A Zero Waste Christmas
Over the festive period we create 30% more waste compared to the rest of the year - UK wide that’s about 3 million tonnes of extra waste, 500 tonnes of this being christmas lights alone! In fact, we Brits go through at least 6 million Christmas Trees each year. But it’s not just the festive decor that gets so quickly discarded, think of all that wrapping, boxes, ribbons, bows, even cards we use. In fact in the UK alone we bin one BILLION christmas cards and 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year. Let’s not forget the work Christmas Party waste! In the UK we use around 300 million plastic cups and straws.
And then there’s our food waste! If we ever needed proof that brussel sprouts are universally hated, how about the fact we throw away 17.2 million uneaten sprouts every Christmas!
The responsibility to end this pattern of waste lies with both businesses who make it so inconvenient to make sustainable choices around Christmas and with us as consumers. Because there’s so much we CAN do to reduce the amount of resources we use and waste we generate. So here’s a few tips to help you have a more sustainable christmas:
Save your wrapping paper - Starting off with an easy one - save old wrapping paper to use again or switch to recycled paper.
Check out Re-Wrapped
Better yet switch to reusable wrapping fabric! There are loads of options available, check out the likes of Wrag Wrap and Happy Wrap.
- in this instance the gift wrap is very much part of the gift!
Purchase gifts that are built to last by buying second hand
- try out certified refurbished goods on Amazon for electrical gifts, or Amazon MarketPlace.
- Facebook Marketplace
- Charity shops
- Vintage shops
- CEX and Game Exchange
Dispose of your tree properly - If you’ve gone for a real tree, make sure it can be used for compost when you’re done by having it put through the chipper and recycled. Local commercial companies provide these services or in some cases even your local authority.
- In Newport they can be put out in your garden waste (to be collected by March), taken to the local Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) or the council will collect for free!
Hire a tree - Artificial trees while being reusable (yay) are made out of materials that are difficult to recycle so find out if you can hire a tree from an external company that will reuse them or recycle them in a commercial waste stream and help reduce demand for new artificial trees to be made each year.
Purchase or (even better) rent, solar powered christmas lights
For consumers, plan your festive meals to the T before you go food shopping.
- Don’t over buy
- Save Money
- Prevent food waste
For businesses, partner up and donate all leftovers to local homeless charities
*Tredegar House will act as a food bank drop off point from the 30th November in Newport.
9. Leaflets, leaflets everywhere! It's 2020, as a business, reach out to your customers digitally to provide information on christmas deals and services. Social media is your best friend!
10. Finally (and this one is easy), give more by giving less!
- team up with friends and family to buy combined gifts or do a Secret Santa style gift exchange, this is really easily done through apps like Elfster
- buy experiences
- make something personal
If you're struggling for ideas check out our Zero Waste Gift Boxes.
We want to hear from you! Comment below with your eco Christmas ideas.