One of the most celebrated holidays, Christmas, brings tons of trash to landfills annually. The pollution brought by Christmas heavily impacts the environment through food waste and packaging. Read more to learn about the waste caused and how to prevent it.
How Bad is the Pollution during Christmas?
Although waste is a significant issue and will continue to be so in the future, this does not mean that we should deny ourselves the joys of Christmas or feel bad about wrapping gifts for our loved ones.
It is good to note that wrapping paper produces the most trash during Christmas. Indulging in excess is a holiday custom in and of itself. Yet, every year, we devour 370 million mince pies, 250 million pints of beer and lager, 35 million wine bottles, and 10 million turkeys!
This indicates that Americans consume 80% more food over Christmas than they do during the rest of the year.
The drawback of this is that it is causing us to produce so much trash and pollution that we have to throw out 230,000 tonnes of food during Christmas.
At £275 million, that is the same as 74 million mince pies or two million turkeys.
Wrapping Paper’s Impacts on the Environment.
Consideration should be given to the packaging and wrapping paper we buy, use, and waste throughout the Christmas season, as well as the food. We could have wrapped the Island of Jersey with the wrapping paper we threw away in 2016 (227,000 km).
Moreover, our Christmas cards would span 500 times around the globe if we arranged them side by side.
We also go through 125,000 tons of plastic wrapping and 4,500 tonnes of tin foil during Christmas.
According to research conducted by Greenpeace, the manufacture of one kilogram of wrapping paper requires around 1.5 kilos of coal, and during that process, it releases up to 3.5 kilograms of CO2. This doesn’t account for any extra shipping, though.
What Changes can be made?
- Rechargeable batteries
We are giving our friends and family a more comprehensive range of technological toys and gadgets than ever before. The only drawback is that a few of these presents need single-use batteries.
2. “Green” decorations
An average of ten hours a day are spent with Christmas tree lights on, resulting in an amount of CO2 equivalent to five party balloons—assuming the lights are incandescent.
But you may still have a festive Christmas with eco-friendly lighting. A 100-count string of incandescent microlights would consume 40 watts, whereas a 70-count string of five-millimeter wide-angle LEDs uses only about five watts.