Dreaming of a ‘green’ Christmas…

Posted on: 15 December 2016

Householders are being urged to think of the environment over the festive period and keep recycling to ensure that Devon has a ‘green’ Christmas.

Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for households and often recycling, and the reason it’s so important, falls to the bottom of the priority list.

But with many homes generating more waste over the period than they would usually, Recycle Devon, says it’s the ideal time to recycle everything you can.

For instance glass bottles and jars can be recycled again and again. If everyone in the UK recycled one more glass bottle it would stop nearly 4,000 cars worth of CO2 getting into our atmosphere.

For instance recycling six mince pie foil cases will save enough energy to watch an episode of your favourite TV soap.

And if you’re having visitors to stay this Christmas, let them know where your recycling bins are and what goes in them.

Christmas lunch, New Year’s Eve celebrations and friends and family popping round all mean one thing – fridges and cupboards stocked with food and drink.

Unilever estimates that we throw away over four million Christmas dinners. That’s 263,000 turkeys, 740,000 slices of Christmas pudding, 11.3m roast potatoes or 17.2m Brussels sprouts.

Some simple, quick planning will mean that you have just the right amount of food for the festive period. Click here for the party food planner  which removes the guesswork by suggesting how much to cook.

And for food that doesn’t get eaten, you’d be amazed at how many foods you can freeze like cheese, leftover meat and bread.  If you’ve spotted something in the fridge that’s just about to go over its date, you’ll be able to extend its life by popping it in your festive friend – the freezer.

And while we might spend a little extra time getting ready for Christmas and New Year nights out, just remember that toiletries such as plastic shower gel, shampoo bottles and deodorants can all be recycled.

Liz Jarvis, the Senior Waste Manager for Devon County Council, one of the 10 authorities which makes up Recycle Devon, said:  

“A little effort goes a long way. Planning how much food you will need by using our food planner, letting visitors know where your recycling bins are and what goes in them can all make a difference.

“Devon is one of the top recycling county’s in Britain and I want to thank residents for their hard work and continued recycling efforts so let’s work together so we can have a green Christmas!”

Before recycling your cards, why not be ultra ready for next year and make gift tags out of this year’s Christmas cards and then recycle the rest?  Marks & Spencer is turning festive waste into woodland again this year by recycling old cards at stores UK-wide.

Since 2008 over, 500 million Christmas cards have been collected by the public through the Woodland Trust and M&S Christmas Card Recycling Scheme – helping to plant over 245,500 trees. Special card collection bins will be in M&S stores from 2 January to 31 January 2017.

Wrapping paper and cardboard is bound to be discarded please check your local recycling collection information at recycledevon.org to see if it includes wrapping paper.

All Household Waste and Recycling centres can take card and wrapping paper as long as it’s not foil or glitter paper and without sticky tape and bows.

For those of us that choose ‘real’ Christmas trees, they are 100% recyclable and can be shredded and composted at home or put out for collection via your local council or taken for composting to your nearest Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

When the festivities are over – with a mass of new gifts being given and received, there are bound to be clear outs of old furniture, clothing, tired models of equipment that have been replaced by the new gifts you have received. Unwanted items can be passed on to someone else, check out the Reuse it section on recycledevon.org for local reuse information in your area.

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Posted in: Environment