Merry RECYCLABLE Christmas It’s no secret that we produce more waste over the festive season. Lounge room floors full of toys and wrapping paper, Turkey left overs for days, bins overflowing… you get the idea! In the lead up to Christmas take your time to review our 12 Recycling Tips of Christmas to help you have a more sustainable Christmas and to Reduce, Reuse & Recycle as much as you can during the festivities Tip 1: Decorations Have you put your Christmas Decorations up yet? Festivities need decorations, but choose wisely because all that glitters is not necessarily environmentally friendly. Try to buy good quality ornaments that can be re-used for years to come and look at purchasing solar generated lights for outdoors. Feeling creative? Why not try making your own decorations – search for ‘Upcycled Christmas Decorations’ or ‘Recycled Christmas Decorations’ online for inspiration! Tip 2: Gifts Have you bought all your Christmas gifts? When buying presents for your loved ones think outside the gift box for some ideas that are sure to make a big impact on your loved one but a small impact on the environment. Here are just a few ideas: Instead of buying someone a physical present, treat them to an experience like a massage, cooking classes, tickets to the movies, restaurant vouchers or even a day out to the Reptile Park or Zoo. For a gift that grows, give a native tree or herb garden. Charity or environmental donations can make a great present for the right person. Try presents that are environmentally beneficial like a worm farm or compost bin. Tip 3: Cards Are you sending out Christmas Cards this year? Why not send a festive e-card instead of a cardboard one. If posting out cards see if you can find cards printed on recycled cardboard or make your own from paper and textile scraps you find around the house. Tip 4: Bon Bons & Crackers Christmas Bon Bons are a tradition enjoyed in most households on Christmas Day – we all love a good cracker and a lame joke shared around the Christmas table. However, most of us will admit that the toys and trinkets inside will eventually make their way into the garbage bin. Feeling creative? Why not try making your own Bon Bons or Christmas Crackers – search for ‘Make your own Bon Bons’ online for inspiration and fill them with gifts that your guests will use! Some suggestions include seedling packets, movie tickets, mini perfume bottles or even just some chocolates. Make sure you still include the lame jokes – plenty of these are available online too! Tip 5: Serving Ware – No Disposables! Are you celebrating Christmas at your place this year? Avoid disposable plates, cups, knives and forks or buy biodegradable ones such as bamboo and palm leaf sets which breakdown and can be composted. Make sure all your guests know where the recycling bin is and if they are from out of town make sure they know what can be put in it! Tip 6: Wrapping Have you wrapped your presents yet? Wrapping paper is abundant in almost every household over the festive season, and more often than not it ends up in large piles on the floor destined to be thrown away. Below are some alternatives for wrapping your presents: Wrap gifts in a page from an old newspaper and add a touch of colour with paint or pick a flower from the garden and stick it to the package. Wrap presents in a new tea towel, sarong or put your gifts in a calico bag that can be reused. Kids’ artwork is a perfect wrapping for presents to proud grandparents. Use a Santa Sack or Stocking that fits all the gifts in – no need for wrapping and can be reused every year! If you do buy gift-wrap, look for recycled paper options, and avoid using foil-wrap & cellophane as it isn’t recyclable. Tip 7: Food Are you cooking Christmas lunch or dinner this year? Reduce waste by making a list and checking it twice… before you go food shopping. Are you really going to use that extra box of mince pies? Financially and environmentally it’s better to buy more later if you need it, than to waste what you have too much of. Write a shopping list to avoid over-buying and make sure your list takes into account what you already have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. Tip 8: Batteries not included! If you’re giving a battery-powered gift (you know the ones grandparents give the grandkids to annoy their parents), then remember to include rechargeable batteries and a recharger too. That way the Christmas cheer will continue throughout the year! Tip 9: Recycling One of the simplest things that you can do to reduce your environmental impact at this time of year is to ensure that you put the right things into your home recycling bin. Remember to place all your Christmas wrapping paper, envelopes, cards, party hats, bon bons, biscuit tins, fruit mince pie trays and cardboard packaging inside your Yellow Lid Recycling Bin on Christmas Day. Cellophane and foil wraps CAN’T be recycled, they belong in your Red Lid bin, as do ribbons, bows and twist ties. If you’re engaging in a little festive cheer – make sure those bottles and cans find a home inside your recycling bin too! Happy Recycling Tip 10: Waste & Recycling Services Don’t forget to put your bins out! Even thought it is a Public Holiday on Boxing Day our Cleanaway Drivers will still be emptying your bins across the Central Coast. Please ensure your general waste, recycling and garden vegetation bins are placed out on the kerbside the night before your collection day. Tip 11: Left Overs Do you have Christmas Left Overs? If you prepared too much Christmas food, instead of throwing it away try freezing the leftovers for another meal during the week. Or you could do a internet search on ‘turning Christmas leftovers into a new meal’ for some creative inspiration! Tip 12: Real Christmas Mulch! Did you buy a real Christmas Tree this year? Central Coast residents can book in a Bulk Kerbside Garden Collection to have their Christmas Tree removed once they have taken down all of their Christmas decorations. The tree will be taken to Australian Native Landscapes and turned into compost or mulch.