This time of year is generally all about preparation for Christmas festivities and planning, gift buying and food. What isn’t often prepared for is the waste that comes after Christmas and more importantly what we do with it.
You might not have appreciated that around 30% more waste is produced during Christmas, which equates to an extra 3 million tonnes of waste just for a couple of days of celebrations! Generally speaking each household in the UK produces 3% more waste year on year which might not seem like a great deal but could mean that our waste production doubles every 25 years or so. So you can see why it could be worth taking time out of your hectic festive countdown to think of ways to reduce waste this Christmas – here is some food for thought:
– Food waste – by far the biggest factor for waste over Christmas is the amount of food we buy and subsequently throw away. Planning the amount of food you’re going to need more accurately instead of just buying randomly off the shelf could mean less wastage overall. Making extra meals from leftovers and freezing items to use at a later date could also mean that less food is wasted this Christmas. Consider donating to a food bank any unwanted food gifts rather than leaving them in your cupboard or fridge to go off or be thrown away another time.
– Christmas trees – It’s likely there’ll be over 8 million trees purchased this Christmas. Buying a tree with roots makes it replantable in your garden once Christmas is over. Alternatively look out for your local tree recycling service that could use your tree for agricultural composting.
– Wrapping paper and cards – Around 8000 tonnes of wrapping paper could be used this Christmas along with millions of cards exchanged or sent. Look for local recycling methods or buy recycled or recyclable products to reduce the impact on the environment. You could even make your own cards to make them extra special and reduce waste.
Being with family and friends is most important to most over Christmas so consider this first and foremost before making purchases you might live to regret or know are likely to end up in the bin. Having a clearout of waste in the home prior to Christmas could also be a way of thinking more about the impact of waste. Donating to charity or contacting your local waste management company for ideas about how to recycle could all contribute to a more meaningful and less wasteful festive period.