Sustainable summer: How to reduce your holiday waste

Regular internet surfers are likely well acquainted with the #HotGirlSummer trend, but have you heard about #SustainableSummer? As the weather heats up, ensure you’re not sweating under the weight of expanding landfills by being more mindful about your holiday habits. 

Recycling more can help you live your best #SustainableSummer life, and TerraCycle is here to keep the eco party going into the new year.

Women laying on the grass in a garden drinking wine and laughing, enjoying their #SustainableSummer.

Read on to learn how the holidays impact the amount of rubbish we produce, ways to keep a lid on your festive waste, and how you could win a holiday treat by recycling with TerraCycle.

What’s ending up in landfills over summer?

Between Christmas and new year celebrations, musical festivals, beachside picnics and school holiday adventures, there’s a lot going on under the summer sun. All this activity and a spike in tourism generates a lot of additional rubbish that often ends up in landfills or as litter in our environment. In New Zealand alone, there’s a 30% up-tick in waste created over the summer holidays, with a massive 400% increase seen in tourist hotspots.

This will come as no surprise to holidaymakers. Hard-to-recycle rubbish like flexible food wrap and kitchen cleaning supplies stacks up after parties, while thongs and wetsuits get a workout during summer beach sessions.

It’s also a major consumption period. Last year, the average Australian expected to spend more than $1200 on presents, food, alcohol, eating out and travel over Christmas. And despite cost-of-living challenges, pre-Christmas spending is anticipated to rise in 2022. Considering that almost a third of all food purchased in Australia is wasted and hundreds of millions of dollars go towards unwanted gifts, the festive waste issue is painfully clear.

Keep holiday rubbish out of landfills with TerraCycle

There are plenty of ways to make your yuletide celebrations more sustainable. Consider shopping for preloved gifts (or making your own), crafting Christmas decorations from recycled or natural materials, ditching the power-sucking Christmas lights, or serving up sustainably sourced feasts. And when the party’s over, what could be more satisfying than responsibly recycling party debris? 

TerraCycle can help you recycle almost all of the rubbish that builds up over summer. We have a number of free programs to recycle rubbish that isn’t accepted by your council recycling service. Check out our recycling solutions for these holiday waste categories:

  • Beauty, skincare and haircare empties. Once you’ve scraped the last remnants of product from sunscreen tubes, moisturiser tubs, pump conditioners and makeup kits, recycle them for free through our range of skincare, haircare and makeup recycling programs in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Old and broken toys. If your kids have said their final farewells to beloved toys that aren’t fit for charity donations, recycle them through our BIG W and Paw Patrol programs in Australia. You can drop off bedraggled toys for recycling at BIG W and Toyworld stores for free, or mail-in your collection through the Paw Patrol program.
  • Worn-out thongs and wetsuits. Aussies can recycle any brand of wetsuit by dropping it off at a Rip Curl store for recycling through TerraCycle. The same goes for Havaianas thongs, which can be shipped directly to TerraCycle for recycling or dropped off at participating retailers for free.
  • Empty coffee capsules. Make a resolution to clean up your caffeine habit in the new year by signing up for TerraCycle’s numerous free recycling programs for coffee capsules in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Used food storage wrap. Once all the holiday leftovers are devoured, make sure any cling wrap, snap-lock bags and freezer bags are recycled by shipping them to TerraCycle through the GLAD Food Storage Free Recycling Program.

Share and win!

To commend you for your recycling efforts, a number of brands that sponsor TerraCycle’s free recycling programs are offering special prizes throughout the summer holidays. Keep an eye on TerraCycle’s Instagram and Facebook pages for opportunities to win prize packs simply by tagging a friend in a post and spreading sustainable good cheer.

Did you know you can recycle festive rubbish with a Zero Waste Box?

If you’re looking to recycle holiday items that don’t fit within our free programs, check out our range of Zero Waste Boxes. This pre-paid option provides even more recycling solutions for common holiday rubbish, from fairy lights and party supplies to cork wine stoppers, e-waste, art supplies, unusable gift wrapping and much more.

You could team up with your family to order a box or two and ensure rubbish from the whole clan is disposed of responsibly. Or, since the upfront price of a Zero Waste Box covers the entire recycling process – from shipping to sortation and processing – it also makes a fabulous eco-friendly gift!

What’s on for #SustainableSummer

We’ve got heaps of tips coming your way throughout December and January to keep your holidays sustainable and fuel your recycling plans for 2023. Stay tuned for end-of-year workplace clean-up advice, a deep-dive into a cool carbon negative material, and behind-the-scenes insights into how we recycle your rubbish and give it new purpose.

Help inspire your community by getting involved in our social media competitions or sharing your recycling efforts online and tagging us.

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