How to reduce waste this Christmas
It’s estimated that household waste increases by 30% during the holiday period. This makes Christmas one of the most wasteful times of the year. Here’s our top tips for how you can reduce waste this Christmas.
Is it really Christmas without a turkey? It’s estimated that the UK buys 10 million turkeys every year at Christmas. This demand means that around 3,000 tonnes of turkey packaging is thrown away during the festive period. Unilever estimates that 4.2 million Christmas dinners were wasted in the UK, equating to over 17 million brussels sprouts.
Food waste becomes a huge problem around Christmas time, with seven in ten people admitting to buying more food than they need. This extra food is thrown away, causing masses of food waste. Try restricting how much food you buy to only what you need to make sure that no food is wasted.
Advent calendars are a great way to build up the excitement for the big day, but they can cause a lot of waste. It’s estimated that over 16 million advent calendars are sold each year in the UK. Can you swap your plastic advent calendar for something that you can reuse? Could you make one yourself? By making one yourself, you also get to choose your own sweet treats to put behind each door.
Part of the fun of Christmas is in the decorating, but can you rummage for old decorations before purchasing new ones? If you’re covering the house in twinkling fairy lights, try to use LED lighting or make sure you’re switching your lights off when you’re not home or during the daytime.
The Christmas tree is the staple of Christmas, but are there greener ways to manage them? Could you buy a fake one and reuse it year after year? Or, if you want the real deal, make sure you take it to your local recycling centre where they will be able to have it shredded or composted.
You could also have a go at making your own decorations. This is a great way to get all the family involved with the festive fun. Could you make a wreath from things you’ve found on a family walk or make your own snowflake decorations out of scrap paper?
Christmas is the perfect time to show your friends and family you care with thoughtful gifts. However, wrapping the presents can cause a great amount of waste. In the UK, around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper ends up being thrown away each year. This amount of waste is enough to reach the moon. Check before you buy any new wrapping paper to see if you have any left over from the previous year. If you need to buy new, try to buy wrapping paper that can be recyclable. This means that, even if your wrapping paper is being thrown away, it can still be easily recycled. Can you keep your gift bags and use them again next Christmas? Or could you use magazines or newspapers for a creative touch?
Or you could get rid of the wrapping paper all together. Could you get someone an experience as a gift instead? Making memories is as much of a gift as a pair of socks and could be more sentimental. Could you buy some concert tickets or cover the cost of a fancy meal out instead of buying a physical gift. Is there a second hand or vintage gift you could buy someone instead of buying something new?
One in four Christmas cards go unrecycled each year at Christmas. The best way to make sure that your cards can be recycled is to choose cards that have a clear marking that states that the card can be recycled. You could also opt to use one that have the FSC logo so that you know the card has been sourced responsibly and contains recycled paper. Avoid cards that have extra glitter or added embellishments to them as these often stop cards from being able to be recycled.
If you’re looking to ditch the Christmas cards altogether but still want the personal touch, look at sending out e-cards. These are better for the environment as they won’t go to waste and there is a smaller carbon footprint for delivering it.
Christmas Waste Disposal