Cleaning up Christmas: our top tips and tricks
‘Tis officially the season. Christmas is just around the corner and we’re all starting to get ready for the big day. Although it really is the most wonderful day of the year (in my opinion at least), it could be made even more wonderful… by making it just a little bit more sustainable.
A whopping 500 tonnes of Christmas lights are thrown away every year in the UK, and 14% people throw away their *brand new* artificial trees the same year that they buy them. A lot of decorations are also non-recyclable (like tinsel and glittery bauble), which means a whole lotta waste for 25 days of great cosy vibes.
Buying better quality lights and decorations, for inside and outside your home, that you can save for years to come is the best way to go. Buying LED lights instead of incandescent ones can also make a massive difference. If everyone switched over, we could save 29,000 tonnes of CO2 over the 12 days of Christmas. Solar powered outdoor lights work great too, even in the winter months. It’ll also knock a bit of cash off your energy bill (which I think we would all love right now).
If they do end up getting a bit too old, and you need to trade them in, make sure to recycle them at your local recycling centre (in the small electrical section). Makes sense.
Around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging ends up in landfill every year, alongside 227,000 miles worth of wrapping paper (which looks like paper… but actually isn’t recyclable most of the time). And if you do find a fabulous one, it’s worth wrapping it in wrapping paper that you can actually recycle. All it’s gotta do is pass the scrunch test – if it’s super glossy and can’t be scrunched into a paper ball then it can’t be recycled… so the simpler the better. Feel free to jazz it up with bows and ribbons (you can always keep them for years to come. And if you want to be extra fancy, you could even wrap it up in a pretty scarf.
In terms of the presents themselves, local is always better. And with 62% of people receiving at least one unwanted gift each Christmas (you don't want to be making that % ANY higher) it’s worth taking a look at the gifts that you’re actually giving away to make sure that it's not just for the sake of giving someone a gift.
Every year, the people of the UK throw away 4.5 million tonnes of food during the festive period – the equivalent of 263,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740,000 portions of Christmas pudding and 11.3 million roast potatoes. Bonkers.
There are loads of ways to reduce your waste at Christmas time, whether it’s being stricter with only getting the things you need (over 60% of people admit to buying way more than they need) or coming up with fun ways to use up your leftover (check out some nifty recipes to help empty out your fridge. And if you really do overdo it, it’s a great excuse to get into composting. Shopping locally can also help cut down on your carbon footprint (and also gives you more choice with plastic-free options).
THE CLEANUP (we couldn’t help ourselves)
If the thought of sticky roast potato platters or warm mulled wine spills are keeping you up like the nightmare before Christmas, then maybe it's time you got your frozen hands on our Things.
Whether you want to stock-up on eco dishwasher tabs for those endless dishwasher cycles, plastic-free laundry pods to banish brandy butter stains or non-toxic floor cleaning pods to mop away Santa's muddy boots – we've got a Thing for that.