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How to have a waste-free Christmas

A christmas tree paper collageWith Christmas around the corner, we offer some top tips to ensure your home isn’t filled with clutter come January. 

The period around Christmas is a great time to start thinking about recycling. The amount of waste generated – from wrapping paper and excess food and drink, to extra packaging and unwanted presents – should act as a big incentive to make sure your household is disposing of its rubbish in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

But good recycling habits aren’t just for Christmas: these tips can help you and your family go green permanently. 

Find out what you can recycle 

Contact your council to see what it will collect on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

Most local authorities now take bottles and newspapers, but find out what else you’re allowed to put in your recycling bin: in some cases you’ll also be able to recycle the likes of milk cartons, tin cans or plastic bottles. 

Seek out your local recycling centre 

If your bin men won’t accept everything, you may be able to keep other items out of landfill by taking them to a recycling centre or supermarket near you.

Find the closest one by visiting the Recycle Now website

Give your Christmas cards to charity 

Some local authorities will take greetings cards as part of their normal collection, but not all do. In January, the Woodland Trust will help a number of retailers collect cards for recycling.  

Cut your junk mail 

If you find your regular recycling collection dominated by junk mail such as pizza menus and unrequested shopping catalogues, take action. Put a “No junk mail” sign on your front door, and register with the Mailing Preference Service to remove your name and address from marketeer’s mailing lists. 

Always remember when you’re shopping online to make sure you tick the box that says “do not send me marketing material”. 

Give it away 

A great way to keep unwanted items out of landfill is to give them away. Web groups such as Freecycle and Freegle allow members to offer anything they no longer have use for: from sofas and baby clothes to washing machines and microwaves, provided they’re in re-usable condition. 

Your item will be collected for free, so you won’t have to make the trip to your local tip, or pay your council to take something away.