Christmas, it’s everywhere. Even if you choose not to celebrate it there is little escaping the Christmas related paraphernalia and gifts that line the shelves at this time of year. Let’s face it, the majority of these products are what we would politely call tat. Last year alone, Britons threw out the equivalent of 450,000 double-decker bus-loads of rubbish.
Don’t despair though, while it might seem that Christmas brings with it an inevitable sea of plastic and disposable rubbish it is possible to have a low-waste Christmas. Read on to find out more!
If you’re dreaming of a low-waste Christmas then the steps below could help you to make your dream a reality. Of course, having a low-waste Christmas doesn’t mean changing what you buy, it may just mean changing your mindset.
Most people tend to give presents at Christmas and whatever the origins of the festival quite a major part of it now is about giving gifts to those we care about or are obliged to give to! And the advertisements for this massive consumer fest bombard us for months! That’s why, in the following section of this blog, we’re going to look at how to reduce your Christmas present waste.
The easiest way to have a truly low-waste Christmas is to de-materialize gift giving, cut back on the cards, skip the wrapping paper (or use the wrapping paper we saved from last years presents and think carefully about the amount of food you really need and where that food comes from. Of course, this is not always practical. The majority of people will expect gifts of some sort at Christmas and even those who choose not to eat meat or dairy enjoy to sit down with a big meal at this time of year.
Of course, gift giving can be an enjoyable experience and part of what makes it meaningful is the choosing bit. So have a think about the life cycle impact of what your buying and try to choose a long-lasting, buy-it-once kind of thing. Forget about novelty and tat and find a present that will stand the test of time. That’s where our range of food-grade stainless steel water bottles, boxes and snack pots come in. Did we mention that they also come in plastic-free packaging?
Why not re-use or re-purpose previous gifts and give them a new lease of life in the hands of someone who will truly appreciate them. That book you loved but are unlikely to re-read why not re-gift it? Likewise, that jumper you brought that is just too big for you but might fit someone else? Have a look around your house and there are probably tens of things that you can re-gift to others.
Last year, we Brits threw away 88 square kilometers of wrapping paper, over one billion Christmas cards, and went through 40 million rolls of sticky tape. Surely, it’s time to stop wrapping our gifts and sending physical Christmas cards? Why not re-purpose paper you have around the house to gift wrap your presents, or just skip the decorative element altogether?
Each year around 6 million Christmas trees are discarded, amounting to over 250 tonnes. That’s just the rubbish, let’s not forget the environmental impact of growing coniferous pines in this country which are often grown so close together that they prevent other, native, species from growing. Choose decorations that will last for years or that you could chuck on your compost in the new year or that are edible or recyclable. Basically, make the best of what you've already got, get creative and don't buy anything with batteries in it!
Shockingly, at Christmas, around 263,000 turkeys; 7.5 million mince pies; 740,000 slices of Christmas pudding; 17.2 million Brussels sprouts; 11.9 million carrots and 11.3 million roast potatoes are wasted each year. That is in an environment where 14% of adults in the UK worry about not having enough to eat. So, when it comes to food waste what can you do?
A sort of siege mentality sets in at Christmas; we have a tendency to stock up on food at Christmas as if the shops will never open again! Rather than buying food in excess, only buy what you are reasonably likely to eat. Just because you have four guests coming round it doesn’t mean you need to shop for ten!
Tradition dictates a lot of our Christmas food choices...don’t let it! If you don’t like Christmas pudding then don’t buy it just because you feel that you have to. In our book, it is better to forget the tradition and just buy the sort of food that you would like.
Use your leftovers wisely; there are plenty of online to help you make the most of what is leftover. If you are going to have leftovers though why not store them in one of our fantastic, food-grade, stainless steel containers. Click here to find out more about our products.
So, there you have it, our tips for a low-waste Christmas. What are your tips? What do you do to reduce your waste at Christmas? Let us know in the comment section below.
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