Seven easy ways to avoid excess waste this Christmas
Christmas is the season of giving…and NOT giving up the war on waste!
Many households will produce around a third more waste over the Christmas period and around 35% of the food purchased during this time ends up being discarded so we’ve put together 10 easy ways to avoid generating more landfill over the festive period.
Gift with impact
Think of it as gifting access rather than ownership, or things that will create memories and provide experiences rather than just giving family, friends, colleagues and neighbours more ‘stuff’. If you are going to gift stuff consider the lifespan of it – a good reusable coffee cup, water bottle, bag, container or a book on low-waste living might actually prevent future waste from being created, making it a gift that keeps on giving.
This infographic by Just Little Changes is a great source of inspiration!
Be a waste-savvy wrapper
By all means, use up what you have, but from this point forward why not commit to no longer buying gift wrap and ribbons? Tea towels, scarves, kids’ paintings, newspaper and other lightweight packaging all make good alternatives to traditional gift wrap. Twine and ribbons from objects you purchase and receive throughout the year can be used to provide those finishing touches. And don’t bother buying gift tags either, these can easily be made from recycled cards or even cardboard packaging. And the best thing about reusing and re-purposing items is that you won’t create new waste in the process!
Shop preloved and recycled
Divert extra waste from landfill this Christmas by buying second-hand items that still have plenty of life left in them, or choosing items that have been made from recycled materials.
Have a food plan
Routines are often overtaken by indulgences over Christmas. Make a realistic food plan and try and buy only what you need. Fill containers with leftovers – these will make excellent post-Christmas meals and freeze what you can to help preserve it even longer.
Donating comes in many forms – giving money to a charity doing good things in lieu of a gift or even giving your time to do something meaningful for someone else can be excellent ways to share Christmas spirit between friends and family. You should also make sure you pass on unwanted gifts to people who will use them rather than leaving them languishing in a cupboard.
Say no to excess packaging
Become a single-minded shopper when it comes to single-use plastic. Whether it’s at the supermarket, in the toy aisle, at the beauty counter or in the homewares department, vote with your dollars and chose items with little or no excess plastic packaging.
Santa doesn’t send a team of elves to sort through your rubbish bin at Christmas time so make sure you stay committed to recycling. Sure, a few extra bottles, wrapping paper and cardboard going into your general waste bin might not feel too bad, but when that’s times by almost 900,000 households it really adds up! Take a look at our recycling tips if you need a reminder about what goes where.
And one bonus tip – don’t forget that packaging from commonly eaten treats like chips, chocolates and sweets are recyclable via your local supermarket program so make sure you don’t throw them out!
We hope you’re able to own your impact this Christmas and encourage friends and family to do the same! We’d love to hear how you succeed so be sure to tag us (@ownyourimpactwa or #ownyourimpactwa) on social media as you share your own tips!