The Department of Environmental Health told Cayman 27 the festive season correlates with a significant increase in the amount of waste received at the landfill.
How can you reign in your environmental footprint in the holiday season? The DEH offers some useful tips.
The Christmas season is known as the most wonderful time of the year, but for the DEH the five week period from 1 December through 7 January is also its biggest in terms of the amount of garbage brought into the landfill.
DEH Public relations and education officer Stacey-Ann Anderson said that increase encompasses bulk waste, packaging waste, and food waste.
“There are lots of gatherings at this time, lots of gifts exchanged, and to this end we have put together a small list of essential but simple tips to ensure that persons reduce their post holiday waste,” said Ms. Anderson.
First, she said to be a concious shopper and choose food items that come in recyclable packaging. Also, give quality gifts. Ms. Anderson told Cayman 27 durable items often outlast cheaper alternatives which often beat a quick path to the landfill. Avoid disposable cups, plates, and cutlery, and instead bust out the “good China” and fancy glassware for those holiday feasts, after all it’s Christmas!
Along the same lines, she said to bring re-usable bags when you’re doing holiday shopping, wrap those gifts in recyclable paper, send e-cards instead of paper cards, and consider eliminating the packaging entirely by gifting an experience.
“Rather than gravitating towards those gifts with a lot of packaging, trying to get things that are minimum of packaging, and also can give a lifetime experience, so give some movie tickets, or concert tickets, or even go bungee jumping,” said Ms. Anderson.
She said food scraps from your festive dinner parties can be composted and become food for plants.
While we are on the subject of Christmas, the DEH is reminding the public that there will be no garbage collection on Christmas day, and that landfills on all three islands will be closed.
Landfill and collections will resume on Wednesday 26 December.