by George Laugharne
Whenever you take down your decorations, be it the 6th Jan as tradition would suggest, or whether you choose an earlier time to which a lot of working people are these days predisposed. Have a thought this year to the environment and to what happens with the disposable parts of your decorations and other seasonal waste like cards and wrapping.
Christmas Trees: After making sure you've taken off all the decorations, Christmas trees can be taken to local council recycling parks which are generally open every day except Christmas Day. Alternatively, a good idea would be to contact your Local Authority since many Councils now have street collection of Christmas trees; some smaller communities will provide a one-day disposal or 'chipping'.
Some councils, like Flintshire County Council are offering incentives to customers who bring trees to be recycled whereby the recycler can enter into a Free Prize Draw - with a first prize for each site of a £25 garden centre gift voucher. Alternatively they can be cut up and placed in the brown bin..
Christmas cards: These can be be recycled in many ways, some of which are a source of creativity and education for children. Many schools, nurseries, craft centers, disability groups, church groups and charity shops take-in used christmas cards for using in school projects and art classes... This reuse method is by far the best way of recycling the cards as there is no energy expenditure, there is an educational benefit to children, there is a cost saving for schools, and there is zero landfill. Other methods of reuse include covering school books and making montages for decorationg dull buildings.
For the past 14 years, Woodland Trust has run a Christmas card recycling scheme, through Boots the Chemist, Tesco, WH Smith, TK Maxx, Marks & Spencer and HomeSense. In the 14 years that the scheme has been running more than 600 million cards have been recycled enabling the Woodland Trust to plant more than 200,000 trees, a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.
Although the scheme is no longer run by the Woodland Trust, these retailers are still operating a recycling service. The Woodland Trust still has activities that enhance the environment and the future of our children. Your continued support for this organisation is vital. You can click on the box to the left to go see what the Woodland Trust does for the environment.
As a last resort, your council cardboard recycling bag or local recycling center will accept the cards for recycling . .
Wrapping paper: Alike to christmas cards, wrapping paper can be reused by using it for the covering school books and other crafty activities. If the Christmas wrapping paper is in good but crumpled condition it can be ironed using a warm iron which will take out the creases, then it can be re-rolled for usage next year. Ironing the paper using an iron that has just been used for the household ironing chores will reduce the energy taken to recycle.
Christmas Presents: Unwanted Christmas presents can be taken to schools, nurseries, disability groups, church groups and charity shops ... These groups will attempt to resell items in fairs, boot sales, and jumble sales, to gain funds for their causes. Secondhand stores will normally give upto 30% of the days retail value of an unopened gift. eBay.co.uk is another way to dispose of such articles.
Action for Children
0808 800 5000
0300 123 2112
0800 169 6565
0300 123 4999
0176 768 0551
Food: Composting biodegradable waste at home reduces the methane produced by that waste, and subsequently there is a reduction to the adverse affects climate change. When not composted at home, biodegradable waste is sent to landfill. Dispoing of biodegradable waste in this manner produces increased amounts of the powerful greenhouse gas, methane. Methane is around 20% more damaging as a greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide. In the UK, 20% of methane production comes from landfill and, specifically, from the rotting of biodegradable waste where no oxygen is in the environment.
Clothes: Findmyrecycler currently promotes the use of national charity organisations such as the NSPCC, Action For Children, AGE UK, plus others for the disposal of good quality useable clothing. Phone these organisations to ascretain the closeness of their nearest branch for dropping of or collection service. Findmyrecycler does not promote the leaving of clothing collection bags in the street.