There are a lot of things to love about Christmas (hello mulled wine and mince pies!), but with all the food and presents flying around it can be a time of extreme waste. Did you know that we create 30% more waste than any other time of year? Fear not! We've got you covered. Read on for our top tips on reducing your waste over the holiday period.
There are plenty of things you can do to try and reduce your impact this Christmas, here are a few of our favourites!
It's simple, not only will you waste less, but you'll also save money: it's a win-win! When it comes to food, try to plan ahead if you can and be realistic about how much food everyone will eat. If no one likes sprouts, just don't buy them! Buying less also applies to gifts. Fifty percent of UK adults agree that they receive gifts they neither want or need, and will never use.
When shopping for gifts, think quality and not quantity. Why not hit up your local charity shops? Buying second hand will reduce the amount of new products that need be made. How about gifting an experience? This will reduce the need for physical resources. You could make a donation in someone's name to a local charity, or try your hand at home-made gifts (baked goods always go down a treat!). You could even gift your time, because who wouldn't love more time with you?
Make sure to check the labels of the things you buy, so you can try and buy sustainably made products where possible. When it comes to wood and paper, look for the Forest Stewardship Council certification (FSC), or check that it's made from recycled materials. Avoid plastic and other materials that can't be recycled and aim for organic cotton products. It's worth checking your food labels too and buying local, seasonal produce wherever possible.
Recycle, Reuse, Repair..
Make sure to recycle everything you possibly can. Sure, it takes a little extra effort, but it's worth it! WRAP's national campaign 'Recycle Now' has put together a really useful Christmas recycling guide, which includes tips such as the scrunch test (if your wrapping paper stays in a ball when you scrunch it up, it is probably recyclable). You can check it out here.
Don't forget to think about reusing and repairing too, these are great ways to reduce our waste!
So that's our wrap up of tips for reducing and avoiding waste over the holidays! Let us know what you do to reduce your waste and how you make your Christmas as sustainable as possible.
Want to learn more about waste over the Christmas period?
Here are a few eye opening figures to mull over
227,000 miles of wrapping paper were thrown away last year. For context, Sydney is approximately 10,000 miles away from London. So that's enough to travel to Sydney and back 11 times!
Each year, around 4.2 million Christmas dinners are thrown away.
This includes 17.2 million sprouts, 1,315 tonnes of turkey and 7.5 million mince pies (poor Father Christmas can't eat that many), 11.9 million carrots and 11.3 million roast potatoes
3,000 tonnes of turkey packaging will be used (the plastic part alone is the equivalent weight of 30 blue whales!)
4,500 tones of tin foil will be used in the UK for preparing and storing Christmas food
If all Christmas food waste was recycled into energy, it could power a UK home for 57 years