I am fast going down with seasonal festive disorder - what to do with all those empty Amazon cardboard boxes now cluttering up the spare room and the shed.
Living in a rural area, I have become increasingly dependent on the vast online retail emporium that is Amazon – everything from Christmas gifts through to household gadgets, garden tools and plant pots – no lugging from the garden centre but delivered directly to the door.
Much of my gift shopping has been through Amazon. But such is the clutter of those cardboard boxes, rather than decanting the gifts before sending on to recipients, I have simply wrapped festive paper round them and applied hefty strips of Sellotape – a new variant of Pass the Parcel!
As for the Amazon boxes that have arrived over months, I have been storing these anywhere I can: the garage and garden shed are now choc-a-bloc with the wretched things. They all have to be torn up before being put out for recycling – what a time-consuming and thankless chore. Can the recycling vans cope, never mind my own recycling bin? It’s heaving already – and this before Christmas!
What happens to all that cardboard? Pulverised and mashed – into yet more cardboard. Any time now I expect an angry Greta Thunberg to land on my shoulder and scream into my ear: stop sending stuff! Consume less! It’s not enough to cut out the plastic-wrapped Aberdeen Angus mince and Stornoway Black Pudding! Cut out the electric gadgets, the power-driven Hoovers, dust-busters and coffee bean grinders! Did you really need that plastic bird feeder and garden leaf blower?
Come on. Cut out meat and turkey this Christmas. Eat more raisins, seeds and pulses. Grind your beans by hand. Make your own outdoor brush with garden twigs. And as for those Amazon boxes – stick them together, knock a hole on them, put in a solar panel, climb in and have an eco-Christmas. And as the rain beats my cardboard igloo into a soggy pulp and the recycling van carts me away, at least I will be warm in the comfort I have done my bit to combat climate change – and clear the shed.