12 NOT SO FUN FESTIVE FACTS
Christmas is coming – there’s no escape!We’re on the downhill slope to the biggest consumer festival of the year, and I think it’s about time for a sanity check.We all want to create magical memories for our kids, but in the process of doing that we’re building an appalling legacy for them – plastic clogged oceans, over-flowing landfill sites, and potentially a climate and landscape that may well be pretty much uninhabitable.
Check out these ‘not so fun festive facts’ that reveal just how wasteful and damaging our festive consumption can be:
1. 27,000 MILES OF WRAPPING PAPER IS USED EACH YEAR IN THE UK ALONE
And much of it ends up in landfill.Metallic paper and paper with glitter on can’t be recycled and mess up the waste streams. Do the ‘scrunch test’ – scrunch a piece of wrapping paper into a ball – if it stays in a ball it can be recycled.
2. ONLY 1% OF CONSUMER GOODS ARE STILL IN USE 6 MONTHS LATER
This is a crazy reflection of the sheer speed with which we buy, upgrade or discard and then move onto the next shiny new ‘must have’.
3. ONE BILLION CHRISTMAS CARDS END UP IN THE BIN EACH YEAR
When they could be recycled. Most supermarkets have a Christmas card recycling bin available in the New Year, so no excuses!
4. THE AMOUNT OF WRAPPING PAPER USED TO WRAP CHRISTMAS PRESENTS IS ENOUGH TO GO AROUND THE GLOBE NINE TIMES!
‘Upcycle’ old newspapers or magazines which can then be recycled 🙂
5. THE EQUIVALENT OF 2 MILLION TURKEYS END UP IN THE BIN EACH YEAR
That’s the leftovers that don’t get eaten when everyone is fed up of turkey.If you’re going to eat meat (and we do) at least ensure that you honour the animal by making sure none it goes to waste.
6. 500 TONNES OF FAIRY LIGHTS ARE THROWN AWAY EACH YEAR
Repair or recycle! Fairy lights can be recycled at your local recycling centre.
7. FIVE MILLION CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS HIT THE BIN EACH YEAR
And that’s before we even add in the plastic waste that comes with shop bought Christmas puddings.
8. ONE IN TEN UNWANTED CHRISTMAS PRESENTS ENDS UP IN LANDFILL
This makes me hold my head in my hands and weep – a complete waste of money, resources, and the efforts of the people sweating away in god-forsaken factories somewhere far away to make these things.
9. WHEN CHILDREN HAVE SO MANY PRESENTS THEY ACTUALLY STOP ENJOYING PLAYING WITH THEM
When did it become ok to teach our kids that more is better, than excessive consumption is not only good, but to be encouraged at Christmas?
10. WE WASTE AROUND 250,000 TONNES OF FOOD EACH CHRISTMAS
That’s the weight of the Empire State Building or 100,000 elephants!
11. 81 MILLION UNWANTED PRESENTS ARE RECEIVED EACH YEAR
Working out at an average of 3 per UK household
12. THE UK GENERATES THE WEIGHT OF 3.3 MILLION EMPEROR PENGUINS IN PLASTIC WASTE EACH CHRISTMAS
I love the ‘penguin-ification’ of this stat, but all that plastic will be sitting in landfill for the next 500+years – this isn’t the legacy of a magical Christmas that I want for my kids.
Do you despair at the waste at Christmas?
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Let’s take out the plastic and waste from Christmas