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How To Be A Green Genius - Reducing Christmas Waste has teamed up with Renew Wales to create a series of articles that encourages young people to take enterprising action against climate change.

How To Be A Green Genius - Reducing Christmas Waste has teamed up with Renew Wales to create a series of articles that encourages young people to take enterprising action against climate change. If you've been inspired to create something we'd love to have it on theSprout!

Christmas is a great time of year. We all love it. It’s a time of indulgence in every aspect of life: great food, loads of presents, extravagant décor - What’s not to love?

But with the average household spending almost £900 during the festive period, it seems unsurprising that a lot gets wasted at this time of year. So here are a few tips to help save the environment and most of them will help save a bit of money too.

The best way to reduce festive waste is to recycle everything! Almost all of household rubbish is recyclable in one way or another and if we want to keep having white Christmases we need to recycle as much as we can.

Australia seems like a great country but barbecues and beaches at Christmas? It just doesn’t seem to fit with the whole Santa and reindeer theme as well. The more things we waste, the warmer it’ll eventually get and that means no more snow at Christmas. Okay, snow is sometimes annoying and disruptive but we still all go crazy about it and without snow Santa and the reindeer will have nowhere to live and none of us want to see Santa homeless.

 So what exactly can you recycle?

 In the green recycling bags you can recycle loads of your household rubbish this Christmas. A few of those items include:
•Glass jars from the cranberry sauce
•Empty butter tubs from the breakfast crumpets
•All the wrapping paper from the presents
•Envelopes from the Christmas cards
•Empty aerosols from the Christmas toiletries you get

 Along with a bunch of other things.

 Recycling is really useful, especially at Christmas, as the rubbish bins are only collected fortnightly but the recycling bags are collected on a weekly basis and the amount of recycling you produce is not limited.

You can also recycle all the leftover food at Christmas. The majority of people will buy more food than they can consume this Christmas but it doesn’t need to be wasted. There are now food waste recycle bins that are collected weekly. Almost all waste food (including teabags) can be placed in these and the council provides biodegradable bags for these bins. The waste from these is turned into compost so it may help to grow next year’s Christmas dinner.

A few other ways to cut down on waste (and these ones are the money savers) are:
1.Buy less food at Christmas - You can reduce the food waste in your house by planning what to buy better. If you think logically about how much food your family can eat over Christmas and keep an eye on expiry dates, you will greatly reduce how much gets thrown out. All the extra money you save can then go on even more presents!
2.Re-gift - Some people think this is morally wrong, but if you receive something that just isn’t you for Christmas, what’s the harm in re-gifting it and giving it to someone next year who will really appreciate it? It saves you money in the long run because you’ve got someone a free gift and it saves it from sitting in the cupboard for years until you finally throw it out. Just a few warnings on this idea - remember who gave it to you, re-gifting back to the same person is very embarrassing and check expiry gifts on perishable gifts such as chocolate, don’t give anyone an out of date gift.
3.If the last point doesn’t appeal, you could donate unwanted gifts to summer fetes that will sell them on or use them as raffle prizes. This is a guilt-free way to reduce your waste as you’re doing a charitable thing. Most schools and care homes host events like these and accept gift donations throughout the year ready for them.

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