Over the two weeks between Christmas and New Year, we create an extra 29,000 tonnes of waste in the UK. All the gifts, decorations and packaging we buy require energy and resources both for manufacturing and disposal. Yet there are still ways to limit the damage:
- Choose gifts with less, or recyclable, packaging and don’t forget that when we buy a product, we also pay for its packaging.
If care is taken, wrapping paper can be reused before it is discarded. Place the paper underneath a tea towel and then iron the two together. This will iron out any creases in the paper while minimising the risk of the paper browning in the heat. Better still, try the Japanese Furoshiki technique where gifts are wrapped in (reusable) fabric.
- Consider homemade gifts such as chutney, biscuits or a cushion cover or bag made from material scraps.
- Experience gifts or donations to charities on a person’s behalf can make special and memorable presents. Tickets to a show, a day out or beauty treatment are just a few suggestions which avoid any waste packaging.
- As an alternative to paper cards, ecards are waste-free and can include a charity donation.