Dreaming of a 'green' Christmas
It may not have exactly the same ring to it, but having a green Christmas is a lot more doable than straining our eyes to look for that one fleck of snow that may deem it acceptable to call it a white one. After all, one relies on good ol’ mother nature, whilst the other allows us to be in control of it.
An estimated three million tonnes of waste is produced in the UK over Christmas – half of which could be recycled - and according to a Guardian article, cutting down on waste over the festive period by buying less and recycling more would save 352,000 tonnes of CO2-equiavlent greenhouses gases – enough to fly Santa in a plane around the world on Christmas Eve 64,500 times. And we wouldn’t want Rudolph to be out of a job, would we?
Head of Recycle Now, Fridey Cordingley, told the paper that “the good news is that there are easy ways to help cut our waste-lines and help tackle climate change. Many people either forget or don't realise that festive items such as Christmas cards, empty tins of sweets and biscuits, and jars of pickles can all be easily recycled and will help our bins shed those extra kilos."
So, what exactly can we do?
- Take re-usable shopping bags with you (and save yourself money at the same time!)
- Buy gifts made from recycled materials and with minimal packaging – tis the season to ditch poly(propylene), and all that
- 365,700 km of wrapping paper is used each year – that’s enough to go to the moon – whilst 1.5 billion cards are thrown out – equivalent to 500 million cut trees. Buy recyclable cards and wrapping paper – even better, send e-cards or a photocard that can be used as a keepsake. Handmade cards and wrapping paper are always a fun idea, too – think old newspapers – and you can even donate the money you save from this to charity, too – win-win! Check out Prezzybox’s video article on ways to re-use wrapping paper here.
- “Buy a scarf from one of our charity shops and use it as a substitute for wrapping paper!”, a spokesperson from the Salvation Army tells us. “With a little bit of ribbon to tie it together - you'll be able to give two gifts in one!”
- Choose rechargeable batteries for electrical goods
- Go for an alternative, non-tangible gift, such as vouchers or experience days
- An environmentally-friendly present is a great idea, too, such as the new Ecoffee cup - a range of a stylish and reusable range of eco-friendly cups - combatting the 100 billion+ single use coffee cups going to landfill every year!
- Plan meals ahead, write a shopping list and sort out your fridge/freezer beforehand Last year Sainsbury’s launched Waste less, Save more – a £10m plan to help families save money by cutting down on the amount of food they throw away. “We recommend taking a ‘shelfie’ – a snapshot on your phone of exact what’s in your fridge”, Luke Campbell tells us. “It’s quick and simple and can stop you from doubling up!”
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Paul Speake Sheridan UK
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Ben Lukey AMA Waste Services
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