Christmas is a time of excess. It makes it a messy business, with a colossal amount of waste generated. But as with all the other holidays, such as Easter and Halloween, we can all make more eco-conscious choices at Christmas to do our bit for the environment.
Choose a real Christmas tree
Although an artificial tree can be used year after year, there’ll ultimately come a time when it’s binned and will be destined for landfill. Opting for a real tree is a more environmentally sound decision. They can be easily recycled, either by chipping and composting at home or by taking it to a Christmas tree recycling centre. Avoid sending them to the landfill as they take years to decompose this way, releasing methane into the environment.
Switch to LED lights
‘Tis the season of fairy lights. But are yours as eco as possible? Traditional incandescent varieties use far more energy than modern LED lights. A report by This is Money showed that older style Christmas lights can cost as much as 20 times more to run than LEDs. The Energy Saving Trust pointed out that if every household in the UK switched one string of incandescent lights for an LED equivalent, it would amount to a saving of £16million. That’s 57,000 tonnes of CO2.
Pick your cards and wrapping carefully
Make the switch to easily recyclable cards and wrapping paper. Many of the decorated and glittered versions are not easy, or impossible, to recycle. Better still, reuse old gift wrap and bags to reduce waste. It’ll save some money too, which is always welcome at this time of year.
Consider plastic packaging when shopping
Just like at Easter, plastic packaging can become extravagant at Christmas. When you’re Christmas shopping, try and avoid products packaged in non-recyclable plastic such as flow-wrap and vacuum plastic. Friends of the Earth has excellent plastic-free Christmas suggestions, including tips such as avoiding pre-packed veggies and eco-alternatives to plastic decorations.
Be mindful of food waste
December is the time of year where excessive food is the norm. But it leads to even more food waste, with edible food consigned to landfill. If you’re planning large celebration spreads, think about how you’ll use leftovers efficiently to minimise food waste. It’s estimated there’s about 30% more waste than usual at Christmas, including disposing of two million turkeys and 74 million mince pies.
Think about your travel plans
In 2018, the RAC expected there to be 20 million leisure trips at Christmas. When you’re planning trips to see family and friends, think about how you can reduce your mileage. Can you lift share? Take public transport? Planning ahead can help reduce your environmental impact.
Use your skip
If you’ve got a skip at home because you’re renovating or extending your home, take advantage of it and put your Christmas recycling in it. All the extra cardboard and packaging can be put in your skip, ready for Rabbit to sort when it’s collected.
To find out more about skip hire in West Sussex and our Energy from Waste Facility, contact Rabbit. Reach us on 01903 762020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.