Christmas Waste

Dear World

What are we wasting this Christmas

Did we know these facts –

UK

300,000 tonnes of card packaging used at Christmas

1 billion cards end up in the bin and not recycled

227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away

250 tonnes Christmas trees thrown away – not used for compost

2 million turkeys | 74 million mince pies | 17.2 million sprouts
THROWN AWAY EVERY CHRISTMAS

13,350 tonnes of glass thrown out after Christmas (1)

USA 

25% more trash thrown away during Thanksgiving – New Year Holiday
25 million tons of extra garbage (1 million extra tons per week)

2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year (2)

4 million tons of gift wrapping and shopping bags – Christmas trash (3)

AUSTRALIA    

30% increase of waste at Christmas time

$11 billion spending on Christmas gifts

20 million unwanted gifts received at Christmas

86% find Christmas puts a strain on their finances
66% report buying Christmas gifts as major cause of this pressure

150,000km wrapping paper used during Christmas
enough to wrap around Earth’s equator 4 times

5 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill each year

90% discard over 25% of their food during the festive period
December 1 – January 1 (4)

Hello

We keep hearing about the waste on our planet and where it is ending up.

These stats are telling us that we cannot even be bothered to recycle when there is an option.

What sort of world have we become and WHY?

What drives our irresponsible behaviour to continue?

What is our individual Responsibility with our waste?

Could it be possible that we love the whole festive time because it is comfortable and we find it easy to switch off to the excess waste we are adding at this time of year?

Are we boring and unsociable if we choose to not subscribe to the Christmas waste?

Are we seen as the weird ones, if we consider the precious planet we live on?

What if mother Earth is asking us to stop dumping on her?

What if Earthquakes are a correction because we have created an ill on this planet?

Would our wise kids, if they knew the facts and had real education and understanding about Christmas waste, make different choices?

WHY is buying Christmas gifts a major cause of financial pressure when we really do have a choice?

Is that present buying and wrapping moment giving us any form of evolution?

Is it a waste of our time, shopping and waiting hours to get the car parked, then queue in the lines at the checkouts to buy gifts that could be unwanted?

What happens to all those unwanted gifts?

Do we get rid of them immediately?
Do we hoard them with our ‘Just Incase’ Syndrome?
Do we re-wrap and give them out to others?
Do we hate that our home is full of unwanted gifts?
Do we sell them on those sites or do a car boot sale?
Do we simply bin them and not think about landfill?
Do we act fake and phoney and pretend we like them?
Do we resent the fact that our gift buying costs us £$?

Has anyone asked or considered this Question
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE ?

WHY are millions of turkeys and mince pies thrown out every year?

WHY is this happening and WHY is it making no sense at all?

Can we agree SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT if 5 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill each year in just one country?

WHY have we got malnutrition in the 21st century and a global obesity epidemic and all this un-necessary waste when it comes to food?

WHY are we not asking more and more Questions and talking about this stuff at every opportunity and every dinner table conversation?

So how does all this waste for one day of the year make us feel?

How long does that excitement or dream we had actually last?

Have we thought about the amount of time we waste on this waste stuff?

Are our waste-full behaviours adding to the Careless world we have created?

Do we care what happens and where that trash actually ends up?

Do we care enough about our planet Earth to bring about real change?

If we are to be Honest and consider the impacts of all our choices –
What does Christmas waste actually do for us, others and our planet?

Is it time to Question everything when it comes to our Christmas waste?

Would this lead to further questions about our endless waste-full ways?

Does our Christmas waste tell us something about how we choose to live and deal with our waste in everyday life?

Does our Christmas waste confirm that we like to have a good time but not consider the consequences of our choices as that would mean taking Responsibility?

Dear World

Is our Christmas waste an extension of how we deal with our everyday trash – with little regard of where it ends up?

Are we simply loving the “let loose and do what we like” season, way too much to even contemplate or consider what happens to our Christmas waste?

Are we ready to admit that we think we are responsible but are we really, if we look at every aspect of our life and that includes our waste-full ways at Christmas?

What if everything actually matters, regardless of the time of year?

The BIG Question is – was it worth it?

References

(1) Heath, O. (2016, December 25). 8 Shocking Statistics About Christmas Waste in the UK. House Beautiful. Retrieved December 10, 2018 from
https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/lifestyle/news/a1158/uk-christmas-waste-revealed/

(2) (n.d). Frequently Asked Questions: Holiday Waste Prevention. Stanford University. Retrieved December 10, 2018 from
https://lbre.stanford.edu/pssistanford-recycling/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-holiday-waste-prevention

(3) Cole, N.L. (2017, March 6). Christmas: What We Do, How We Spend and Why It Matters. ThoughtCo. Retrieved December 10, 2018 from
https://www.thoughtco.com/christmas-what-we-do-how-we-spend-and-why-it-matters-3026192

(4) (2018, November 28). How Much We Waste at Christmastime. National Storage. Retrieved December 10, 2018 from
https://www.nationalstorage.com.au/blog/christmas-waste-australia/

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Comments 5

  1. The Guardian – 15 December 2018

    Supermarkets have made a choice to reduce the food waste mountain at Christmas by offering shoppers edible produce nearing the end of its shelf life.

    This includes ‘wonky’ carrots, parsnips and sprouts at cheaper price.
    This is to stop the rejection or waste of fruit and vegetables that are mis-shapen | have growth cracks | much smaller | larger than average.

    Why are we only just starting to pay attention to the excess amount of food waste that comes with this time of year?

    Why have we become a nation that likes the eye candy?
    In other words, we want things to look nice and right when we buy it

    Why have we not grown up to appreciate the fact that we are actually perfectly imperfect?

    Why have we not been taught that there is not such thing as perfect fruit and veg?

    Why is this less than perfect thing bugging and bothering us so much?

    Why are we willing to purchase the wonky veg but give our bodies a hard time for not being perfect and in shape?

    Is there a correlation between our own life and how we want it to be perfect, that it runs over into our shopping habits at the supermarket, when it comes to fruit and vegetables?

    For those who only subscribe to the non wonky perfect looking stuff when they buy their veg –

    A question to consider –

    What would actually happen inside our body if we were served delicious veg in a restaurant that we had no idea was wonky and had growth cracks?

    A question for those who hate waste and are really up for this wonky veg business –
    Are we living the standards we expect and want from others or do we have double standards?

    In other words, we say one thing about eating wonky veg to save waste but we have excess spending habits and are super waste-full at Christmas time?

  2. It feels like the crazy waste of Christmas is simply a concentrated version of what we are already doing.

    So we get to see the excesses more clearly.

    It is hard to hide from these statistics, once presented and it has made me reflect on present buying, packaging, wrapping and food waste more generally, in my own life.

  3. This blog really does present the REAL FACTS about how wasteful our world has become. I grew up in a household where we rarely wasted anything. When I left home I was/is the same. I go to the supermarket and only buy what I need. The same goes for personal items, I do not over buy. I recycle everything in my house including food scraps.

    I am astounded how we use Christmas as an excuse to go crazy. Standing in a supermarket queue weekend gone I could not help observe trolleys piled high with food. I got chatting to a lady who looked really stressed. She noticed how small my shop was in my basket and said how did I do it. She said that there were only three of them (her trolley looked like she was shopping for ten people) and that she ends buying so much that most of it goes in the bin.

    Can we continue to be wasteful and not care about what the consequences are to our planet? We all have a part to play in caring for our planet that is for sure.

  4. This week I went to our bins to put the rubbish out and I was astonished at the mess that it was in. The bins were overflowing with rubbish, which was unusual. On top of that there were boxes strewn around the bins and even odd items like a duvet on top of one of the bins, not in a bag.

    It felt offensive. A clear message of I don’t care was what I got coming from the bin room, from the way the items had been dumped by those who had left their rubbish there.

    Do we consider how we leave areas when we place something down?

    Are we aware of the resulting impact on others and the message that we are giving out?

    Are we aware of what we are teaching our children with this behaviour?

    The clear message that I got here was “I don’t want this, now I’ve got rid of it, who cares how, it’s not in my house anymore”.

    Is there a way that we can dispose of items with respect for the item and our environment, even though we do not want them anymore?

    Is there a greater responsibility that we all have to take care, even when disposing of our household waste?

  5. Thank you for this marvellous blog.

    After reading the blog, I asked myself, what word sums up Christmas for me?

    The answer that comes to me is “Excess.”

    And isn’t that just what Christmas has become about for most of us?
    Excess or, in other words, having more than is necessary.

    An excess of food, gifts, family gatherings, spending, drinking alcohol, partying, watching TV or passing out on the sofa.

    With any excess, there is inevitably going to be a surplus or waste.
    This is certainly true of all the Christmas excesses we indulge in.

    An idea has just occurred to me about how we can dramatically reduce all the Christmas waste.
    Why don’t we simply cancel Christmas?

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