Christmas ? ! Bah - Rubbishprint
Christmas is coming, and never mind your waistline - your rubbish bin will be putting on quite a few extra pounds too, especially if you've got kids.
But take heart! Just follow these top tips from East Sussex County Council's Rethink Rubbish team and you could help your bin stay slim and sleek into the New Year - and for ever after, too, if you keep watching the waste ...
. Choose low/no packaging: Look out for gifts that don't have layer upon layer of packaging that will only end up being binned. Think of presents you could give that don't involve any packaging - perhaps a gift voucher or a ticket for the cinema, theatre, a magazine subscription, or an activity day out?
. Choose carefully: Many presents, especially toys, are flimsy, and not built to last. If you can, choose more durable items that promise to live well beyond Boxing Day!
. Power: If possible, go for 'child-powered' toys (for adults and children!) rather than ones which need batteries. If power is essential, try to use mains power rather than batteries. If you use batteries, think about using rechargeable ones - they'll save you money in the long run!
. Buy second hand: Why not look out for second hand items, particularly toys, from charity shops or in classified ads in the papers? You'll save money and help cut rubbish.
. Repair: Let's face it, new toys can very quickly become casualties of Christmas over-excitement ... so if/when the inevitable happens, do try to fix them to get the maximum value out of them rather than simply throwing them away.
. Pass them on: You'd be amazed how many brand new presents are merely thrown away because they're not quite what was wanted by a fanciful child (or grown-up ...). If - perish the thought - it happens to you, we know you'd return it to the shop, or pass it to someone else, sell it, or give it to a charity shop after Christmas rather than throw it away... wouldn't you?!
. Reuse wrapping paper - and recycle the bits than can't be reused in the paper recycling bin.
. Cut up old birthday and last year's greetings cards to make gift tags to use for gifts (children love helping do this!).
. When you take your greetings cards down at the end of the festive season, put them into one of the special recycling boxes. You'll find them in many libraries, shops and council offices.
. Bulk buy items you know you'll use - larger packs mean less of that wasteful packaging
. It's not only turkey that can be 'recycled' into sandwiches for the next day! Think bubble 'n' squeak for those leftover vegetables (if you haven't got a dog or other hungry pet).
. Buy recycled: Many items, such as kitchen roll, toilet paper and tissues are available in all major supermarkets.
. Take your own bags to the shops when you do your Christmas shopping - for gifts, food or anything else. If you do use the shop's own, use them on your next shopping trip, or use them at home, for instance as bin liners.
. Set aside recyclable items and try to hold on to them until well after Christmas - it's a very busy time for local councils and household waste sites and 'bring banks' get rather overfull.
. Book a visit of the Rethink Rubbish Bus by calling 01273 482323. We can come to public events and schools free of charge and inspire you with loads of games, activities and information to help you reduce your rubbish even more.
For more information visit www.eastSussexcc.gov.uk/rethinkrubbish or call the Rethink Rubbish Bus Team on 01273 482323 rethinkrubbish@eastSussexcc.gov.uk
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