The most unsustainable time of the year?
Here at Caddyboo, we love Christmas and New Year. It’s the time to give love and appreciation, as well as reflect on your life. Cosy evenings with your loved ones, favourite dishes, gifts – it all sounds lovely. But did you ever think about how the most wonderful time of the year affects our planet? The answer is a lot more than you can imagine.
Think about a standard family Christmas. We have an abundance of food and drinks, decorations (ornaments, garlands, fairy lights, those brand-new fancy napkins the host bought to show off), gifts (including packaging). All of this will most likely go to waste at some point, maybe properly recycled, maybe not. And it will be thousands of households doing the same.
CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR WASTE FACTS
- 4.2 million of edible food is thrown away in the UK during Christmas.
- Wrapping paper used during the holiday season can wrap the world almost four times.
- Continuing the world wrapping analogy – we send the amount of Christmas cards that can cover Earth’s circumference 500 times.
- 41% of toys will be broken or thrown out of boredom by children.
- According to Business Leader, we use 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging and travel 6 billion miles to see our loved ones – and that’s at a scale of UK.
- 20 million Christmas trees grown on farms are cut down in the US only, the good news is that the trends are dropping yearly.
These facts and statistics are quite scary, right? If only somebody could start changing their behaviour and decision flow… But it’s us who have to do that – each one of us.
We have the power to start changing the pattern right now. It only requires planning and paying attention to details. It sounds a tiny bit tedious, but Caddyboo team has got your back – we are here to help you make the first steps to sustainable Christmas. Check out our insights and top tips!
STEPS TO TAKE
We have already talked about conscious gifting quite a lot, so check out our blog and LinkedIn articles! It is a big part of being pro-environmental this season and any other time.
- LED holiday lights are your answer to reduce energy consumption and its cost. Did you know that it uses 95% less than regular lighting?
- Wrapping paper. Avoid shiny paper and ribbons – they are not recyclable. Take a look at alternative ways of packaging – have you heard of Furoshiki, Japanese wrapping method? Use tote bags or gift bags, they are more functional and can be used multiple times. Of course, craft wrapping paper is a great choice too. It is eco-friendly, and minimalism will always be in style.
- Go real… or artificial? Christmas tree decision is tricky and it’s up to you. Here are some facts, provided by Carbon Trust. Christmas tree total carbon footprint is 16kg of CO2e, if it’s burned or chipped the footprint reduces to 3.5kg of CO2e. The production of artificial Christmas tree is estimated as 40kg of CO2e. It creates almost triple times more carbon emissions than a real tree, that wasn’t recycled properly. The plus side of going artificial is that it can be used multiple times, so if you opt for that, remember to store it properly! Or say no to any traditional forms of trees and let your imagination loose in the creative process. Christmas trees made of books compilation, old newspapers or drift wood – the Internet is full of ideas!
- Make or buy your ornaments keeping in mind the materials – it should be eco-friendly and easy to recycle. To properly recycle the ornament, you have to understand what it’s made of. It can be wood, clay, glass, plastic, paper, or mixed. Fired clay and treated wood are not recyclable, glass is tricky to recycle as well unless it comes in the shape of a bottle. So, keep that in mind when you pick your next favourite Christmas tree decoration and try to reuse old ones as long as possible.
TIME FOR ACTION
Christmas and New Year are magical times for all of us. We keep waiting for a miracle to happen to us – mostly it’s waiting without action or change of behaviour. The hard truth is, the miracle happens to one in the million. Others have to make the miracle themselves.
Stop waiting and cause that miracle! For you, for people around you and your planet.
Caddyboo encourages you to take actions now! However small the step is, with consistency it will make a difference. Remember: small details lead to big change.
Author: Ksenia Saburova