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Season to be green
Deal with your waste
Christmas time produces an extra three million tonnes of waste, according to the Recycling Consortium. Do what you can to keep your rubbish footprint to a minimum – wrap gifts in reusable bags, opt not to buy gifts sealed in huge amounts of excess packaging, reuse wrapping paper and recycle everything possible.
Shun novelty gifts
It’s easy to get caught up in the excesses of the season, but with the average person spending around £400 on festive gifts and food, and economic times being what they are, plan your budget carefully. Ask if those presents you were planning on buying are really worth it and try to buy items you know will be put to good use for a long time to come.
Criss-crossing the country to visit batty Auntie Dora and cantankerous Uncle Jeff isn’t the most fun way to spend the season of goodwill. It’s hard to do but if you can, say no to every distant relative who expects a visit – you’ll save on time, energy and cost. You can always keep a rota, seeing some people this year, then the ones who missed out the next.
Your Christmas dinner will make a round-trip of some 30,000 miles to get to your plate. That’s a lot of energy used up for a slice of dry turkey and a couple of spuds. Pick up your veg at the local market or ask your veggie box supplier for a Christmas box. Order your turkey early at one of the many brilliant local butchers in the city.
Nothing left over
One of the worst excesses of Christmas is food waste, with just under 50% of everything made for the big day ending up in the bin. Make a little less than normal, plan some Boxing Day bubble and squeak, and get everything else in the freezer before it goes off.
Somewhere in the world is a huge pile of forlorn baubles and unloved tinsel, thanks to the fashion for new Christmas decorations every year. There’s no need to buy new trinkets each December, but if you simply must have the latest colours, try swapping on websites like Freegle or making your own out of cards and fabrics that can be more easily disposed of than plastics.
Christmas is a battery-heavy time, what with all the new gadgets that get passed around, and of the 214 million cells that get used over this period, around 97% will end up in landfill. Remember, in Brighton and Hove you can put your batteries in the black recycling boxes, but even better is to invest in some rechargeables.
We all know some of the gifts we’re about to receive will be real bloopers. If you can’t stop your mother buying you another pair of reindeer slippers, pass them on to a young niece or nephew who’ll appreciate them. And have no qualms about sending yet another well-meaning box of chocs down the gifting line. Remember, presents are about love and friendship, not about how much money you can spend.