Local households urged to have a Green Christmas

Over the festive season in Kilkenny, more household waste will be generated than at any other time during the year.

Over the festive season in Kilkenny, more household waste will be generated than at any other time during the year.

The Environmental Protection Agency is urging everyone to have as ‘green’ a Christmas as possible. The organisation is callingon Kilkenny households to reduce, reuse and recycle, and to use their own compost heap, green bin and local recycling centre.

“We wish everyone in Kilkenny a happy Christmas and a peaceful and successful New Year and would like to remind people at this time of year that by keeping some useful waste prevention ideas in mind we can all save money and cut down on the pressure placed on our environment,” says Jonathan Derham from the EPA.

“By following these tips from the EPA over the holiday season, and by making these habits part of our New Year’s resolutions, we can all contribute to a greener future. Always remember – by not generating waste, we eliminate the need to handle, transport, treat and dispose of it.”

The average Irish family throws out €700 worth of food each year and this has a negative effect on every family’s pocket and the environment. Food waste increases substantially over Christmas; with more food thrown out during the festive season than at any other time of the year due to over-buying.

The EPA’s StopFoodWaste.ie programme recommends checking what items you already have in stock before going shopping as well as thinking back to last year and identifying which items remained unused at the end of the season either because they were unpopular or purchased in too large a quantity. In the run up to Christmas remember to defrost your freezer, it will work more efficiently and create more space to store leftover food.

While doing your gift and grocery shopping, try to buy produce locally, this supports small suppliers and your local community, while minimising your carbon footprint. Over Christmas, Irish households produce more than 65,000 tonnes of used packaging.

If you receive new electronic gadgets this season, please bring any old ones for free to your local authority recycling centre. Old batteries too canbe left at shops where they are sold. These products are packed with high value metals which can be reused again.

It’s great to have a warm, cosy house at Christmas so keep curtains closed and doors shut; this keeps heat in, and saves energy and money. Make time too for a walk in your community and countryside. It is not only healthy, but it is good to remind ourselves what we are all trying to protect and enhance.

Kilkenny County Council can direct you to your nearest recycling facilities, or visit www.repak.ie/recycling_facilities.php for a list of bring banks and recycling centres.