I love that around the world much is going on to minimize rubbish and clean up the world …But Christmas is coming…
How much extra waste do you think will be generated around the world over Christmas and the New Year?… What can we do to minimise this waste?
Remember the 3 R’s…Recycle, Reduce and Re-use…
Before we buy wrapping paper…Remember to do the scrunch test –
As not all types of wrapping paper can be recycled.
I am not suggesting walking around the store scrunching up all different kinds of wrapping paper…I am suggesting that you just think back…Think back to that beautiful, pretty sparkling package you received or wrapped for a loved one…A lot of the paper doesn’t crinkle and crease..Does it?
We really know the stuff...Don’t we?
If you really don’t…Then the easiest way to determine this is to scrunch the wrapping paper in your hand, and if the paper remains scrunched it’s recyclable. If it springs back it’s more than likely to be covered with a plastic film which can’t be recycled.
Wrapping paper is often used once and thrown away.
I have been as guilty of that as the last person…I now realise at what cost to the environment and I know that most of us love pretty things and beautifully wrapped presents…All glitz and glitter…
I don’t like seeing this…This is the reality of all our excesses and waste…
What can we do?
Try using colorful pages torn from magazines to wrap small gifts, and old maps or the Sunday comics for larger boxes.
Use reusable decorative tins, baskets or boxes.
If you do buy wrapping paper, look for ones made of recycled paper. Reusable cloth ribbons can be used in place of plastic bows unless you are reusing those from previous years or use some pretty string which you can also reuse for something else…
Finally, unwrap gifts carefully and save wrappings for reuse next year. Iron it and trim the edges and it all ready for next time.
If you buy gifts, look for durable and re-usable items.
Buy gifts with an environmental message: a nature book, a refillable thermos bottle, a canvas tote bag, a battery recharger or items made from recycled materials.
Choose solar powered instead of battery-powered products. Or better yet, ones that require no power at all.
Other environmentally-smart gifts include homemade ones: Homebaked cookies, bread or jams, a plant or tree.
Concert or movie tickets, dinner at a restaurant, or an IOU to help rake leaves or repair a leaky faucet. Ones that get “used up”: candles, soap, or seeds for next year’s garden.
You are probably receiving piles of EXTRA mail-order catalogs at this time of year. Call the company’s 0800 number and ask that you be removed from their mailing list. Fortunately, magazines and catalogs can be recycled with your mixed paper.
Lastly, if you send holiday cards, look for ones made of recycled paper. Avoid cards with glossy, shiny or gold foil coatings since these cannot be recycled. Save the cards that you get in the post, cut off the front pictures, and reuse as “postcards” next year.
This saves on postage too. Or, send ”electronic cards” or make a phone call instead!
Personally, I love gifts of time and gifts that are sure to be used.
Get out your creative side or involve the kids and make certificates for…Baby-sitting, taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, cleaning the house, or cleaning the car.
Museums, parks, beaches, hikes, full moon walks, or winter picnics.
Hand Made Gifts
Fill a basket with baked goods, assemble a collection of favorite family recipes, make a holiday bouquet from fresh greens, holly, etc. and tie with a bow, make Christmas ornaments from family photos, or videotape family members telling favorite family stories/memories.
Tickets…to a movie, concert or sports tickets, a food tour…
Restaurants, record stores, book stores, video rental stores, department stores, or grocery stores.
Health spas swim clubs, museums, zoos, or amusement parks.
Magazines, newspapers, book clubs, or flower of the month club.
Gifts for Children…
“Dress Up Box” filled with costume jewelry ( I know) a little girl who would love this, scarves, hats, aprons, and ties, cooking equipment and a recipe with ingredients, blank journal or diary, blank scrapbook with scissors and tape, flower seeds and pots, or toolbox and supplies to build a simple birdhouse/dolls house…
Gifts to the Environment
Send e-greetings to family and friends who are on-line, buy a living Christmas tree and replant after the holidays, buy live plants, gardening tools, birdseed, battery charger with rechargeable batteries, bus/light rail/train passes, bicycles or walking shoes.
I think we all need to take a step back...How many times have I heard people saying how commercialised Christmas is…How they end up paying for Chrismas until the next Christmas…how many gifts are returned to the stores, left in a drawer. How often on Christmas day have you witnessed( I have) your child or grandchild having great fun with the boxes their toys come in???
How many presents are left where they were unwrapped and not given a second look???
But how delighted were you when a few months later you enjoyed a concert or a spa or a well earned night out when you used your certificate for a baby sitter???
I will just leave you with these sobering thoughts…
An extra 30% of rubbish is produced and discarded throughout the festive period when compared with the rest of the year.
This additional waste will be in the region of 3 million tonnes.
Part of this will be the 54 million platefuls of food wasted over the period this to me is the most heartbreaking news when people are cold and starving…
The UK will also throw away approximately 500 tonnes of Christmas lights each year!
I know this week there is some bad news but there are also solutions…There is also so much more that I and everyone else can do…Happy Christmas…xxx
Lots of ways we can have a great environmental Chrismas …Janet is she is an example to us all…
Please share your stories on how you plan to reduce your homes waste at Christmas we would love to hear them…xx
About Carol Taylor:
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our own home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx