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Friday 9th December 2022

With Christmas just around the corner, it's time to spread some festive cheer! But at Christmas, our waste generation goes up by 30% compared to the rest of the year! That's a lot of wasted mince pies. Not to fear, Recorra are here to help you reduce your waste this holiday season, with our 12 sustainable days of Christmas tips.

12 Sustainable Days Of Christmas:

Day 1: Advent Calendars

More than 16 million advent calendars were sold in 2019 in the UK! Lots of our advent calendars contain non-recyclable and recyclable materials. So, when the 25th comes, make sure you dispose of the cardboard, wrappers and plastic in the right bin. You can also make your own home-made calendar to gift to a loved one to reduce excess packaging.

Day 2: IT Waste

This year, lots of you will open your brand-new, state of the art, gadgets on Christmas Day. Spare a thought for your old pieces of tech as a whopping 4.2 million electrical items are abandoned each year. Give your items a new life by either donating them to a local charity or using our IT waste collection services.

Day 3: Christmas Crackers

Christmas crackers are a tradition at most dinner tables, however in the UK, we produce around 40 million each year, equating to 1220 Mount Everests stacked on top of each other! Most crackers aren't recyclable and often include small single use plastic items. Why not make your own festive Christmas cracker or buy some eco-crackers to help reduce unwanted plastic fillers that end up going to waste.

Day 4: Christmas Dinner

In the UK, we waste 5 million Christmas puddings, 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies every single year! To reduce your food waste this year, try and plan festive meals in advance before you do your big Christmas shop. For any leftovers, whip up some festive recipes or donate to those in need.

Day 5: Selling Unwanted Gifts

We've all been given a present and not even removed the tags. This year, instead of throwing it in the bin or hiding it in a drawer, donate it to your local charity, flog it online for some extra cash through sites such as Vinted and DePop - or even re-gift it to someone else.

Day 6: Wrapping Paper

In the UK we use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year, enough to wrap the island of Guernsey! But did you know that most wrapping is not recyclable as it often dyed, laminated and/or contains additives such as foil, glitter and sticky tape. To minimise your wrapping paper waste, rather than using virgin materials, try using recyclable alternatives such scrap paper, old maps, newspapers or even the paper bags you bought your presents in. Also look out for FSC-certified wrapping paper this Christmas which makes sure that the paper you buy in the first place is made from sustainable sources.

Day 7: Contamination

To reduce the risk of your recycling being damaged by the winter weather, keep it inside until the morning. Also, remember to wash and dry your tubs and trays and finish every drop of Prosecco from the bottle. This will keep your recycling clean and dry, maintaining quality ready for collection, to ensure that it can be given it a second life.

Day 8: Christmas Cards

The Royal Mail estimates that 150 million Christmas cards are posted each year. While paper cards are easily recyclable, common additions such as ribbon and glitter aren't, meaning they'll end up getting incinerated for energy or worse...landfilled! When buying your cards, remember to avoid those with non-recyclable elements, or try plantable cards with seeds inside. To completely eradicate your waste try sending an e-card as your next festive greeting.

Day 9: Christmas Decorations

After the festivities, over 68,000 miles of lights are discarded each year. Did you know you could make your own decorations from old household items? Why not gather your family and friends to design your own handmade decorations out of natural outdoor materials, dried fruit and leftover cardboard. A great way of spending some quality time with loved ones all whilst reducing your waste.

Day 10: Office Christmas Parties

Many will wake up with a sore head after a little too much mulled wine at the office Christmas party. Make sure you give all those bottles a second life by ensuring you separate your glass from your general waste during the festive period. Glass bottles can be infinitely recycled so it's important we separate this material so there are plenty of bottles for year's party!

Day 11: Christmas Trees

It wouldn't be Christmas without a trusty Christmas tree! If using a fake tree, keep them for 10+ years to help reduce your environmental impact. If you prefer a real tree, why not pick a re-plantable tree with its roots still intact. Once the festivities are over, you can simply plant it in your garden to be brought back inside ready for next year. You can also recycle your real Christmas trees with us here.

Day 12: January Blues

The new year is often seen as a fresh start and a period used for decluttering our homes. When having your January clean up, make sure you segregate and recycle as much as possible instead of throwing everything into a single black bag. Remember to separate your paper, cans, plastic, food and glass from your general waste... and don't forget to keep it clean and dry!

We hope our 12 Days of sustainable hints and tips will help you this holiday season. From all of us at Recorra, we hope you have a joyful and sustainable Christmas!

Recorra Sustainability Team

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