5 Tips for Reducing, Reusing and Recycling at Xmas
Our Waste Elves would like to wish everyone in West London a Happy Christmas!
How’s your bin looking? In the run up to Christmas, we can be so busy with the traditions of the season that we sometimes fail to notice how much actually ends up in the bin and recycling boxes. Working with rubbish and recycling, the Waste Elves see just how much extra waste is created over the festive season. Over the last few years there’s been around 19,000 extra tonnes of rubbish thrown away in the weeks after Christmas and New Year and this waste is costly to dispose of.
So instead of stuffing those 3 small bins the Waste Elves brought to you follow these quick and easy tips to keep your bin looking slim!
Tip 1 – Give waste free gifts
Instead of choosing material gifts that come with packaging and wrapping consider giving experience-based gifts. Cinema tickets, a cooking class, or massage are all great activities that many people would enjoy. There is also the option of giving time: give your friends dog a walk or babysit a family members little one – not only are these gifts waste free, but they are fantastic for your budget!
Tip 2 – Sort your wrappings
Sort for re-use and recycling when you’ve finished unwrapping your presents. Give someone the task of sorting out what can be recycled and what has to be thrown away, challenge them to throw away as little as possible.
Make it really easy to sort out by using cardboard boxes or large plastic bags marked rubbish and recycling and put wrapping and packaging directly into these. Don’t put everything into bin bags without sorting it out as you’ll never go back and sort it.
If you’re not sure if your wrapping paper can be recycled use the rip test – if it rips easily it’s paper, but if you have problems tearing it up it can’t be recycled.
Tip 3 – Plan your portions
Before you start peeling and chopping work out how much you need to prepare. Find out how hungry your guests and family are, do they want a small portion or a big one? You could also use the Love Food Hate Waste online portion tool to see how many potatoes to peel or Brussels sprouts to cook. What you don’t prepare today you can eat over the next week.
Tip 4 – Let people serve themselves
Encourage everyone to have a second or third helping rather than piling their plates high and risk leaving lots on plates to be scraped into the food waste bin. Anything covered in gravy or cut up and mixed with other things is harder to turn into something else. Letting people serve themselves will also make it easier for you to put any uneaten food into airtight containers or cover with foil and put in the fridge for use in other meals. Remember to get the extras in the fridge quickly after dinner. Storing them in a fridge that is 5oc or cooler will help keep them fresh for a couple of days.
Tip 5 – Check out the waste elves
If you want some more ideas to reduce waste this Christmas check out what the 12 days of waste free Christmas brought to you by the west London Waste Elves.