Sunday, November 9, 2008

Protecting the Environment at the Holidays

I found some wonderful tips for recycling and reducing waste during the holidays on the Bath and North East Somerset Council website and wanted to share them here with my readers. Reduce, reuse, and ENJOY!

Tips for Recycling and Reducing at Christmas

Christmas can be a very wasteful time of year but with a bit of thought there's a lot you can do to help reduce the amount we throw away over this period. We have compiled a list of tips in conjunction with Recycle Now to give you ideas on how to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost more at Christmas.

Food and drink
Buy your fruit and veg naked (without packaging!) and then you can pick the best ones too!

When shopping for your Christmas feast, use a re-usable shopping bag or re-use old plastic bags.

Don’t forget to put the vegetable peelings from your Christmas dinner in your home compost bin.

If you’re having a party over Christmas time, opt for reusable plates, cutlery and glasses. Some supermarkets offer free loans of glasses to help keep costs down.

Think about buying recycled gifts for your loved ones this year. There are some great ideas at including recycled glass tableware and jewellery, recycled plastic Ipod cases, cosmetic bags made from juice cartons and a whole host of unusual gifts.

Buy an event or an experience as a unique waste-free gift.

Instead of using wrapping paper, try using reusable gift bags or boxes, a Christmas themed table cloth, tie a silk or velvet bow around the gift or use a Christmas stocking,

Use old comics, magazines, newspapers or pantomime programmes to wrap presents that can all be recycled after the festivities. Keep large sheets of wrapping paper to reuse next year.

Buy wrapping paper made from 100 per cent recycled materials and recycle it in your green box afterwards (providing it’s white backed paper)

Buy rechargeable batteries for all the children’s news toys and electrical gadgets - for every 500 charges you’ll save 499 batteries being thrown away!

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Try sending e-cards this year. E-cards mean no paper at all but the sentiments are still there.

Keep the Christmas cards you receive this year and re-use them next year as gift tags or to make in to cards again.

Eat your words! Why not make biscuits or buns with icing messages instead.

Save money and the environment – why not donate the money you normally spend on cards to a charity?

Or make sure you buy cards made from 100 per cent recycled materials.

Remember to recycle your Christmas cards in your green box once you’ve finished with them.

You can also help support the Woodland Trust Christmas Card Recycling Scheme who are aiming to plant 24,000 trees providing they can collect 100 million cards for recycling. To take part, please take you cards to any of the following stores before 31 January:

WH Smith, Tesco, TK Maxx, Marks & Spencer

Remember you can recycle 13 different items in your green recycling box and you can put your cardboard and brown paper out for free for the fortnightly cardboard and garden waste composting collections.

Start your own compost heap - it’s a great place to put all your vegetable peelings from Christmas dinner, plus all those extra newspapers and cardboard.

Recycle real Christmas trees. During January we will collect your real Christmas trees (without decorations) for free if you put them out as part of the cardboard and garden waste compost collections.

Take old toys, gifts and clothes to a charity shop where they can find a good home. These are also great places for picking up unusual gifts!

If you receive an ipod this Christmas, you may find yourself downloading and throwing out your old CDs. Make sure you recycle any unwanted ones and log onto to find your nearest CD recycling company.

Make a new year’s resolution to recycle more stuff, more often!

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