Did you know?
- Old newspapers and brown paper can make lovely Christmas wrapping – try adding a few painted stars or Christmas tree stamps
- Christmas is a crucial time for local craft businesses to boost their turnover. There are plenty of beautiful, locally made gifts right on your doorstep
- Millions of Christmas crackers are pulled each year. They are full of plastic and go in the bin after being used for only a few hours
- Even just having one meat free day over Christmas can have an impact. It’s a great way to see what the family thinks about ways to cut down on meat and could be the stepping stone to reducing the carbon footprint created by what you eat
- Over half of Irish people are keen to be more sustainable this Christmas – they will probably be very open to any new sustainable ideas that you would like to try this year
Why is this important?
- The festive season leads to 25-30% more waste than at any other time of the year. This costs us all money, needlessly uses up resources in production and leaves us with a waste problem
- Each Christmas around 5 extra sacks of waste are produced in every household. This means roughly an extra 1.4 tonnes of CO2 being produced annually through human consumption
- Producing just 1kg of red meat, which roughly feeds about 4 people, produces 27kgs of CO2, enough to travel 63 miles by car
- By reusing more instead of buying new items, we can all reduce our environmental impact in terms of the resources that go into producing goods and the impact of getting rid of things that we no longer want
- Over 50% of gifts we’ll receive at Christmas are considered useless by the recipient, these most often end up as waste
- Being just a bit more aware of our recycling behaviour and how we manage waste disposal over Christmas in particular, can prevent waste. By ensuring all recyclable items are clean, dry and loose in the recycling bin, more items can be viably recycled
What can I do?
- Think before you buy – try to only purchase foods that everyone likes to eat and only buy enough for the people that are going to be in your house over Christmas
- Try to use up all of your leftovers – in addition to the turkey sandwiches, check out online suggestions for tasty recipes to use up anything that hasn’t been eaten
- Look into new ways to use older decorations, instead of buying new ones – and if you do need some new ones try to source ones from local or sustainable materials or pick them up in a charity shop
- Talk to your friends and family about presents – maybe they would prefer to meet for a cuppa or a drink or to receive the gift of “an experience” instead of more conventional presents, which can often be wasted
For more information:
What to do with your waste this Christmas
Tips for a sustainable Christmas – energy, transport, food, presents
Sustainable Christmas – Food for Thought
Do good with your Christmas gifts