Christmas is already a distant memory but the waste it produces will be with us for some time. For example, wrapping paper and greeting cards with foiling or glitter cannot be recycled, and instead must be binned. Other wrapping paper contains plastic as well as paper, making it difficult for paper mills to recycle. To check what you have, give it the scrunch test: if it stays in a ball, it’s probably fine. Unscrunches itself? Most likely plastic based that needs to be tossed.
You probably already know my thoughts about glitter (a.k.a. shiny dirt), but it really is a big problem when it comes to recycling because it can clog up the machinery, so anything coated with a layer of shimmer and sparkle also must be binned if you don’t plan to keep it. However, many greeting cards look great framed, so this could be a way to salvage some of your favourites and keep them out of the landfill.
Although it’s barely January, please think ahead to next Christmas.
- Check that any gift wrap can be recycled and doesn’t contain foil or glitter. Even better, consider using newspaper or other products you already have at hand. My favourite thing to use is pages from an old road atlas: it’s pretty much the definition of cheap and cheerful!
- If you’re sending cards, avoid foil and glitter. Simple paper cards are better for your pocketbook and the environment.
- Don’t forget to check out the Environmental Gift Guide for not only Christmas gifts, but also for gifts throughout the year. His-and-hers reusable mugs for a wedding present perhaps? Or seedballs for a housewarming?
As the new year gets underway, let’s do our best to change old habits for good!