On average an extra 30% of rubbish is produced and discarded at this time of year. The amount of wrapping paper alone would stretch to the moon! Here are our top tips for some small changes that will make all the difference.
Don’t fill their stocking with tat that they will tire of within an hour. Plastic toys account for 90 percent of the market. And while they pose the same risks as any other plastic item, these cheap playthings often have shorter life spans than high-quality toys and are pretty much impossible to recycle!
Give your local shops and markets some love this Christmas. As well as supporting independent businesses, you're likely to seek out special finds you won't get anywhere else. Try markets like Zero Waste Christmas Market and enjoy a far more fulfilling shopping experience than you will find on Amazon.
Instead of lots of little presents that will often get thrown out, returned or collect dust in the cupboard choose one big present to cut down on waste and unnecessary gifts. Secret Santa is an excellent idea as it means you can put time and thought into one larger present and get them something they actually want.
On average, Brits use around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper!! In fact, it is estimated that enough wrapping paper is used each year to gift wrap the island of Guernsey! Sticky tape, ribbons and paper covered in glitter can't be recycled, so stay away from those types if you can. Switching to brown eco-friendly paper instead will help to minimise the high levels of waste produced at this time of year. Be that friend that you normally roll your eyes at - decorate recyclable wrapping paper with a sprig of holly or get the kids to put their own stamp on it, you can do this just with a potato and some paint! Keeps the kids occupied and cuts down on waste.
Food wastage! Here are some scary statistics - 270,000 tonnes of food is wasted at Christmas much of which will be sent to landfill and only a shocking 6% will end up in the hands of people less fortunate. There are lots of charities trying to right this wrong so keep an eye out for schemes like Hubbub - you might have a local community fridge! Fridges are stocked by local businesses and residents with any surplus food and function on an honesty basis. The network was set up in an attempt to connect communities as well as help those struggling to put food on the table. Another way to end that painful feeling of throwing out food is to check out OLIO's food waste programme. Use the app to find a recipient for your food and connect with your local community.
Here’s another biggie that you might not expect – Christmas Jumpers! Almost all of the millions of jumpers sold this December are likely to be made of plastic! They are then only worn a few times before being consigned to the bin.It is estimated UK shoppers will buy 12 million jumpers this festive season, despite already having 65 million stashed away from previous years. The Christmas jumper is one of the worst offenders of fast fashion and it is averaged that two out of five are worn once over the festive period with one in three buying a new one every year. What a waste of money with a big impact on the environment – borrow from a friend or visit a charity shop, who knows what you might find
Reuse. Reduce. Recycle
Thanks for reading x