Be a festive greeny
Here are a few tips for an environmentally friendly Christmas
Over the festive season we all produce more waste than usual. But there are many ways that we can all enjoy the festive spirit while still doing our bit to have a sustainable Christmas. Here are a few tips to help you be a green angel, rather than a recycling turkey!
Give waste-free gifts
Gift vouchers make great presents and don’t create lots of waste. Charity shop sponsorship gifts are also low waste – you could give a goat and help stop poverty!
Give gifts with less packaging
Give your loved ones gifts with less packaging to reduce the amount of waste you produce. If your gifts come in cardboard packaging you can recycle it in on-street packaging banks or using the red kerbside collection box.
Package gifts in reusable or recyclable wrapping
Give gifts in gift bags that can be used again and again. If you’re wrapping gifts, try to use non-metallic papers and papers without glitter, as these can be recycled.
Buy recycled greeting cards or send electronic festive greetings
Sending an electronic greeting card is a great way to stay in touch with friends at Christmas, as well as being waste friendly. Or you could buy cards made from recycled material.
Give recycled gifts
Items made from recycled and reconditioned material use fewer raw materials so they are more environmentally friendly. You could give a reconditioned bike from the Bike Station. Call 0131 668 1996 or visit www.thebikestation.org.uk for more details of what’s available.
Take a reusable bag with you when you go shopping
Hit the shops with a reusable bag to help reduce the amount of plastic carrier bags being wasted.
Only buy and cook the food you’ll need
We all over cook and overeat at Christmas! Try buying and cooking only what you need to reduce the amount of food that ends up in landfill. Store any extra food in reusable containers, rather than using disposable cling film and aluminium foil.
Compost vegetable waste
Peelings from your festive spuds and sprouts can be composted. Add the compost to a vegetable patch and you’ll be enjoying delicious veg again next year! You can order a low-cost compost bin at www.wastawarescotland.co.uk
Buy fresh food which has less packaging
Fresh fruit and veg tends to have less packaging. Look out for all kinds of food with less packaging when shopping for your Christmas dinner. Cardboard, plastic bottles, food and drink cans and cardboard drink cartons can be recycled in on-street packaging banks.
Don’t dispose – do the dishes!
Paper party plates, disposable napkins and plastic cutlery all contribute to unnecessary waste – so when the party’s over get your rubber gloves on and do the dishes instead!
Recycle those empties!
Of course there will be the usual festive over indulgence! When the morning after kicks in, feel better by recycling your empty cans in on-street packaging banks or the blue kerbside collection box. You can also recycle glass bottles at your nearest glass bank.
For more information about reducing your waste, and details of recycling services in Edinburgh, visit www.edinburgh.gov.uk/wasteaware or call 0131 529 3030.