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Christmas waste reduction

Waste a little less this Christmas…

…and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This year, more and more people in Cornwall are thinking about ways in which they can reduce the amount of rubbish they rack up at Christmas. Here’s how you can too.

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Does anyone in your family actually like sprouts? Be honest. If you’re just going to bin them, don’t buy them. You won’t be arrested by the Christmas Police.

Christmas is not an apocalypse scenario – resist the urge to stockpile in case of ‘emergencies’ (read unexpected visitors). Rather than over-buying food then binning it, plan your meals, make a list, stick to it, exercise portion control and plate, cover and use your leftovers.

See below for a portion planning tool and Christmas leftovers recipes.

Does your loved one really need more stuff? Are you buying something for the sake of it? Make memories not more waste by giving experiences and your time instead.

By going second hand, you’re not going second rate. Places like Facebook Marketplace and charity shops are full of high quality toys, stocking fillers, second-hand clothes and even tech gadgets. You’re not just saving money, you’re helping to save the planet and protect Cornwall’s unique natural environment too.

From good old-fashioned gifts like Lego to the latest tech gadgets, glossy gift wrap and sticky tape to the tinsel on the tree - plastic is everywhere at Christmas.

You can resist that glittery roll of wrapping. Use charity shop fabric or a scarf, decorate some brown paper, use newspaper, paper bags, old calendars or maps instead.

Forego that plastic novelty gift that will go in the bin come 1 January. Choose the wooden toy over the plastic tat. Buy from a bricks-and-mortar store rather than online so you can refuse the plastic wrapping at the till. When replacing Christmas decorations, go for natural ones.

You can recycle non-shiny wrapping paper that’s not coated with foil or plastic by putting it out for kerbside collection in your orange cardboard recycling bag. Please remove any sticky tape, string or ribbons. Check you wrapping is recyclable by scrunching it in your hand. If it stays scrunched we can recycle it, if it unfolds we can't.

Why not give the gift of a compost bin? You can buy one below. Lastly, choose rechargeable batteries – not for the compost bin, but for all your electrical toys and technical gadgets.