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It’s heading into Christmas, and in the frenzy of present buying it is worthwhile to pause and think about the impact of so much buying. Will it end up in landfill by next Christmas? Maybe you can reuse something and give it a new life as a present, even if it is a present to yourself. This holiday season is a good time to declutter, and maybe some of your clutter can be reused, rather than ending up in landfill.

There are many opportunities for reusing material in the yard. Sometimes it needs some imagination and a little work, but you may be able to create something artistic for the yard out of a discard material, or at least save on more waste going to landfill.

If you can’t think of a use, or don’t care for a recycled look, then consider that there are others who might. Putting things out on the kerb with a ‘free to good home’ often moves things on quickly. Other places that can reuse your unwanted items in include opportunity shops and local landfill reuse stations, often known as ‘tip shops’. Just be aware that these are often looked on by people as a dumping ground, so don’t give them things that are broken, dirty or are really rubbish. Mostly staffed by volunteers, and with the proceeds going to charity and the community, they don’t want to lose money by taking having to take rubbish to landfill themselves.

Another option is a freecycle group. Many local ones work within a council area, and there are many swap groups on facebook as well. Join up for free, and post your material. Usually there will be somebody that will take it off your hands. You may even find something that would work well in your yard.

Other reuse options include common ones like using egg cartons for seeds, or toilet rolls as seedling raisers, with the idea of planting the entire thing in the soil. This has many benefits including reusing a waste material, reducing root disturbance and not purchasing a pot. Items such as the clear plastic fruit containers and trays may also be used in this way, although not to plant in the ground. The ones with a cover (strawberry tubs for instance) can also be used as a mini greenhouse for propagation or seed raising.

There is also the option that if you do need to buy something, at least try and buy something that has been made from other materials. You can get plastic benches made from recycled plastic, pots that biodegrade or are made of timber by products, or cleaning agents made from the waste from orange juice processing. By purchasing these products you help support recycling programmes as well as reducing landfill material.

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