The Truth About Christmas and The Environment: Why Recycling is Important
We all love the excitement and magic of celebrating Christmas. It brings joy, wonder and the promise of a new beginning for the coming year. But that does not mean we should ignore what’s going on in the world around us during this special time of year. Christmas is fast approaching and with it comes an increase in both the amount of commercial waste that is being produced, as well as the quantity of single-use plastic and cardboard packaging. It’s no secret that Christmas is one of the most heavily commercialised holidays and with this comes a spike in waste production, especially from households that are hosting extravagant parties for family and friends. That is why it’s so important to consider the environmental side effects of what we buy over the holidays. Christmas is a time when many people are encouraged to waste as much money and resources as they can on unnecessary décor, parties, travel and shopping. The more we have, the more we think we deserve to enjoy. What if this year we bought a little less and bought from social enterprises instead? Social enterprise gifting companies such as Social Stories Club are here to make ethical gifting feel easy. From this article, you can understand what makes a social enterprise Christmas hamper sustainable, how to have a less wasteful Christmas, and the impact Christmas has on the environment.
How sustainable are Christmas trees?
Christmas trees are a fun addition to any home, no matter the size. There are several factors to consider when purchasing a tree. Size is important—the smaller the tree, the fewer carbon emissions it produces when transported and cut down. Christmas trees are a relatively sustainable product. They can be grown organically, and their burlap sack provides excellent material for the compost pile. That said, there are some environmental concerns to be aware of when buying a Christmas tree.
The majority of Christmas trees are grown in plantations, which means they are cutting down rainforests to grow the trees. In addition, Christmas trees are usually grown in soil that is been contaminated with pesticides or other chemicals, so they are contaminating the environment with pesticides and other chemicals as well. The good news is that there are some sustainable Christmas tree options available, but it still comes down to your personal preference. Some people prefer to choose a tree from a local farm instead of a plantation, and others prefer to buy organic trees.
Another concern is that Christmas trees can cause more greenhouse gas emissions than other types of holiday decorations because they require electricity to keep them lit up during the holidays. While they do not emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, they still contribute to climate change and should be considered a small contribution overall.
Use Composting To Help The Environment
Composting is the process of breaking down organic materials and turning them into a rich soil amendment. When you compost, you break down food scraps and other compostable materials into compost. This process helps to improve the soil's nutrient levels, create new soil for plants, and reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. By reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, you are doing your part to help keep our environment clean! You can compost almost anything: leaves, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, food scraps, leaves, straw and hay. In general, you want to make sure your compost pile is covered with at least 2" of material on all sides. You want to make sure there is enough air circulation so that the pile does not heat up too quickly. You also want to make sure that it stays moist but not wet as this can lead to mould growth. The wood wool filler in Social Stories Club’s sustainable gift boxes is compostable.
Adding compost to your garden is a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint. There are so many benefits to composting, including helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and making the most of your food scraps. With the rising cost of food, more people are turning to compost as a way to create fertile soils to grow their fruits and vegetables. If you follow these simple tips you will have a great compost pile in no time!
Turn Off Lights
In your home and workplace, it’s important to turn off all unnecessary lights when you leave a room so that you are not wasting energy and contributing to a carbon footprint. This can be especially helpful if you are hosting a large party or are the host of a small get-together. If you live with others, consider turning off lights in the rooms you are not using to help reduce your carbon footprint and save on energy costs.
Over Christmas, we often have more lights than usual. We have Christmas tree lights and also lights outside our homes decorating our roofs, doors, and windows. To cut down on electricity wastage, avoid unnecessary decorative lights. Instead, just use the lights on your Christmas tree when you are using the room.
How much waste is created over Christmas?
7 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the UK. At Christmas, two million turkeys, five million Christmas puddings, and 74 million mince pies are still edible and are thrown away. Consequently, 270,000 tons of food waste are created during the festive season. That is enough to fill Wembley Stadium three times over. To help combat this, we have put together a handy guide explaining what happens to your Christmas dinner after you have eaten it. One way to reduce your waste is to buy smaller portions - especially at Christmas when many families are cooking Christmas dinner. Another option is to share leftovers with friends or family members - just make sure they are happy to take on the extra plate! Finally, if you do end up throwing away food, put any remaining edible parts in a compost bin or reusable container for future use.
Buy gifts from social enterprises
If you are looking to do something a little bit different this Christmas, consider purchasing gifts from a social enterprise such as Social Stories Club. These are businesses that are created to support the community and can provide a product or service that creates a social impact. Buying gifts from a social enterprise is an easy way to reduce the amount of waste you produce during Christmas. Our social enterprise hampers at Social Stories Club are packaged in sustainable packaging that is either reusable, compostable, biodegradable or recyclable. If you are looking for your ethical gift to make an impact build your own box and choose which ethical treats you would like to go inside. Social Stories Club is an example of a sustainable gifting supplier and they hire individuals with barriers to employment. By purchasing an ethical gift hamper from Social Stories Club you are not only supporting a social enterprise but you are also supporting all the social enterprises that are included in each hamper. Introducing someone to a social enterprise through an ethical hamper is a great way to make an impact.
Wrap New Toys In Used Wrapping Paper
Many people choose to wrap their gifts in new wrapping paper, but if you have some old wrapping paper lying around you can use it to wrap your new toys. Wrapping toys in used wrapping paper is a great way to reduce waste during the holiday season. Wrapping toys in used wrapping paper is not only a great way to help with waste around the holidays, you can also reuse wrapping paper to decorate your home or gift baskets. Another option is using beeswax wraps as wrapping paper which are reusable or cloth wrappings.
How to throw a sustainable Christmas party
Think about how much food you will be preparing, especially if you are hosting a large get-together. You do not want to end up creating food waste and contributing to a carbon footprint that is not necessary. Make sure you are using sustainable plates, cups and cutlery. There is no need to use single-use plastic cutlery when reusable options are available. Make sure that you are composting food scraps from all the food that goes uneaten, or freeze it for later. Consider using a reusable tablecloth to reduce the amount of waste that is created during the party. Christmas crackers are very wasteful so consider
Christmas is a time of joy and celebration for many people, but it can also be marked by a spike in wasteful consumption. That is why it’s important to recycle during this season and think about how you can reduce your carbon footprint. Christmas is a great time to think about your environmental impact and reduce the amount of waste that is created. The average person in the UK spends £740 more at Christmas than in other months. Imagine if these funds were sent to businesses that deserve them because they were benefitting the community. Companies like these are social enterprises such as Social Stories Club. Social Stories Club makes social enterprise gifts for friends, family, teachers, neighbours, clients, employees and more. If you are looking for a social enterprise gift hamper, head over to their gift collection page.
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Social Stories Club Corporate Gifting
If you are looking to show your team how much they are appreciated, attract and retain clients, or you have a corporate event and you want to create an impression, then our sustainable corporate hampers are just what you need. We have created the most exciting gift to give and receive which are packaged beautifully using sustainable materials, filled with delicious products made by social enterprises, and also include a storybook starting conversations about sustainability.
"Social Stories Club is a fantastic initiative that enables social enterprises to collaborate in such a creative way. The perfect way to buy gifts with a social impact" - David Adair, Head of Community Engagement, PwC