East Midlands Chamber’s Sustainable East Midlands policy officer Amy Kopyrko offers her top tips on achieving an eco-friendly Christmas.
It is estimated that over the Christmas period we bin the equivalent of 108 million rolls of wrapping paper in the UK, most of which is difficult to recycle as it is often dyed, laminated, contains glitter or plastic, is too thin to recycle or has sticky tape attached to it.
This Christmas why not try a more sustainable way of wrapping your gifts?
What to do with wrapping paper?
Check out Recycle Now for tips about recycling wrapping paper after the big day
The real vs artificial tree conservation happens every year. Real potted Christmas trees look beautiful, and with the roots still intact you don’t have to deal with pesty dropped needles. Just pop the potted tree outside in January and it will live all year round until its time to be brought in doors again next year. Again, this saves on cost and waste!
If you love a real tree but haven’t opted for a potted tree this year, make sure you check what your local authority is offering regarding waste collection. Most local recycling centres take trees for chipping or composting.
Christmas is the time for a big feast, but did you know that on average in the UK, 17 million brussels sprouts, 74 million mince pies and two million kilos of cheese are binned over Christmas?
If you end up over catering, make sure not to bin leftovers. Try transforming leftovers into new meals. Check out BBC Good Food leftover recipes for inspiration!
You could also think about donating to neighbours, friends, relatives, a local charity or soup kitchen.
Food waste apps such as OLIO provide platforms for neighbours to share unwanted food, and other items for free. This can also be used if your office has over catered for an event or Christmas buffet.
Like wrapping paper Christmas crackers are a nightmare for recycling centres. Often glittery and laminated, these are difficult to recycle. These can often also be a source of unnecessary plastic waste due to the items placed inside. Some retailers such as John Lewis & Partners have pledged to stop selling crackers containing plastic toys. Here are some other points to look out for when buying Christmas crackers this year:
There are also ways to create reusable or DIY crackers, for example investing in felt Christmas party hats and filling your crackers with personalised treats.
Browse eco-friendly crackers here.
This Christmas think local, independent and opt for sustainable brands when choosing gifts. The East Midlands region has some fantastic ethical and sustainable options for Christmas shopping.
Here are just a few local businesses:
Generation Next brings together leaders from across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire to talk about the topics in business you need to know about. Its membership package also gives young workers access to its events programme – which connects delegates with likeminded individuals, as well as leading business professionals from across the East Midlands, to build their networks and skills. For more information on how to become a Generation Next member, click here.