How Warwick district residents can reduce waste this Christmas

This Christmas residents in the Warwick district are being encouraged to reduce the amount of waste they create this Christmas.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 11:40 am

Tackling plastic waste is a hot topic for a lot of people and Christmas can create a lot of waste.

In the Warwick District there are several shops and organisations that focus on tackling and reducing plastic waste.

In the lead up to Christmas we have asked them to give their hints and tips to help residents reduce waste.

Top left shows Charlie Demetriou in Zero, top right shows Alex Daniels and Beth Smith in Core and bottom shows Plastic Free Leamington and Warwick logo.

First up is Jo Lally of the Plastic Free Leamington and Warwick campaign:

"Happy December everyone,

"With the usual mayhem around us in the run up to Christmas we are hoping we can all spend some time considering the amount of waste we can create during this time and more importantly, how we can avoid it with a bit of thought and planning.

"You can't escape the issues we are facing with our climate and the part that unnecessary single use plastic plays in this.

"We have been working hard with local businesses and community allies to start to try and reduce the amount of single use plastic in our community and raising awareness via our Facebook page and Twitter on small things we can all do to make a difference.

"Here are our top tips on some easy ways we can all reduce our plastic footprint and general waste whilst supporting the local business community and help the planet. What a Christmas gift.

"Shop local and take your own bags - when we shop local we are supporting individuals in our community and driving the local economy. We also avoid all the excess packaging that comes with online shopping!

"Shop loose - when we shop locally we can choose items that aren't heavily over-packaged and buy loose food such as fruit and veg.

"You can even take your own containers into places like Aubrey Allen for your meat and veg plus Kangs and our two most recent local shops for loose dry goods and household cleaning refills; Zero on Russell Street and Core on Park Street.

"Buy ethically- Use your hard earned cash to demonstrate the world you want to live in. Look for organic, fair-trade, living wage, plastic free and sustainable items.

"Buy second hand- we have a plethora of charity shops in our towns which have some fabulous things. Use these shops for your stocking fillers or to pick up a lovely item of clothing that is still in really good condition.

"Buy Less - use secret Santa for work colleagues, for grown ups in the family, for children if there are loads in your extended family!

"Buy Experiences - buy experiences for your loved ones that will be fun and create lasting memories; a day out, cinema, a meal, an outing to their favourite place! You don't even have to spend money, how about gifting some babysitting for that tired parent, some gardening for elderly relatives, a butlered evening for the tired parent at home, a day of uninterrupted fun with your child doing their favourite things. The list goes on.

"Look out for our logo in local businesses for places you can trust are doing everything they can to reduce unnecessary single use plastic. Visit one of the local plastic free champion coffee shops to rest your weary feet like Warwick Street Kitchen, The Aviary, Coffee Architects, Spa Town Coffee to name but a few.

"Have a wonderful Christmas season and please join our Facebook pages to see a full list of plastic free champions in the community, download your free action plan and get top tips on things you can do to help the urgent plastics issue. You'll be hearing more from us in the new year.

"Seasons Greetings from The Plastic Free team from Leamington and Warwick"

Charlie Demetriou, who runs Zero in Russell Street in Leamington has also given her top tips for tackling waste this Christmas:

1. Avoid food waste. Plan your festive feasts in advance and try to only buy what you need. Make use of leftovers by creating sandwiches, stews, soups or freezing. There’s lots of free recipes online and you’ll be making the most of your food bill too!

2. Avoid (unrecyclable) shiny/glittery gift wrap and cards. If you can cut down on the cards you do send even better- I’m sending biscuits to my son’s preschool friends instead of cards which won’t be appreciated by 3/4 year olds.

3. Give experiences not gifts. Look for a day out or even just a nice coffee and catch up you could offer instead. Babysitting duty IOUs are well received by parents too. Any gift you do want to buy, think about sourcing second hand or definitely try and support your local independent shops.

4. If you have an artificial tree with plastic decorations, get the most out of it you can. Only think about replacing these items when they really have had it. If you want to change the colour scheme consider changing the ribbon or repainting bits- or try a swap with friends for next year.

5. Any gifts you do receive which aren’t to your liking/size...don’t put in a cupboard or wardrobe. If you don’t feel able to return or swap them at the store think about regifting them. Or look for a local project for families in need. There are so many people going without at Christmas and your unloved items could be something which transforms their Christmas.

Alex Daniels and Beth Smith who run Core, a shop specialising in plastic-free and organic products have also given a few tips.

1. Buy second hand gifts

2. Using up packaging from parcels such as boxes and paper for gifts

3. Buy ingredients for Christmas cake and mulled wine spices from plastic-free shops ; We sell a selection of spices.

4. Buy gifts from plastic free shops; we sell bath bombs which can be bought naked or wrapped in paper, shampoo, conditioner, lip balms, which can all be refilled here. We also have loose leaf tea, handmade Christmas cards, and a gift for children which have a little wooden animal in, chocolates and a fact sheet.

5. Do your research on companies to see which ones that do ethical toys for children

6. Bring your own jars and containers and we can help create a Christmas hamper