8 December 2022

I’m dreaming of a white green Christmas!

Christmas is the time of year when we usually allow ourselves to indulge a little. But all that ‘excess’ can be bad for the environment, as well as our bank balance!

With a few small changes, you can have the merriest of Christmases while reducing your carbon footprint.

Here are our top tips for a greener Christmas:

Gift services rather than ‘stuff’

Giving an experience is a great way to reduce waste and show you care. Gift cards for restaurants, spas or leisure facilities have no packaging waste and have the added benefit of giving your special someone something to look forward to once the festive period is over.

Cater for your guests, not the island!

Food waste is at its peak during Christmas. Many people will over-buy, fearing that there won’t be enough food for everyone. To avoid this, confirm your guests in advance then work out what you need. Plan your meals, write a list and stick to it! Organise your refrigerator so that leftovers can be safely stored and make a list of recipes that will utilise any leftovers so nothing ends up in the trash.

Choose solar-powered Christmas lights

If you’re decorating your yard, look for solar-powered decorative lights. With around eight hours of sunshine each day in December, the lights will get a good charge and stay bright all night. Using solar-powered lights means that there’s less demand for electricity that’s generated by burning fossil fuels. While there may be an initial cost to replace your plug-in lights, your seasonal energy bill should be lower, too.

Host a festive swishing party

‘Swishing’ clothes-swapping parties started around 10 years ago and still prove popular today. If you can’t bear to repeat an outfit over the festive period, swap, borrow or buy from friends. What you no longer wear could be just what your bestie is looking for. Better still, if you have kids of a similar age, clear out their wardrobes too, and find new festive favourites outside of fast fashion.

Spread cheer, not litter

While there is magic all around, there are no litter-picking elves to tidy up after beach parties and days out. Take a couple of trash bags with you; one for recyclable items and one for general rubbish. To cut down on waste, take reusable plates and cutlery rather than disposable ones.

Recycle your Christmas tree

Making sure that your natural Christmas tree doesn’t end up in the George Town Landfill is really important and recycling your Christmas tree is easier than you might think. The Natural Christmas Tree Recycling Programme, which runs every year, avoids trees going to landfill and instead sees the trees shredded to provide free mulch to members of the public. The mulch from recycled Christmas trees is great for your yard and will mean that your flowers will look their best in the spring!

Don’t just throw your wrapping paper and Christmas cards in the trash

Lots of wrapping paper and most Christmas cards can be recycled so making sure that all that paper doesn’t go to waste is vital. To see whether your wrapping paper can be recycled, there is the simple ‘scrunch test’ – if you can easily scrunch it up into a ball, you can recycle it! Just make sure that you remove all ribbons and tape! That also goes for your cards, if they’re covered in glitter pop them in the bin otherwise, they should be good to recycle with the rest of your paper and card.

Recycle all you can, but don’t overload the recycling banks

Christmas is a great opportunity to improve our recycling rate as household waste generally increases during the festive period, but we must make sure that we don’t overload the trash. If you have lots of empty, bottles and cans to recycle, why not wait a for a few days after the holidays have finished before taking them for recycling. That way the banks aren’t overwhelmed. As recyclables should be dry and clean, it shouldn’t be a problem to store it slightly longer before you take it to the recycling centre.

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