Quiz: Are You on the Naughty or Nice Environmental List This Year?

Christmas is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable time, and it’s not that we want to be party poopers, but do you give any thought to how what you do at Christmas affects the environment?

Do you discard all of your leftover turkey in the bin or do you salvage what you can and dispose of the rest correctly?

Do you recycle all your Christmas cards or do they end up being mindlessly tossed in the bin?

Here’s a fun quiz to find out whether you’ll be on the environmental naughty or nice list this Christmas...

naughty or nice

1: - What do you do with the mountain of wrapping paper that’s left on Christmas morning?

  • I try to keep some of the nicer paper for next Christmas and I recycle the rest.
  • I throw most of it in the bin.
  • I use it as fuel for the log fire     

Top tips for recycling wrapping paper

Some councils will recycle wrapping paper, and some won’t, so make sure you know what the rules are in your local area.

The reasons why wrapping paper is sometimes not accepted for recycling is that it’s often dyed, laminated or it contains glitter, which can’t be recycled. Some paper is very thin, so there is very little value in recycling it.

If it is accepted for recycling, remove any sellotape, ribbons and bows as these aren’t recyclable. A good way to tell if it’s likely to be recyclable is if it scrunches up easily. If it doesn’t, you probably can’t recycle it.

xmas wrapping

2: - What do you do with all the cardboard boxes once you’ve opened all your presents?

  • I take them to the recycling centre
  • I put a few of them in the bin but most of them will go in the recycling
  • I put them into whichever bin is not full to the brim

Top tips for recycling cardboard

Boxes we might use for packing items and those we use for food and drink are both recyclable but sometimes they are collected separately. Here’s a quick guide to what goes in the recycling and what doesn’t:

  • Cardboard boxes such as cereal boxes: recyclable
  • Cardboard that is stained or greasy like a pizza box: not recyclable
  • Corrugated cardboard: recyclable
  • Glitter covered greetings cards: not recyclable
  • Food and drink cartons: recyclable
  • Egg boxes and rolls from kitchen roll and toilet roll: recyclable and compostable.
  • Brown paper: recyclable

cardboard recycling

3: - What is your Christmas tipple of choice?

  • A gin and tonic
  • Hot chocolate and whipped cream
  • A few cans of lager

Top tips for recycling drinks cans

Many of the drinks we consume are in aluminium cans, and these are widely recycled to make new products. Recycling aluminium only uses around 55 of the energy it takes to make the raw material and it can be recycled again and again without loss of quality.

Whether it’s a food or drinks can, rinse it out with your leftover dish water before putting it in the recycling.

cans recycling

4: - What type of Christmas tree do you prefer?

  • Real, all the way
  • Artificial because it’s less messy
  • I don’t care as long as we have one

Top tips for recycling Christmas trees

Whether you opt for real or fake, here’s what happens to your Christmas tree once it’s disposed of. Real Christmas trees are recyclable and they are usually shredded, and the chippings are used in parks and woodlands. Real trees can be dropped off at recycling points, or you can arrange a collection, depending on where you live. Always remove tinsel and decorations before recycling it. Artificial trees are made from a mixture of materials, so they can’t be recycled.

xmas tree

5: - You get a hideous jumper from Auntie Doris, what do you do with it?

  • Take it to a recycling collection point
  • Donate it to a charity shop
  • Hide it in the back of your wardrobe

Top tips for recycling clothing

Clothes that are in good condition can be donated to charity, or they can be taken to a clothing bank and recycled to make new items like padding for chairs and car seats and new clothing.

clothes 3

6: - Do you send Christmas cards?

  • I always send Christmas cards
  • Surely wishing them Merry Christmas on Facebook is fine?
  • I just write a message on their present

Top tips for recycling Christmas cards

Greetings cards that are made of paper can be recycled with their envelopes in your household recycling or at recycling centre collection points.

Any glitter or other embellishments can’t be recycled however, so they must be removed before they are recycled.

xmas cards

7: -You get 2 copies of the same book for Christmas, you keep one, but what do you do with the other?

  • I'll take the other one to the charity shop
  • It will most likely get put in a cupboard and forgotten about
  • The other one will go in the bin

Top tips for recycling books

Books can’t usually be recycled with paper, because glue is used to bind them. Why not try selling them at car boot sales or on Amazon?

You can always donate them to family and friends, charity shops, or your local doctor and dentist surgeries. 

book recycling