Wealden District Council

Wealden Home  >  Council  >  News and Events  >  News  >  Enjoy a waste free Christmas

Enjoy a waste free Christmas

Media Release : 05 December 2018

We love Christmas, but we hate waste. And Christmas can be the most wasteful time of the year.

Christmas wrapping

It is estimated that over the Christmas holiday, the UK produces 30% more waste than usual. Greeting cards, plastic decorations and unwanted gifts all create a massive amount of waste. The real cost of a Merry Christmas can be devastating for the environment. 

“Packaging and wrapping may add to the excitement of Christmas” said Councillor Roy Galley, Cabinet member for Waste Management.  “But they add to a growing burden of waste after it. By thinking ahead, we can hopefully reduce the amount of waste we will leave behind not just after Christmas, but for future generations.

“Here are ten easy things you can do to reduce your environmental impact this Christmas: Let’s all enjoy this season together.”

Wealden’s 10 Top Tips for Reducing Christmas Waste

1. Christmas cards

Up to one billion cards are bought for Christmas and destined for the bin by January. Sending electronic cards is a fantastic way to cut your waste at Christmas – and many charities now do them. You can make your own by using family pictures or even sending a festive video message. For the cards that you receive, why not turn them into next year’s gift tags or Christmas ornaments. 

2. Rethink wrapping

Most shiny metallic or glossy wrapping paper, which is popular at Christmas, can’t be recycled. If in doubt, test it out with the ‘scrunch test’.  If you literally scrunch the paper in your hand and it stays in a ball, it can be put into the recycling. Brown parcel paper or even old newspapers, magazines and comics make a great alternative. Use string or ribbons to decorate.

3. Make memories

Instead of giving more stuff to clutter each other’s homes, why not give experiences that you can enjoy together? Like concert tickets, a fancy meal, a spa day, arts and crafts classes?  There’s something for everyone. 

4. Make your own

Homemade gifts and decorations are a great option to create something very special and personal for your family and friends. You could even invite friends for a gift-making evening full of fun and creativity.

5. Christmas shopping

Only buy what you need! The amount of perfectly good food that is thrown away because of over-buying is staggering. Make a list before you head out to the shops and make sure to stick to it. Check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for lots of tips on planning your meals and portion sizes. To cut down on packaging waste, try to buy your fruit and vegetables loose and don’t forget to take your own bag. 

6. Christmas greens

A staggering 4 million Christmas dinners go to waste each year. Not only is this a waste of delicious food, but it also has a serious impact on the environment. For some great tips on using up leftover food visit the Love Food Hate Waste website  

7. Re-gift unwanted presents!

If you receive any presents that you know you won’t use, please don’t just throw them away. Why not either donate them to a charity shop, give them to friends that you know might like them more. 

 

8. Home composting

Instead of throwing away your vegetable peelings, turn them into compost. It’s great for your garden and the environment. It will also save you money. For details about the County Council’s great value compost bins and food waste digesters, visit https://getcomposting.com

9. Christmas trees

It’s easy to recycle your real tree in Wealden. Just cut it up and place it in your brown bin or leave it in manageable chunks (less than 4 feet tall) next to your brown bin. Alternatively you can take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Site

Don’t forget to remove all decorations from the tree!

10. Recycle, recycle, recycle…

Wealden District Council offers a wide range of recycling options. So even if you need to throw something away, most of it won’t need to go to waste. For a full list of what can and can’t go in the recycling bin, have a look at your new Recycling Calendar. Or visit our website and click on the ‘What goes in each container’ link.

 

The Waste Team at Wealden would like to thank you for your efforts which helped us to achieve an amazing recycling rate of over 50%. 

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.