Christmas...The Most WASTEFUL Time of the Year
For most, Christmas is considered the most wonderful time of year – but it is also the most wasteful, causing considerable damage to our planet.
It’s a time of excessive consumerism (we generate 25 percent more waste than average), spending rises dramatically as sales entice us to buy more & spend more, trolley’s are piled high with food and presents - whether planned or impulsively purchased. When most of us have too much stuff already, it’s a time when there is immense pressure to spend money we often don’t have on stuff we often don’t need or want.
We’ve lost the real concept of what Christmas is all about; it’s not about flash sales, overcrowded malls and maxed out credit cards...Christmas is about time - time spent with friends and family, time to relax, reflect and be appreciative and thankful.
With excessive spending comes excessive waste, the festive season is not only a drain on our bank balance but also on the environment:
- Nearly $6.5 billion of retail returns will end up in landfill
- More than 125,000 tons of plastic packaging will be binned on Christmas Day
- 1 billion cards end up in the bin, enough to stretch around the world five times
- The amount of wrapping paper used for presents is the equivalent of 50,000 trees
- 6 million trees will be bought but only 1.2 million will be recycled
- Up to 40% of festive food is wasted with two million turkeys thrown out
- Within three months, 41 per cent of the toys children receive will be broken, with most ending up in landfill
Tips on how to have a more eco-friendly Christmas;
ECO-FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS CARDS
Opt for Christmas cards made from sustainably sourced or recycled paper and avoid choosing glittery Christmas cards. Glitter, notoriously hard to recycle, is a microplastic that poses a major threat to the environment. Hand deliver rather than post your Christmas cards if you can, or even better, send an e-card.
ECO-FRIENDLY WRAPPING PAPER
Choose eco-friendly wrapping paper that can be recycled or consider wrapping your gifts with reusable wrapping materials. Try to avoid using ribbons as they are not recyclable.
PLAN A ZERO WASTE CHRISTMAS MEAL
To avoid food wastage, plan your meal in advance and make a list so you buy only what you need. This will help stop you throwing extras in the trolley and preparing too much food on the day and if you do end up with leftover food, try freezing it or send some home with your guests. Where possible, shop for local, organic produce.
Make a difference this Christmas by shopping for eco-friendly Christmas presents. Gifting consciously doesn't need to be difficult or expensive, it just requires you to make more conscious choices. We’ve created a range of organic & natural gifts that are kind to both our skin and our planet.
The Organic Company creates meaningful and tasteful interior textiles from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. Honesty, transparency and a desire to make a difference is the foundation of The Organic Company. For meditation, relaxation for a yoga class, this meditation mattress is filled with the purest organic cotton wadding.
Flock by Nature is a responsible brand that minimizes their environmental footprint while maximizing social good, using only natural materials that are renewable, biodegradable and durable. The Exhale Sweatshirt is super-soft & designed to encourage a little time out. Its made from 100% organic cotton, features a flattering shape and is soft lofted inside for extra cosiness. This will keep you relaxed at home or out & about, whenever you need to breathe deep.
AYPA support sustainability, ethical practise & fair trade, Aypa skincare uses unique superfood ingredients ecologically harvested in Peru and made in Spain. Peru has one of the richest biodiversity on the planet. A blend of the most rare superfood powders. When activated with water it can be used as a gentle exfoliant or as a treating mask. It is powered by the antioxidant and mineral-rich Andean botanicals to stimulate cell renewal, promote collagen production, revitalize and balance the skin.
AmaElla is an earth conscious social enterprise who supports ethical behaviour in fashion through sustainable and ethical sourcing. AmaElla produce beautiful long lasting quality lingerie, using only 100% organic cotton, free from toxic chemicals. This organic cotton bra feels so soft and comfortable you will no longer take off your bra as soon as you get home. Very versatile, it comes with two different straps positions at the back.
Photo: Annie Spratt, Unsplash