Recycling, reusing and reducing are probably at the bottom of your to-do list this Christmas, but it doesn’t take heaps of effort to get green over the festive holidays – promise! Here are 7 mistakes we all make over Christmas, and easy ways to resolve them. Don’t worry, we won’t tell Santa…
1 Not transforming wrapping paper
Don’t scrunch up the wrapping paper and bung it all in the bin; give it a second lease of life (and save yourself some money in the process!). Shred the sheets up (you can do this by tearing or cutting if you don’t have access to a shredder) and pop them in bag for use as gift wrap filler in the future.
2 Binning broken Christmas lights
Around 500 tonnes of old Christmas lights are thrown away every year (can you believe it?). If you’re lights aren’t working, check for a blown bulb as this could be the problem. Still not glowing? Don’t dash them in your waste bin, take them to your local recycle centre which you can find here.
3 Buying too much food
… and letting it go to waste! Bubble and squeak is a firm festive favourite for many families who’ve over done it on the Christmas grub. If you’ve still got a load of leftovers, make sure you compost them. We’ve got a handy guide on how to start composting here.
But what about all that uncooked food that’s nearing its use-by date, we hear you ask? Stick it in the freezer – we’ve got tips on that, too! Check out Love Food Hate Waste’s handy guide on use-by dates.
4 Collecting wrapping paper in plastic bags
Step away from the bin liners… Recycling works best when items aren’t put in plastic bags. Why? We’re glad you asked. Bin bags can get jammed in the machinery at the recycling plant which causes all manner of problems. Save the extra effort and just pop used wrapping paper straight in your brown bin.
5 Picking up single-use batteries
The chances are at least one person in your household will open a battery-operated pressie on 25 December, so make sure you get yourself some rechargeable batteries. And, if you do accidentally get single-use ones, make sure you recycle them at your nearest recycle centre.
6 Not flattening cardboard boxes
Make sure all cardboard packaging is recycled in your brown bin this year, and before you put it in, flatten it down to save yourself space.
7 Putting excess recyclables in the grey bin
Got too much recycling and not enough room in your bin? You can take additional recyclables to your local recycling centre. If you’re not able to get there, pack it in a clear bag and leave it next to your recycling bin so our refuse team can collect it.