There’s no doubt about it; whilst this time of year is filled with joy and festivities for most of us, but it can also, unfortunately, be filled with a lot of waste. In fact, it’s thought that the average UK household’s waste is increased by up to a third in the week surrounding Christmas and the New Year, with up to 114,000 tonnes of recyclable plastic packaging thrown away instead of being properly recycled.
With statistics like these, it’s clear why the holidays are often considered to be relatively challenging for the environment, and why it has long since been the focus of various charitable and eco-friendly organisations to try and encourage us all to live a little more sustainably at this time of year.
That’s why, in this week’s blog post, we’re going to be sharing some of our top tips to ensure you have a slightly more eco-friendly holiday season.
It may seem obvious, but a lot of recyclable packaging tends to go straight in the rubbish as a result of rushed festive cleanup, as we mentioned above; because of this, one of the best tips we can give you for the holidays is simply to recycle as you normally would. Whether it’s toy or gift set packaging, non-foiled wrapping paper, or tissue, a lot of holiday packaging can be curbside recycled – as always though, it’s best to check if you’re not sure!
From your Christmas cards to wrapping paper, there are a lot of easy ways you can reuse or upcycle lots of the packaging from your festive celebrations. Whether you choose to create tree decorations for next year out of nice Christmas cards, or reuse gift bags or wrapping paper that isn’t heavily themed, there are plenty of ways to ensure that any packaging that can’t be recycled is still put to good use.
Okay, hear us out on this one: we know there’s a certain stigma around regifting presents that you don’t love, but we at RAINE Clothing think this is a little bit…well, silly, to be honest. Over 5% of all unwanted Christmas gifts every year are thrown away, whereas in reality, a huge number of those could likely be regifted, and save tonnes of waste.
We’d very much recommend having a think about any gifts you’re unlikely to keep this year – whether it’s down to personal taste, lack of need, or lack of space – and considering sending them to a better home.
We appreciate that most of the work for this year’s festivities has likely been done by most of us, so this tip is one we’re suggesting for next year – to rethink how you wrap, package, and purchase during this time of year, to help minimise waste! Lots of us tend to overspend and over-gift at Christmas, but there are also lots of small swaps that can be implemented to make each holiday season a little less consumptive; whether you opt for totally recyclable wrapping paper, invest in an artificial tree instead of a real one, or simply choose to buy a few less gifts next year, there are plenty of ways to make your next festive season far more eco-friendly!
Naturally, this point does also apply to how you choose to shop in the Boxing Day sales, so we’d definitely advocate for a more conscious consumption of any purchases this year!
We hope these handy tips on how to have a more eco-friendly and sustainable holiday season this year have helped inspire you to opt for some more ecologically conscious ways to dispose of – or pass on – your unwanted or used items this festive season.
At RAINE Clothing, protecting the environment is something we’re wildly passionate about, so if you have any tips or tricks for living more sustainably this holiday season, please do let us know in the comments below, or on our Instagram or Facebook.