Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dreaming of a Green Christmas; How Festive Excess Damages the Environment

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dreaming of a Green Christmas; How Festive Excess Damages the Environment

Article excerpt

Byline: AMY HUNT

THE festive season is traditionally a time for excess. But it's not just our expanding waistlines and throbbing heads which are the results of our overindulgence.

The environment suffers as well, with bulging bins overflowing with waste paper, food and unwanted gifts, multiple car journeys to the shops, and Christmas lights illuminated at all hours.

At Christmas time the average household will produce up to 30% more rubbish than usual. Thankfully up to 70% of this could be recycled or made into something else.

Recycling is one of the simplest ways to make a difference at Christmas, without much effort.

Use your home recycling facilities to the max and check with your council what you can put in your recycling bin. Glass bottles and jars, tins and packaging should be washed out or squashed before putting them in. Old batteries can be recycled at special points.

Find out from your council if your bin collections have been altered over the festive season.

Composting is another great way to help the environment at Christmas. More than a third of Christmas waste will consist of organic items, such as vegetable peelings and paper, which can be composted and put on the garden to improve your soil. Cut-price compost bins can be ordered from councils by calling 0845 571 4444.

If you've got a real tree don't just throw it out after Twelfth Night, but take it to one of your council's household waste centres to be chipped and made into nutritious compost. If you have a green waste recycling bin, you could always cut the tree up into pieces and put it in there for collection.

Try to recycle any Christmas cards you receive into gift tags for next year or put them in your recycling bin if your council collects cards.

Alternatively, take your used Christmas cards to branches of TK Maxx and Marks and Spencer which are taking part in the Woodland Trust Christmas card recycling scheme to raise money to plant new trees in the UK. …

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