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Lots of you took part in our recent survey and the results are clear – you want to have a green Christmas this year! 75% of you would prefer to receive ‘help’ rather than gifts this Christmas and over 70% of you have tried to cut down on the amount of waste you generate as a household over the festive period.
This got us thinking – what is an easy way to cut down on waste without missing out on any of the festive fun? The answer is simple – have a ‘Naked Christmas’!
Did you know that last Christmas, Sussex residents binned up to 5.8 million rolls of wrapping paper and around four black bags of gift packaging per household? Nationally that’s up to 108million rolls of wrapping paper going to landfill, as the majority of wrapping paper is unsuitable for recycling.
Having a Naked Christmas is simple - give ‘naked’ or unwrapped gifts. Gift vouchers are a good alternative that cut out a lot of waste paper, or make your own gift vouchers for babysitting, cleaning, gardening and so on.
Here are our top tips for having a Naked Christmas and cutting down on waste in other areas too:
- Don’t wrap gifts - and make sure you explain to the recipient why
- If you need to wrap - choose your wrapping paper carefully. Not all paper is recyclable and before recycling, remove any sticky tape and decorations such as ribbons and bows as these cannot be recycled
- Make your own gift tags using old cards
- Gift someone your time instead of a present – offer babysitting, dog walking, gardening, cleaning
- Think about vouchers - vouchers for an experience will create fun memories - plus the bonus of no waste, no packaging
- Buy local – as well as cutting down on pollution from online deliveries you’ll be supporting your local high street too
- Send e-cards instead of physical Christmas cards
- Real trees are the eco-friendlier choice, as long as you consider where and how they have been grown. There are over 400 Christmas tree growers across the UK registered with the British Christmas Tree Growers' Association
- Give toys that use rechargeable batteries – or better still no batteries at all (golf clubs anyone?)
- Turn leftovers into meals – it wouldn’t be Boxing Day without bubble and squeak!
- Use LED lights instead of traditional bulbs – LED uses up to 95% less energy
- Recycle anything you can. This includes toys, electronics, packaging and clothes. If you aren’t sure where to take items contact your local council for advice
- Defrost your freezer before Christmas so it will work more efficiently and create more space to store leftover food, so that it doesn't go to waste.
- If you are hosting a big party try to avoid using paper or plastic plates and cutlery. If you don’t have enough to go around consider asking your guests to bring their own
- By turning your thermostat down by just 1°C you’ll not only save money but it’s a great excuse to get out the Christmas jumper
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