As the festive season approaches its time to wrap up warm, enjoy the bright lights and some good cheer. As you visit the shops you will notice the smells, brightly coloured boxes, and wrapping on all your favour seasonal delights. This all helps create an emotional link back to memories of Christmas past!
But this Christmas you might consider a change? Consider using fewer plastics, buying less plastic and gifting no plastic items. It will be hard, as you are blitzed at every turn with plastic including dazzling wrapping paper, glitter, boxed seasonal treats and plastic nets of seasonal fruit and vegetables to name but a few!
Work is underway by retailers and governments to take action to stop the production and use of so much plastic. Many organisations are researching alternatives so maybe next year we will be using some of these alternatives. Remember plastic is not bad, there is just too much used and it ends up in every part of the environment.
The Christmas holidays for a lot of people is the season of more so its a really good time to do more with some environmentally friendly actions that can be carried on all year long. There are lots of ways to reduce and reuse many of the things we take for granted especially items left over after big festive get-togethers
We have listed 11 tips below which can help you and the environment this year!
1: Turn to Tupperware or any reusable containers. Avoid using tin foil, plastic wrap or wax paper to wrap up your leftovers
2: Make your holiday centrepiece out of natural materials such as pinecones, seasonal flowers and leaves, citrus fruits or holly instead of buying plastic displays
3: If you’re serving soft drinks or alcohol, consider locally produced juice and beer in glass bottles or cartons rather than plastic and please use tap water! (Local wine is harder to source!).
4: Use unwrapped local and organic foods as much as possible.
5: Use reusable plates, glasses and napkins.
6: Thinking about gifts, how about reusable coffee cups as they are a gift which keeps on giving.
7: Use brown paper as wrapping paper. It can be reused and easily recycled if you refrain from using plastic tapes to seal the paper!
8: Steer away from plastic decorations, balloons and toys this festive season.
9: Glitter is fun but it’s also plastic – explain its effects to kids including its negative impacts on our oceans and fish life but it looks like there may be a solution for all glitter lovers – take a look here
10: Remove and leave plastic packaging at the store, it might encourage retailers to stop using so much.
11: Get buy-in for change from your immediate family and share the message with friends and colleagues – we can all make the change together this Christmas.
Plastic by Numbers
When in the shop’s you can also check the bottom of plastic containers for a recycling symbol, usually a triangle with the number 1 to 7 inside, to see if you can recycle or not. You will find in Ireland that triangle 1, 2 and 5 are accepted for recycling but always check with your local recycler just to be sure.
Once you have finished with plastic drinks or food containers Rinse out any leftovers and then squash the containers to save space before recycling. To learn more about plastic recycling by number click here. You can also visit Repak Ireland to learn more about recycling symbols for items such as glass, plastic, metal, wood and more!
Remember you should never place electrical, battery-operated toys or batteries in the recycle bin (even if they are mainly plastic). They can be recycled safety at an electrical recycling centre near you.
About Recycle IT
Recycle IT is an award-winning social enterprise providing recycling collection and drop off services for all types of waste electrical, electronic equipment (WEEE) and pure metal items.
During 2018 Recycle IT operated drop off and collection services to tens of thousands of homes, schools, charities and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which includes thousands of batteries, computers, cables, monitors, kettles. microwaves and screens.
Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development, Dormant Accounts Fund, Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Dublin, Kildare, and Wicklow.