We produce a tremendous amount of waste at Christmas. In London alone, over the two weeks between Christmas and New Year, we create an extra 29,000 tonnes of it. It’s important that we try to reduce the amount of waste we produce; the energy and resources required for both the manufacture and disposal of items increases our carbon footprint. However, reducing you waste can also save you money. Check out our top tips below!
If you are buying presents, try to choose items without excessive packaging and when wrapping, consider reusing old wrapping paper, or use material as an alternative, following the Japanese furoshiki technique.
When planning or attending festive celebrations, try to plan so that there are minimal leftovers, or think of a way to use them up, such as asking guests to bring food containers. The average family could save £700 per year by reducing food waste so we could all save ourselves a lot! Check out our food waste reduction pages for tips to help you make the most of the food you love.
Cards and decorations
On average, each UK household splashes out £25 for Christmas decorations each year – that’s more than £660 million in total. Why not try:
- If you have the space, buy a living Christmas tree, which can be left in its pot outside for the rest of the year.
- Make your own tree decorations, such as bunting or paper chains from old magazines or newspapers.
- Try making your own cards or gift tags by cutting up last year’s Christmas cards and using other materials such as pieces of shiny card from packaging and images from magazines.
- Send an ecard: There are many available on the web, including some quite unusual cards and advent calendars.
- Make your own bunting.
Another great way to reduce waste at Christmas is make a home-made gift, buy something second-hand, or an ‘experience’ gift. We have a dedicated section on our website full of gift. Click here to view it.
When all the celebrations are over, you can still do your bit by making use of the many recycling facilities in north London. If you don’t save them, wrapping paper and cards can be recycled; Christmas trees can be composted and even items such as waste electricals , books or clothing and textiles can be recycled. And if you’ve received presents that you don’t need, why not attend one of our Give and Take Days or donate them to a charity?