We’re now in the final weeks of 2017. And, very soon we’ll be ‘downing tools’ to enjoy some time off with friends and family. This year, I have written a lot about caring for the environment and recycling. So, for my final post of the year, why disappoint?
You know, it’s on Christmas morning, in the wake of the usual present-unwrapping frenzy, that you realise the full extent of human consumption. Wrapping paper, plastic packaging, polystyrene … how many rubbish bags do you expect to fill this Christmas?
Compared to other times of the year, we Kiwis generate twice as much rubbish at Christmas time —an extra 50,000 tonnes. To give you an idea of how massive that is, picture 14,000 20-foot containers stacked up taller than Auckland’s Sky Tower!
I’m not saying creating more packaging at Christmas is a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with giving and receiving presents — heck; I’ll be doing plenty of that! What matters, though, is what happens to the waste.
As explained in my last post, failure to manage waste — especially plastic — has dire consequences for the environment. Also, the more we recycle, the less reliant we are on non-renewable resources, like oil.
So, as we head into Christmas, here are 3 hit-pink tips for being a tidy Kiwi.
How much packaging do you think comes with a concert, a river cruise, a day spa or dinner at a nice restaurant? You guessed right, nothing. In the twenty-first century, more people are buying experiences, rather than physical things. Why not join the trend, and buy fewer presents and more experiences this year?
Christmas cards & decorations
Granny will hate this, but who needs a physical Christmas card when you can send a zero-waste e-card by email? Okay, I get that e-cards lack the same sentimental value, so if you must send a card, buy an eco-friendly option.
With decorations, most of us stash them in a box to be used again, which is excellent. However, if you’re thinking of upgrading, don’t chuck out your decorations; organisations like the Salvation Army will take them. Alternatively, you can make a few dollars by selling them on Trade Me.
Plastic bags & wrapping
Oh, now we’re on to my ‘favourite’ topic. Plastic bags and wrapping are lightweight and, therefore, can travel just about anywhere in the wind. If plastic lands in the sea, marine creatures suffer. So, to not contribute to the problem, use recyclable shopping bags and choose products with minimal packaging. Also, don’t mix plastic bags with your general waste; take them to a drop-off point for recycling.
I hope this post has given you some ideas for managing waste over Christmas. Thanks for reading. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
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