The Christmas and holiday season creates a spike in both garbage and recycling in Tasmania, but there are ways to reduce waste while retaining the festive spirit.
Tasmania’s three regional Waste Management Groups have compiled the 12 Tips of Christmas covering everything from gifts, to decorations and festive meal planning so you can get in the waste-free spirit:
- Use paper wrapping that can be easily reused or recycled rather than foil or cellophane or better still, get creative with wrapping using a scarf or towel as part of the gift.
- Avoid products with lots of packaging and consider giving a service, donation or experience instead.
- Plan your meals and buy only the ingredients that you need. Share leftovers with friends and family to ensure nothing goes in the bin.
- Look for gifts that are made from recycled or upcycled materials such as wallets made from old transit canvas or jewellery from cutlery.
- Send e-cards rather than traditional cards and keep any cards received to cut into strips for use as gift tags the following year.
- Collect flat household batteries from any Christmas toys and drop them off for recycling at the local Council office or Waste Transfer Station.
- If you receive a gift that doesn’t fit or is really not wanted, consider donating it to a charity so it can find another home.
- Borrow or hire anything you need for a party rather than buying, especially if it will only be used for a short time.
- Take the lids off plastic and glass bottles that go into the kerbside recycling bin and place the lids in the garbage to reduce contamination of good recycling.
- Don’t pack recycling inside plastic bags or boxes, simply place them loose and mingled in the kerbside recycling bin. Flatten boxes to help fit more in your recycling bin.
- If electronic equipment is upgraded, contact your local council to find out about e-waste recycling options and local collection points for old mobile phones.
- Get crafty with decorations using cuttings from the garden or make items from last year’s wrapping and cards that can be stored and reused.
Merry Christmas and best wishes for a safe and happy New Year from the Rethink Waste Tasmania team!