CHRISTMAS is on our doorstep and while we are all having great fun we do need to be conscious of the extra waste that Christmas can create. Why not make a difference this year and follow Down District Council’s tips to help you to save money and reduce your Christmas carbon footprint.
* Instead of spending money on artificial Christmas decorations that won’t bio-degrade, let nature decorate your home. House decorations can be made from organic, recycled and scrap materials. Try popcorn, dough, cinnamon sticks, bows, gingerbread, holly, seasonal berries, ivy and evergreen branches – once you have finished with them, you can put them in the composter.
* Do Secret Santa with your loved ones to minimise consumerism.
* Sometimes less is more. Go for the simple minimalistic elegant look.
* Provide reusable napkins or napkins made from recycled paper.
* Avoid disposable plates, if you don’t have enough, ask your guests to bring some.
* When Christmas shopping car share or use public transport to get there.
* Buy Recycled wrapping paper, reuse last year’s wrapping paper or use colourful magazine paper.
* Don’t forget to turn off your fairy lights, lighting accounts for 15% of household electricity.
* Outdoor Solar powered Christmas fairy lights will give you winter sparkle without adding to your carbon footprint.
* Christmas cards an estimated 1.7 billion Christmas cards are sent each year in Britain, the equivalent of 200,000 trees. Send recycled cards or make your own, or perhaps send texts, social media messages or e-cards instead.
* After the big day, make sure your Christmas cards go in the blue bin to be recycle.
* If you’ve been wondering which trees are better, the simple answer is that real trees are the more eco friendly choice. Although artificial trees last for many years they are made from metal and derivatives of PVC, which requires large amounts of energy to make, and also creates by-products.
* Bring your old Christmas tree to the recycling centre when the festivities are over.
* Be battery wise – families can get through a lot of batteries, particularly at Christmas. Batteries contain toxic chemicals, don’t biodegrade and are difficult to recycle. Instead use rechargeable.
* Recycle your unwanted presents – unfortunately everyone receives at least one unwanted gift at Christmas. Give to charity or ‘regift’ it.
* Sponsor an animal or give a membership to a charity/environmental organisation for Christmas.