Friday, 25 November 2016

Weekly Green Tips #33 - 7 Tips to Reduce Christmas Waste


Week 33 - Tips to Reduce Christmas Waste


Christmas is a time for giving and receiving but the downside of this is it is also a time of huge waste.  Unilever estimated that in 2014 the equivalent of 4.2 million Christmas dinners were chucked away i.e. around 263,000 turkeys and over 7 million mince pies.  Each year some 1.12 billion cards are sent in the UK with no way of knowing how many end up in landfill.  There is more ....each Christmas the UK public throws away:

> 226,800 miles of wrapping paper
> 125,000 tons of plastic wrapping
> 10 million items of turkey packaging.
> 25 million Christmas pudding packets

And this is just the UK - multiply these figures up across the world and we are looking at an unimaginable amount of waste.  So what can we do to reduce the amount of waste each Christmas generates?  Here are my top 7 tips to reduce Christmas waste.

Tips to Reduce Christmas Waste


7 Tips to Reduce Christmas Waste



1.  Wrapping Paper


Make sure the paper you use can be recycled.  But don't just rely on bought wrapping paper - get creative using your own decorated brown paper or newspaper and tie the wrapped gift with natural materials such as raffia as tape is plastic and cannot be recycled.


2. Christmas Cards


Switch at least some of your cards to e-cards this year.  But if you still want to send cards, buy those that support environmental charities.

3.  Do  not over-buy food


A panic seems to befall people at Christmas with a fear that there will not be enough food to feed their family.  STOP!!  There will be plenty and anyway the shops are only shut for 1 day so there is no need to buy to excess - just get what you need.  Meal planning might help as well as preparing food in advance and freezing it.

4. Avoid overly packaged foods


So much food comes in so much unnecessary packaging so choose foods with the least packaging and where it is packaged, recycle what you can.  If you make your own food rather than relying on processed foods you'll find you have far less packaging.


5.  Get creative with the left-overs


There are bound to be left-overs but don't chuck them when you can make more meals from them.  Check online and also see what left over food you can freeze for later.  And when preparing food make sure you compost the veg peelings etc.


6. Don't buy overly packaged presents


Manufacturers know that people are more likely to buy something if it is in a large, glossy box so don't fall into their trap.  Choose gifts with minimal packaging or none at all.  Have a look at my post of Green Christmas Presents for more inspiration.

7. Decorate with natural materials


Earlier generations knew how to make a beautifully decorated house with natural materials so follow their lead this festive season.  Head out for a walk and gather as you go.  Holly, ivy, evergreens, pine cones etc. all make lovely decorations - just make sure you don't over-pick and if necessary get permission from the landowner.  After the festivities are over you can compost your decorations too.



It doesn't take too much effort to reduce your waste and I hope I have inspired you to waste just a bit less this Christmas.  Let me know if you have more ideas and let us all have a Happy (waste-free) Christmas.

Please do pin me!

7 tips to reduce Christmas waste

Post Comment Love

A Green and Rosie Life



18 comments :

  1. It's hard not to feel angry about wastage figures like the ones you list here. So easy to cut down on it, as you've suggested. We all just need to think a little bit more. Imagine that many turkeys being wasted. Unbelievable.

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    1. The trouble is I think everyone gets swept along in the Christmas hype and good sense gets thrown out the festive window.

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  2. Great tips! I've purposely bought almost everything second-hand this year because I hate all the over-packaged toys. eBay, Gumtree and charity shops have been my salvation! As an aside, my veggie heart breaks for all those slaughtered turkeys, and then just to be discarded. Disgusting.

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    1. Even my non-veggie heart breaks for all that turkey waste. I rear my own animals for food and know how much work goes into that and for some to just be thrown away is wrong.

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  3. I totally love this post. We always buy too much food. The packaging from some online companies is totally unbelievable! I have been shocked by the huge boxes sent with tiny things. Just awful. #POCOLO

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    1. Thank you. I hate it when online companies use so much packaging - you can always name and shame them on social media. If we all did that maybe they would start to better their ways.

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  4. i am totally guilty when it comes to the wrapping paper but we have started to throw it into the fire so then there is no waste. i have been so good this year. making a lot of the gifts and buying small and local :)

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    1. Might it not be better to recycle the paper? ... but it's great you have bought more small and local :)

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  5. Good tips. I love Christmas but agree that there is a lot of waste! #PoCoLo

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    1. If we all reduced just a bot each year no-one would really notice but the effect would be huge!

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  6. On year I sewed reusable bags for presents. They were super cute tied shut with a ribbon.

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  7. YES! Thank you for sharing all this great info. I am being very intentional with everything this year to have as little excess waste as possible!

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  8. Hello, I'm visiting from #wastelesswednesday blog hop. Love your tips, I try to avoid wrapping paper (I usually use foreign newspaper from work, or fabric) and we were going to buy a new Christmas tree but I've decided to forage about for some big twigs and make one instead!

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    1. I love your ideas - I have bought a Christmas tree this year. I say tree, that may be a bit of an exaggeration ... it is a very small conifer in a pot which I plan to grow on for many years to come.

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  9. Great tips Rosie! I love naturally decorated things. Thanks for linking to #pocolo

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