. For outdoor lighting, find Christmas lights that are solar powered and take advantage of the summer sun.
Giving thoughtful handmade gifts is a better idea than buying a mass-produced item that will be out of fashion in a year’s time. Why not whip up a batch of a friend’s favourite biscuits or knit them a scarf? Try and shop from local small businesses rather than large department stores too.
Use recyclable wrapping paper or make your own by decorating plain paper. You can also place it in a gift bag which the receiver can reuse, unlike torn wrapping paper.
If you’re replacing items like phones or cameras, make sure you discard the old ones responsibly at dedicated electronic disposal sites. Before dumping waste in kerbside bins, find out if they’re recyclable instead.
Another great reason to reduce festive waste and be kinder on the environment is that it will have a positive impact on your pocket. After all, the less you buy, the less you consume! To learn more about effective waste management options, or to book a skip bin after a particularly large Christmas celebration, contact WM Waste Management today.
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