Christmas is when spending rises dramatically; from planned presents to emotional impulse shopping.  The amount of products consumed and the resulting waste within this short pre-Christmas period is significant.  This uncontrolled spending and excessive consumerism provoke serious environmental issues.  From Thanksgiving to the New Year, we generate 25 percent more waste than average. Reducing our impact on the environmental comes down to two things: reducing the impact of our purchasing actions and better managing our waste.

MWR.Movement is calling for everyone to become more conscious, to choose quality over quantity, to choose sustainability, to choose brands who care about our planet and our future.

The real cost of Christmas:

  • Nearly 5 billion pounds of retail returns will end up in landfills
  • 300,000 tonnes of card packaging is used at Christmas; enough to cover London's famous landmark the Big Ben almost 260,000 times
  • 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 enough to wrap around the equator 9 time, the equivalent of 50,000 trees
  • 6 million trees will be bought but only 1.2 million will be recycled. The rest will be left to rot or thrown away
  • Up to 40 per cent of festive food is wasted
  • 125,000 tons of plastic packaging will end up in the bin
  • Within three months, 41 per cent of the toys children receive will be broken, with most end up in landfill
  • Many will receive the latest mobile phone but only 10 to 15 per cent of those replaced are recycled

We can become part of the solution...

Every purchase we make is a chance to vote for the future we want to see.  We need to be willing to make small sacrifices in our daily lives, changing our habits and the way we consume - we must play our part. We need to stop supporting those companies who thrive on our disposable consumption habits and start supporting sustainable initiatives.

"Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years. If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisation and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon...time is running out"  David Attenborough at the UN Climate Change Summit 2018

Let’s make this Christmas and every other day count.  Let's join together to make a bigger impact.  Let's not wait until it's too late.

The evidence is overwhelming; our food systems are increasingly stressed, our lands, waters and species are threatened like never before.  If we don’t act now the viability of our planet and quality of life face an existential threat.


As a member of 1% for the Planet, Made With Respect donates a minimum of 1% total revenue to approved nonprofit partners who do essential work across six core focus areas; climate, food, land, pollution, water and wildlife.  Every $ MWR generates, gives back.


Photo by Annie Spratt, Unsplash

December 04, 2018 by Susan Stevens

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.