Dreaming of a green Christmas

12 December 2022

Red and green reusable Christmas gift cards

Gift services rather than ‘stuff’ 
Giving an experience is a great way to reduce waste and show you care. Gift cards for restaurants, spas or leisure facilities have no packaging waste and give your special someone something to look forward to.
Pro Tip: Grab a holiday-themed Camana Bay Gift Card directly from the Camana Bay Visitor Centre. Accepted throughout the Town Centre, you choose the amount, they choose the gift. Several of the Town Centre’s retailers offer gift certificates or personal smart cards as well.

Cater for your guests, not the island
Food waste is at its peak during the holidays. Many people over-buy, fearing there won’t be enough food for everyone. To avoid this, confirm your guests in advance and work out what you need. Plan your meals, write a list and find recipes that will include leftovers so nothing ends up in the trash. 
Pro Tip: Buy locally grown produce, baked goods, pepper jellies and more at the Camana Bay Farmers & Artisans Market (Wednesdays | 12-7 p.m. | the Paseo) or The Hamlin Stephenson Farmers' Market (Monday - Saturday | 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.) at the George Town cricket grounds.

Choose solar-powered Christmas lights 
Try solar-powered decorative lights for the yard. With around eight hours of sunshine each day in December, the lights will get a good charge and stay bright all night. Using solar-powered lights means less demand for electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. While there may be an initial cost to replace plug-in lights, your seasonal energy bill should be lower.

Spread cheer, not litter 
Take a couple of trash bags with you for beach parties and days out: one for recyclable items and one for rubbish. Take reusable plates and cutlery rather than disposable ones. 

Recycle your Christmas tree 
Recycling natural trees is easier than you might think. The annual tree recycling programme keeps trees from going to landfill and instead sees them shredded to provide free mulch to the public. The mulch from recycled Christmas trees is great for your yard and will mean your flowers will look their best in the spring! 

Pro Tip: The mulch is generally left in a public space — like next to the George Town cricket oval — and the public is invited to help themselves.  

Don’t trash your wrapping paper and cards 
Lots of wrapping paper and most cards can be recycled, so making sure all that paper doesn’t go to waste is vital. To see whether your wrapping paper can be recycled, there is the simple "scrunch test" – if you can easily scrunch it up into a ball, you can recycle it. Just make sure to remove all ribbons and tape. For cards, if they’re covered in glitter, pop them in the bin. Otherwise, they should be good to recycle.

Recycle, but don’t overload the recycling banks 
Christmas is a great opportunity to improve our recycling rate as household waste generally increases, but we must ensure we don’t overload the trash. Wait a few days before taking cardboard and cans for recycling. As recyclables should be dry and clean, they shouldn’t be a problem to store.

Pro Tip: Finished off a case of Caybrew? Return empty Cayman Islands Brewery bottles to the brewery and get some cash back on your next purchase through its bottle return programme.

This article will also appear in the December/January print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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