Cut out the waste this Christmas

Keep Britain Tidy is running the Big Give Christmas Challenge.
Keep Britain Tidy is running the Big Give Christmas Challenge.

Christmas is coming and I am desperately trying to declutter my home to make room for new clutter.

How do you escape the ‘Clutter Cycle’ and the materialism? How do you reduce the vast amount of waste? Our rubbish goes up by around 30 per cent over the festive period.

Good news. There are lots of little things we can do.

Gifts. Give tickets for the theatre, cinema or a gig. Memberships, subscriptions and vouchers also make great gifts. If you don’t have much money, it’s acceptable to buy from second-hand shops. We have some great ones.

Shopping. Buy only what you need. Avoid BOGOF deals if you don’t need them. Write a list of what you do need. Buy loose veg and, remember, it’s only one dinner. Support small businesses, and take your own bags.

Wrapping. Use paper bags, rather than wrapping paper. I wasn’t aware until recently that so much wrapping paper is not recyclable and is contaminated with sellotape and glitter. Keep gift bags you receive and re-use them. Keep cards and cut labels from the pictures for next year. If you are crafty, use paper and natural materials. Avoid glitter.

On the Big Day, ditch plastic straws, crackers with cheap plastic toys and as much other plastic as you can.

If you reduce your rubbish, you’ll spend less time cleaning up and have more quality time with your family.

And remember to turn off Christmas lights and gadgets at night. It’s not just about safety, but about saving power and money. Up to £80 a year is wasted in the average home due to appliances being left on standby. Break the standby habit.

Keep Britain Tidy is running The Big Give Christmas Challenge until Tuesday. It is estimated that 2.9 million small mammals are trapped and killed each year by the 27.4 million cans and bottles littered. All donations made via theBigGive.org.uk will be doubled by partners.

The money will be used in a campaign looking at changing behaviour, particularly of those who throw litter from vehicles.

If you can’t donate, you could help in other ways. Cut up plastic rings on multi-packs of drinks before you bin them, pick up cans or bottles and bin them if safe, discourage littering from vehicles and spread the word.

You can get in touch with us on Facebook or email litterbugsnorthumberland@gmail.com