‘Buy experiences not things’ says Christmas campaign
- Credit: Year 3 students from St Pancras Catholic Primary School in Ipswich created a nativity scene from recyclable materials for their green week. Picture: ELLEN SMITH
A huge 83 million square metres of wrapping paper are chucked away every Christmas, along with millions of Christmas cards, Christmas trees, decorations, and tonnes of food – so how can we cut down on waste in Suffolk this Christmas?
Councillor Phil Smart, the portfolio holder for environment at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “There is little doubt that Christmas has become a festival of consumption – too often we see food that gets thrown away, clothes that get worn once or twice and then discarded, and new electrical items such as mobile phones with slightly higher specifications than the previous one that still worked fine.”
He urged families in Ipswich to consider alternative gift options in a bid to be greener.
“There are plenty of gifts we can give that don’t plunder and pollute the environment such as vouchers for events or ‘day out’ experiences, sponsorships, and donations to charities,” he said.
How to cut down on Christmas waste
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Mr Smart said: “If you can afford anything extra, then please remember the local food bank – we should be thinking about those less fortunate than ourselves all year round.”
The following gallery shows how you can cut down on waste this Christmas.
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For more specific examples find out about Suffolk’s Green Christmas campaign to make the county cleaner, greener and cheaper this year.
How you can do your bit
In their fight against single use plastics, Plastic-Free Felixstowe are joining in on the Christmas campaign by organising a number of litter picks in the new year.
Debbie Bartlett, one of the directors of the charity, said: “There is so much plastic waste being washed up on the beach that we need as many volunteers as possible to help to clear it. Hopefully it will be part of people’s new years’ resolutions.”
Debbie argues that people need to think more about the impact of plastic and our incessant demand for useless material items.
Her Christmas advice involves “wrapping presents in brown paper with natural decorations so it can all be recycled, avoiding balloons, glittery wrapping paper & cards and replacing cellotape with string.”
Debbie also advised customers to take a photo of any goods ordered online which arrive with an excessive amount of packaging (especially plastic). She said that by complaining to a supplier the manufacturers will hopefully consider taking action against the unnecessary use of plastic.
Meanwhile a school in Ipswich recently held their first ever ‘green week’ in partnership with Ipswich Borough Council.
From Monday, November 19 to Friday, November 23, students at St Pancras Catholic Primary School focussed on the three R’s - reduce, reuse and recycle.
Early years lead at the school, Ellen Smith, who is one of those in charge of the schools green scheme, said: “Students from year 3 made a nativity scene out of recyclable materials, including boxes, milk bottles and tubes, which is now on display at the front of the school.”
Ipswich Borough Council are also urging people to make use of their recycling collections, especially for any real Christmas trees.
Christmas is a good time for giving – make sure you don’t throw any household items away but take them along to a recycling centre instead.