Tis’ the Season to be… Wasteful?

November 12, 2015

For most of us, Christmas is very much a time for following traditions; the sending of Christmas cards to everyone we know, the wrapping of gifts in brightly coloured paper and beautiful bows, proudly decorating our homes with tinsel and twinkling lights. And not forgetting of course the glorious Turkey dinner with all the trimmings followed by a mountain of mince pies and Christmas pudding.

I'm sure you will agree, for most of us it's definitely a time for extravagance and over indulgence and why not, we deserve it don't we? Then of course as the New Year dawns every one strives to make it the 'best one yet', a 'new beginning' and 'fresh start'; 'out with the old and in with the new', which we tend to perhaps take all too literally.


Bah Humbug: What a Load of Rubbish?

However, take a look at the shocking truth; here are some typical statistics of the waste generated within the UK during the festive period:

  • 1 billion Christmas cards
  • 100 square kilometres of wrapping paper (Imagine that, this would wrap around the whole of Wales 4 times with plenty left over!)
  • 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging
  • 6 million Christmas trees
  • 4,500 tonnes of aluminium foil
  • 13,350 tonnes of glass
  • 74 million mince pies

These staggering figures don't really tie up with the spirit of Christmas, creating more global disruption than world peace. Without wanting to shy away from our honorary traditions, maybe it is worth considering what impact we're having on the environment and learning how to manage waste disposal so we can maintain these traditions for our future generations.


Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Let's be mindful this season, making the smallest changes to your waste disposal can have a great difference. Here are some simple ways to reduce your impact on the environment this Christmas:

  • Reuse wrapping paper: instead of ripping it into pieces during the moments of sheer excitement on Christmas morning, be slightly more articulate and instead of buying new rolls for next year's gifts, keep it and re-use.
  • Save on buying gift tags next year just cut out the pretty pictures from the Christmas cards you receive, add some string to the corner and use as a label
  • Contact your local council about recycling your Xmas tree; did you know these can be recycled into ground-cover in public parks or woodlands by your local authority? Unfortunately, due to the combination of materials in artificial trees, these cannot be recycled, but why not offer them to family, friends or donate to a charity shop, school or generally a good cause
  • We cook around 20,000 tonnes of turkey at Christmas! However, don't throw your leftovers after the Christmas dinner gorge, instead get creative and cook up some spicy curries, pies, stir-fries, a casserole or even a Christmas pizza?
  • Compost the scraps: those mounds of vegetable peelings, the rogue Brussels sprouts the children avoided and the pile of teas bags from hosting the family gatherings, to name but a few. These can all be put to good use and can be collected to provide nutritional food for your garden and help to reduce global warming gasses. If you don't have a garden then the Council can collect this from you and put it to good use.




Christmas is Homemade

Reuse what you can! Decorations, packaging, food, even unwanted gifts; traditions are surely about re-visiting, reviving and re-using the old!




Striving to do our part this Christmas, GD Environmental recycles 95% of the 100,000 tonnes of waste we process each year, as well as collecting and transporting waste on behalf of our clients. So if you don't feel like leaving the house this Christmas we can also deliver and collect waste from your home; check out the website for the services we can provide for domestic skips.

If you want to find out how GD Environmental can help you reduce your environmental footprint this festive season contact us here or call 01633 277755. And to learn more about how to manage waste disposal, take a look at a few of our other informative blog posts.


(images: Chris Marchant under CC BY 2.0 , Taz under CC BY 2.0 and Michael Bentley under CC BY 2.0)