Deck the halls – but do it wisely!

The festive season is upon us, a time for family, friends, fun and if we’re not careful a lot of waste!! It is easy over the Christmas period to waste both resources and hard earned money when caught up in the silly season!

Over Christmas we generate more waste than any other time of the year. Just take a moment to think of all the purchases you have made so far – there’s likely to be wrapping paper, cards, decorations, food, as well as an abundance of gifts. Surveys have shown that around 20% of the food we buy over Christmas goes to waste, and not only that but 10% of the money we spend on presents goes towards gifts people just didn’t really want.

We can all do our bit over the next few weeks to reduce, reuse and recycle. Here are some tips to help you through the Christmas period:

–          When shopping for food plan ahead, write a list and check it twice – better still send someone else with your list as they won’t be tempted to buy extra,

–          Buy in bulk to avoid excess packaging,

–          Cover and refrigerate Christmas leftovers and continue the feast on Boxing day,

–          Be sure to recycle gift wrapping and cards – or better still save and reuse next year (Christmas cards can be cut suitably for gift cards),

–          Instead of using wrapping paper try wrapping with scarves, tea towels, hankies or anything that can be reused,

–          If packing fragile gifts use shredded paper or popped popcorn as a buffer that can then be placed on the compost, and

–          If the recycle bin is full, make a place to keep your excess recyclables until your next collection.

Also, keep in mind that many Australians would love a donation to their favourite charity made on their behalf instead of getting a present.

If you would like to know how to further green up your Christmas check out the Planet Ark’s Festive Season Green Guide at http://festiverecycling.planetark.org/

Merry Christmas everyone!