After the excesses of Christmas and New Year, why not make a new year’s resolution for 2016 to reduce, reuse and recycle more? Have you bought or been given more food over the festive period than you can realistically eat? Did you receive any unwanted Christmas presents that are now lurking at the back of a cupboard, that you don’t know what to do with? Are you drowning in Christmas cards, cardboard and packaging? If any of the above sounds familiar – then read on to find out what you can do!
Unwanted Christmas presents
My uncle always gets loads of socks for Christmas because no-one can think of anything else to get him. If you, like my uncle, have received unwanted Christmas presents, then why not sell them online on ebay or Gumtree or organise a car boot sale? That way someone else can reuse the item and you can get a penny or two for your piggy bank to replenish it after spending a lot at Christmas!
Some people keep unwanted gifts to give to friends and family at other times throughout the year. However if you try this it is important to remember who has given the gift to you in the first place so that they don’t get it back as a gift themselves! Charity shops will also happily accept donations of unwanted gifts too.
Many people choose not to send Christmas cards and prefer to use the money that they would have spent on cards on making a donation to charity. However, for those of us who still like to give and receive cards, after Christmas and New Year have passed, you may be wondering what to do with them.
You can recycle Christmas cards but you can also cut up parts of the cards and make new handmade cards for Christmas in 2016. You can also use them for tags on Christmas presents. This is a great way to save money and also I find that people like handmade cards and festive items because they are more creative and interesting than cards you can buy in a shop. You can also reuse bits of wrapping paper to wrap other items in the future. One tip that I found very helpful from our 12 Days of Christmas booklet was giving a gift in a gift – this means wrapping presents in a scarf so people receive two presents in one!
Donate your food to charity
There are plenty of food banks across Aberdeen that would greatly appreciate your donation of packs of food. According to CFINE, in 2014, the Food Banks Partnership Aberdeen distributed over 13,000 emergency food parcels across the city.
This has helped many thousands of families at difficult periods in their lives who struggle to make ends meet. At this time of year, some people will buy more food than they can eat while others struggle to get by. In order to redress this inequality, the food banks are a great way to redistribute food and make sure that none goes gets put to waste.
Wishing you Happy New Year and all the best for 2016.