At Christmas it is easy to be overwhelmed with so much stuff – bought, received and left over. Planet Ark’s Carol Warwick provided these tips to have an environmentally-friendly festive season.
e-Recycle it: If Santa brings you a new mobile phone this year remember to find a new home for your old one – whether selling online, giving away to family or by recycling through MobileMuster.com.au - precious materials like copper, plastic and aluminium can be saved from landfill. Unwanted computers, printers and iPads can also be recycled through TechCollect.com.au and printer cartridges through Cartridges.PlanetArk.org.
Commonly recyclable: Don’t forget to recycle popular Christmas time items like foil baking trays, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes - all are commonly recyclable in kerbside collections and soft plastics (like plastic shopping bags) can be dropped off at participating supermarkets. If you’re not sure what you can and can’t recycle in your area, visit RecyclingNearYou.com.au to find out what to do with those extra Christmas recyclables.
Renovation recycling: The holiday season is a great opportunity to de-clutter or to get stuck into that renovation project. Remember to donate quality items to your local charity or tip shop and book a recycling company like BingoIndustries.com.auto collect waste wood, door and window frames, concrete, bricks, tiles and more.
Re-use cards: If you’re sending paper Christmas cards or using gift tags look for those made from 100 per cent recycled paper, and remember if you can’t cut up and re-use old paper cards and tags, put them in the recycling bin so they can be turned into other recycled paper products.
Scrap food waste: Celebrations like Christmas dinner or parties can generate a lot of food waste, in fact, around 40 per cent of the waste that goes into our rubbish bins is food waste, and even more during Christmas. When sent to landfill this creates the damaging greenhouse gas methane Keep a lid on food waste by planning your festive feast, avoiding over-catering, and sending unavoidable food scraps to your compost bin or worm farm. And don’t forget to love those leftovers too.
Buy recycled: Christmas is a perfect time to close the recycling loop by purchasing gifts from secondhand or vintage stores, or items that have been made from recycled materials. For example, Pottery for the Planet make beautiful reusable ceramic cups and only use recycled packaging to ship their products, and Oxfam sell rugs made from reclaimed cotton, wind chimes from recycled iron and glass, and placemats and jewellery made from recycled saris. For more ideas check out Planet Ark’s directory of recycled products.