This year we’ve noticed one big trend. Bigger than any other, and only set to get bigger in 202 as we enter a new decade. The eco-friendly movement has grown and grown this year, and now even the most consumerist folks are still watching their impact on the environment. And while Christmas is a truly magical time of year for people of all ages – it’s also incredibly wasteful. We create an average of 30% more waste during the festive season, and most of it ends up in landfill. But if you’re committed to making a few teeny weeny changes, you could make a really big difference.
Use Recyclable Wrapping Paper
Did you know that most commercial wrapping paper isn’t actually recyclable? We know, it’s awful! Especially when you consider that the UK alone uses 227,000 miles of wrapping paper every year. Most of it is dyed with metal-based dyes, or is decorated with coloured foil and glitters, which while they look great, mean they can’t be recycled properly. So all of it ends up in landfill. Using recyclable paper is a fantastic way to make sure your Christmas wrapping avoids landfill completely. And yes, while plain brown might not be exciting in itself, it does leave you with a lot of space to creatively decorate it for each person! For families this can be a great activity, and it shows a little extra care and effort for the people you love, and the world you live in.
Reuse old Christmas Cards for Gift Tags
Rather than buying new gift cards or gift tags (which suffer from the same problem as most wrapping paper and aren’t recyclable), consider getting thrifty. We throw away around 1 billion Christmas cards each year, which is the equivalent to 33 million trees just thrown away. Around 900 million Christmas cards are send whizzing around the UK in total each year, and they are covered in festive imagery and colourful pictures. So why not grab a handful of old Christmas cards from the junk drawer and give them a makeover? Cut them out, decorate them and voila! A perfectly good Christmas label with no waste at all. Plus you’ll save money on gift tags and free up some drawer space.
Make your own Decorations
Making your own decorations can be a fun activity for the whole family. Dried willow branches can be wound in a circle to make the base of a wreath, and other natural materials such as pinecones and holly can be found growing wild all over the UK. You could make snowflakes out of scrap paper, woollen baubles from scrap wool, and stockings from scrap fabrics and ribbons. All of these methods will save you a bit of cash, reduce waste, and get you feeling festive.
Dispose of Trees Responsibly
Once Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to take the tree down and pack away the decorations for another year. But what do you do with the tree? If you have an artificial one, you might pack it back into it’s box to use another year, or you might decide you want to upgrade for next year and get rid of the old one. But most artificial trees aren’t recyclable, so why not donate it instead? There are plenty of families out there who would appreciate an artificial tree at a lower price, and you can help others in need instead of contributing to landfill. For real trees, you don’t need to worry so much. Most local councils will accept them for recycling once Christmas is over, and they will be turned into wood chippings for playgrounds and public gardens. Or you could buy a ‘living’ Christmas tree – one that can be planted into your garden for the rest of the year, and then potted and brought back inside at Christmas. This can be a lovely tradition and keeps a single tree growing with the family.
At Greenaway we are passionate about recycling and protecting the environment, and we want you all to feel the same way. That’s why we’re proud to be a part of the recycling industry, helping businesses and individuals to dispose of waste in a responsible way and increase the recycling rate at the same time. If you’d like to know more, just get in touch with the team today. And from all of us, have a very Merry Christmas!