Christmas is around the corner and we’re all probably more thankful than ever for a festive break with limited numbers of friends and family. However, Christmas is a time of year when we might let our habits relating to waste slip a little. Each year in the UK we throw away over 9,000 tonnes of Christmas trees alone – that’s roughly five times what the London Eye weighs.
We know the focus will be on spending precious time with people this year, but we also wanted to provide some facts and tips relating to Christmas waste to help you minimise the impact you have on the environment.
In the UK, we only recycle roughly a sixth of all Christmas trees bought – why not replant yours if it still has a root ball? Alternatively, you could chop and chip the tree until you have tiny pieces and then add them to your compost pile.
How many tonnes of food do we waste at Christmas?
There’s nothing better at Christmas time than tucking into your favourite foods, treats and traditional meals, but what about the waste we create? Each year in the UK we waste approximately 7 million tonnes of food, a staggering 270,000 tonnes of which is contributed to at Christmas alone, including:
- 2 million Christmas turkeys
- 5 million Christmas puddings
- 74 million mince pies
There are two ways we can all work to reduce this crazy amount of food waste. The first is to plan more carefully for your Christmas food shopping; figure out how many meals you need to make and for what number of people. This will not only save you money but will help to avoid overdoing it. Secondly, if you do find yourself with leftover food, try and use it up the following day – bubble and squeak is a popular way of creating a meal from leftovers! Alternatively, you should recycle your food waste via a local council scheme where possible.
Recycling tips for Christmas
By not recycling our waste, we start to create problems for the environment. Natural resources are used unnecessarily, landfill sites are expanded with waste which takes lifetimes to degrade naturally and habitats are ruined.
With this in mind, here are some practical tips for recycling this Christmas:
- Reuse paper, card and gift tags for next year or simply save the materials for crafting
- Separate all your recycling materials – card, glass and tins – over the Christmas period just like you usually would
- Be sure to squash down your card and paper recycling in the bin to create enough space for all your waste materials
- Use the scrunch test to check if wrapping paper is recyclable – foil-based paper and anything with glitter on cannot be recycled
- Look out for eco-friendly materials which will help other people to recycle your wrappings and cards
- Regift where appropriate – if you don’t love it, someone else might, you could even donate to charity to save it from going to waste
- If you’re having a clear-out at Christmas to make room for new things, use a local skip hire service where you know your waste is recycled
Here at Hinton’s Waste, we’re committed to recycling as much of your waste as possible – and not just at Christmas! Our domestic skip hire and waste management services in Croydon, Sutton and across London mean you can minimise your impact on the environment. We also offer same-day or next-day delivery for skip hire, allowing you to prepare for any Christmas clear-out plans you might have.