Christmas is a time of happiness and joy for many and during the festive season, we often indulge in the luxuries in life; a Christmas tree with all the accessories; a massive turkey with all the trimmings and so much more. During the festive season, the environmental impacts of our behaviour are often forgotten. For example, food waste increases by 80% over the Christmas period so it is an issue which needs to be addressed. Is there anything you think you could change this year to green your Christmas?
Yes there is!
You can reduce, reuse, and recycle! Making a few small changes at home or in school is all it takes! For example, why spend so much money on store-bought decorations when you could actually make your own stuff out of materials you probably have lying around the house? Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll have an opportunity to show your creativity and individuality through your creations. You can make reindeers out of toilet paper or cute ornaments for the Christmas tree out of plastic bottles. Snowmen out of cans can be great decorations for your garden. You can also recycle wrapping paper or use reusable gift boxes. The UK uses 50,000 trees worth of wrapping paper a year which is enough to gift wrap the island of Guernsey.
Planning your meal ahead this Christmas will also cut down on food waste significantly. If you do end up with leftovers, try to be a bit adventurous in the kitchen! Be conscious of not overstocking and over-purchasing perishable items in particular.
Here are more ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle:
- Put old items to good use rather than sending them to the landfill in your trash. Items such as old maps, comics, posters, colorful fabric can be used as wrapping paper. You can even make boxes from old holiday cards.
- Recycle those batteries. About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Don’t throw the old ones away! Take them to a nearby Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center.
- For your greenest friends, consider giving a compost bin or even a vermi-composting bin. Worms make great friends for the younger set. And they are a gift to the environment.
- Give gifts that require little or no packaging. Give the gift of time—cooking, babysitting, gardening or tickets to an event.
- Re-gift – no joke! Make room for new gifts by taking used clothing, outdated but functioning devices and furniture to the Barangay Hall or Parish Church for donation.
Everyone gets merry and perhaps overindulges at this time of the year but these are few simple things you can do to help the environment. There would be lots of parties thrown this holiday period and we can help reduce the number of waste that would be disposed by doing some of the three R’s. If you are hosting a party you can label bins to indicate items that can be thrown in each for recycling and reusing.
Let us save the Mother Earth this Christmas by reducing, reusing and recycling! Happy Holidays!