For many, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year with its traditions such as sending cards, exchanging gifts, decorating trees, cooking special meals and so on.
Worryingly, most of us are unaware that it can also be the most environmentally destructive time.
Without wanting to ruin Christmas(!) here are some basic environmental facts which we should consider:
- An estimated 1 billion Christmas cards are thrown away each year in the UK alone (source)
- The amount of Christmas wrapping paper used and thrown away would stretch to the moon (source)
- Enough tin foil to cover the whole county of Suffolk is thrown away during the festive period… (source)
- …Not to mention an estimated 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from food, deliveries, gift wrappings etc. (source)
- Around 8 million real Christmas trees are bought in Britain each year. While nearly 2 million of them are recycled, 6 million are dumped in landfill or burnt (source)
- We cook nearly 20,000 tonnes of meat over Christmas time. The meat and dairy industry is now responsible for more global greenhouse gas emissions than the transportation sector; ie. all the world’s planes, cars, trains and boats combined (source)
- To make matters worse, as much as 40% of festive food is wasted (source)
This makes for a depressing read – not only for eco-warriors but for anyone with a conscience – and more seriously, it is completely unsustainable.
The good news is that by making small changes, there are ways for us all to reduce Christmas waste.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will publish tips on what you can do in your home to make a difference. Watch this space!