Cutting down on Christmas waste

The Eastern-Midlands Regional Waste Office (EMWRO ) has put together a handy guide to ‘greening’ your Christmas clean-up, which can help you reduce or reuse your waste over the festive period. Between food and wrapping paper, household waste increases by about one third over the holiday season.

“Cutting down on waste at Christmas doesn’t have to mean cutting down on enjoyment but a greener festive period will reduce your costs and make for a less stressful holiday,” says Hugh Coughlan, Regional Waste Management co-ordinator for the Eastern Midlands.

Below are some tips so that you can give the gift of kindness to the environment and your pocket during the post-Christmas clean-up.

If you receive a gift you don’t want, take it to a charity shop or organisation that can pass it on to someone who would be happy to have it – do this sooner rather than later and avoid clutter in the process!

Ensure waste is put in the correct bins – green bin for wrapping paper, paper plates etc, and brown bin for any unavoidable food waste. Collect up all your recyclables such as non-rechargeable batteries and aluminium cases from used tea-lights and make sure to dispose of them correctly.

Why not make a ‘reuse box’ and store cards and wrappings you receive this year to use again next year as wrappings, cards, and gift tags.

If you buy a real tree, you can recycle it – local authorities provide facilities for recycling real trees to turn them into compost in the days after the holiday season. Do not burn your real tree, under any circumstances.

For more green tips, see www.emwr.ie

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