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* Green Christmas

Christmas is the time of year when we are all encouraged to eat drink and buy too much. To many people it is the "season of excess." the result is too much waste and even too much waist!

Green Gang had put a few quick Christmas tips in our first COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER, which we delivered to some of the homes in the area. And we had some nice comments back; so they then invited the whole school to submit any suggestions and ideas for a 'Greener' more environmentally and healthier Christmas.

Once we had our responses we did a little research about how local recycling affected these tips, that way we could make them as relevant as possible. The children then took some photographs of each other to use in the weekly online parents newsletter. We even sent a copy to the Echo to see if they would help us get the message out to the whole community. It does not mattter if they do or not the point is that we have tried.

One of the nice suggestions that we had back was rather than parents spending lots of money on their children it might be better to spend lots of time with your children playing, reading or even working on the christmas dinner together. Getting deeper into debt can make you worried and anxious and so spoil not just Christmas but the whole year. Not strictly environmental but we loved that tip anyway!

Our choice of top 10 tips for a GREEN CHRISTMAS are:-

1. BUY RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES
2. MAKE A LIST - CHECK IT TWICE 
3. USE BAGS INSTEAD OF WRAPPING PAPER
4. RECYCLE CHRISTMAS CARDS 
5. GET LIVE TREES INSTEAD OF ARTIFICIAL
6. USE NEW ENERGY EFFICIENT LED LIGHTS

7. GIVE THE RIGHT PRESENT GIFT TOKENS
8. MAKE A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION AS A FAMILY TO GET HEALTHIER 
9. GIVE ETHICAL GIFTS & HAVE A FAIRTRADE CHRISTMAS. 
10. CLEAN UP & RECYCLE YOUR WASTE PROPERLY.

1. BUY RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES

These will save you hundreds of pounds throughout the year. Get a spare set of batteries and have them on charge ready to go. You can buy 'ready to use straight out of the packet' rechargeable batteries and can get even get solar chargers too. These can be used over a 1000 times so that is a pretty good saving!

But remember with all items you charge up like ipods, mobile phones, if the charger is left on its using power!

If you have single use batteries make sure you dispose of the properly such as taking them to the collection bins in supermarkets or our big Battery Monster in school, but please do not just dump them in the rubbish bin for landfill.

2. MAKE A LIST - CHECK IT TWICE

A lot of families buy far too much at Christmas and end up just throwing a lot of it away. Make a list of what you need, then after you have checked what you already have and how much room is in the freezer, make your shopping list. You can spend the money you will save on important things -like me!

Remember to put your reusable shopping bags at the top of the list so you do not forget to take them.

3. USE GIFT BOXES & BAGS INSTEAD OF WRAPPING PAPER

Better than buying gift wrap, is to use GIFT BAGS or BOXES that can be reused over and over again. I love the Indian newspaper giftbags from the local Fairtrade shop 'FAIR-Dos' in Canton, for just 50p!

Because of the contaminents from cellotape etc all your wrapping paper in Cardiff goes to landfill rather than be recycled - what a shame! You can just use old newspapers, or wall paper to wrap big gifts.

If you receive presents wrapped just shred it and put it in your garden compost (A bit of glitter will not hurt). Of course if you are able to take if off carefully see if you can keep it and reuse it next year.

4. RECYCLE CHRISTMAS CARDS

Keep all your Christmas Cards and take them to the Woodland Trust collection point at M&S to be recycled (or you can bring them in to school and we will take them up there for you). Plain cards can go in the green recycle bags, but sadly cards with glitter, glue or sticky pads etc again go into landfill in Cardiff.

If you like crafts, you can cut up your old cards & use them to make gift tags for next year or your own some super Christmas Card.

Rather than buy cards why not send a fun e-card such as www.elfyourself.com

5. GET LIVE TREES

If you have a artificial tree re-use that, but if you need to buy a tree buy a live one in a pot with roots that can be planted in your garden.

Even cut trees when finished can be far easily shredded and composted than artificial ones can be recycled. Cut up your dead tree & compost it or stick it in the Green bin. You can of course take it down to the Council's recycling depot in Waungron Road.

4. RECYCLE CHRISTMAS CARDS

Keep all your Christmas Cards and take them to the Woodland Trust collection point at M&S to be recycled (or you can bring them in to school and we will take them up there for you). Plain cards can go in the green recycle bags, but sadly cards with glitter, glue or sticky pads etc again go into landfill in Cardiff.

If you like crafts, you can cut up your old cards & use them to make gift tags for next year or your own some super Christmas Card.

Rather than buy cards why not send a fun e-card such as www.elfyourself.com

5. GET LIVE TREES

If you have a artificial tree re-use that, but if you need to buy a tree buy a live one in a pot with roots that can be planted in your garden.

Even cut trees when finished can be far easily shredded and composted than artificial ones can be recycled. Cut up your dead tree & compost it or stick it in the Green bin. You can of course take it down to the Council's recycling depot in Waungron Road.

8.MAKE A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION AS A FAMILY TO GET HEALTHIER

Why not agree and make a pledge as a family to cycle more or walk instead of taking the car, or it could be anything for a healthier lifestyle. It does not have to be a chore. in fact it the more fun you make it the better, how about a weekly family challenge on the Wii?

You can then support each other and all feel the benefit. Use the money you save for a holiday or something you all want and can aim for.

Green Gang would like you to cycle more and to compost your waste at home so less goes into Landfill.

9. GIVE ETHICAL GIFTS & HAVE A FAIRTRADE CHRISTMAS.

The Fairtrade logo is not just a symbol of a good quality product, buying it can help people around the world get a Fair deal. Why not try & get as many Fairtrade and Traidcraftproducts on your Christmas table as you can? Then take some photos and tell us about it. We all loved visiting the shop in Canton its a hidden gem.

We love the idea of gifts such as OXFAM UNWRAPPED or SAVE THE CHILDREN's WISH LIST in which a you buy a goat, chickens or an education pack for someone who desperately needs it in the third world. Just £3 can buy a mosquito net that will save a child's life.

Do not forget we are holding a collection for our partner school in Kenya at the Carol Service, every penny you give will help us send a lovely Christmas present to them so they can buy a few meals for the children there.

It really is what Christmas is all about.

10. CLEAN UP & RECYCLE YOUR WASTE PROPERLY

Make sure now that you have a good supply of green & black bin bags ready for your post Christmas clean up. Remember to flatten cans & leave tops off empty bottles to take up less space. Cardboard packets can be shredded up and composted.

If you cannot store all the rubbish till bin collection day you can drop them down to the Household Waste Recycling Centre.Waungron Rd is open on the 27th from 7am till 6:45p.m.

 

We hope that you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too. Please try and take onboard some of these messages so that we can all have a brighter fairer and more sustainable future.


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