The turkey has been made into sandwiches, and all the good chocolates are gone, along with the pledge to remain svelte and gorgeous for the New Year celebrations.
As we enter our kitchens we find a mountain of bin bags, filled with Christmas cheer. One way we can prevent our environmental Yule Tide guilt is to make sure that this year the planet will not feel as abused as our poor suffering bodies.
The Guardian’s Tread Lightly pledge is focusing on reducing our Christmas waste from wrapping paper, leftover food, cake tins, packaging, and glass bottles. Current figures show that the UK alone will create nearly three quarters of a million tonnes of extra waste this Christmas – that’s five black bin bags per household. That equates to 1.4m extra tonnes of C02 being generated – the same as producing enough energy to enable all households in Leeds and Doncaster to watch TV for a year.
1. The simplest way to reduce your waste is to recycle like a mad man. Doorstep recycling schemes, which are used by most councils in the UK, are the easiest and simplest way to recycle. To find out where you can recycle try logging on to recyclenow.com
2. Scrub out your glass jars and large tins, and put these away for future use. You can save a tonne of money in the New Year, by making your own jam and marmalade. And, spare storage is always useful when dealing with Christmas leftovers.
3. Fruit and vegetable peelings can be composted, so chuck all of these in your compost bin.
4. Recyclenow.com has also teamed up with the Woodland Trust card recycling scheme which will allow people to recycle their cards throughout January at participating retailers. With an average of 17 cards in the UK for every man, woman and child, that’s a lot of trees saved.
5. You can also recycle your tree after Christmas. Six million trees brightened up homes and offices across Britain last year, of which only 10% were recycled. The rest went into landfill, a wasted opportunity to create biomass that would have provided nutrients for depleted soil. Many local authorities and garden centres will be recycling Christmas trees after the festive period.
Tread lightly have inspired five million climate-friendly actions from people across the UK since April 2007, saving over 100,000 tonnes of CO2. For more ideas on how to have a green Christmas, check out The Guardian has an A-Z guide.