•Susty Summit 4: The Roundup•
Christmas tunes on repeat, vegan mince pies, both the giving AND receiving of gifts…it’s hard not to love every part of it. That was until when we realised the not so festive, gloomy reality of the Climate Crisis. Which is why we thought it would be pretty handy to run a Susty Summit via our skincare brand BYBI, explaining how to have yourself a Susty Little Christmas. SO, in case you missed the BYBI last Susty Summit here’s a quick recap of all the Susty Christmas facts and hacks, to make sustainable action this Christmas that little bit easier.
70% of us have changed our shopping habits because of wasteful packaging, but for some reason our consumption habits around Christmas spiral out of control and our concerns around sustainability drop off a cliff 🙈. Just look at the drops in Sustainability Google searches around Christmas over the past 5 years.
Being susty at Christmas doesn’t mean compromising on the magic and festive cheer. Here’s how…
Christmas Tree Facts
- 7 million go into landfill every year.
- 250 tons of them are thrown away after Christmas, when they could have been used for compost.
- 16kg of CO2 is released per 2-metres of (real) Christmas tree if it ends up in landfill.
Christmas Tree Hacks
- Get creative with materials you already have. The most sustainable thing, is always the thing you already own.
- Already own an artificial tree? Show it some serious TLC. It needs a minimum of 10 Christmases to be less environmentally harmful than a real one.
- If you really must buy a real tree, buy a pot-grown tree with all its roots intact. This means it can be replanted in your garden afterwards to enjoy.
- Recycle real trees through your council’s chip and recycle scheme, so that the wood can be reused as woodchip or compost for parks.
Christmas Lights Fact
- The earth is up to 50% brighter between Thanksgiving and NY day.
Christmas Lights Hacks
- Make sure you are using green energy to power your lights. Swap to Bulb, Ecotricity or Octopus.
- Swap to solar-powered lights or opt for energy-efficient LED bulbs instead. You’ll help decrease your carbon footprint and save money, since they last up to 20 times longer than regular bulbs.
- Christmas crackers that are glittery (microplastics) are non-recyclable.
- Small plastic toys in Christmas crackers are nearly always non-recyclable.
- Creative big shot? Make your own with materials you have.
- Buy plastic-free reusable crackers made from recycled materials. Keep This Cracker are a great option.
- If you reeeeally aren’t up to buying eco plastic free options. Nancy & Betty Studios are a great one.
Christmas Tree Decoration Facts
- Plastic, glass baubles and tinsel often can’t be recycled.
- Anything covered in glitter is non-recyclable.
Christmas Tree Decoration Hacks
- Reuse what you already own or donate what you don’t want to charity shops.
- Opt for natural decorations such as wreaths which are completely recyclable and biodegradable. Avoid anything with glitter on.
- Tinsel is a huge no, no they’re not recyclable and cause issues for recycling plants, getting stuck in machinery.
- £700m is spent on unwanted presents in the UK every year.
- Every year, we throw away 1.5 billion cards.
- Research shows that experiences provide more lasting happiness than objects.
- Buy things that people actually want and need.
- Where possible, buy experiences over physical products. Think tickets to a show, paying for a course or activity.
- When you do buy, if possible buy second hand / vintage. Aim to reuse and bring life to an item that isn’t brand new.
- Seek out low-carbon gifts like BYBI skincare.
- If you really have to send cards opt for recycled or sustainably sourced FSC card. Again, avoid glittery cards (microplastic) as they can’t be recycled.
Gift Wrapping Facts
- 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away each year in the UK.
- 114,000 tons of plastic packaging is thrown away and not recycled in the UK at Christmas.
- 300,000 tons of card packaging is said to be used during the festive season. Enough to cover London’s Big Ben 260,000 times.
Gift Wrapping Hacks
- Reuse any paper you currently have in your home as gift wrapping paper. From magazines, to newspapers, any pretty paper you already own.
- Try furoshiki (the traditional Japanese art of wrapping items in decorative cloth).
- Switch to ribbon, string, and natural elements rather than sticky tape and plastic bows is one way to reduce waste.
- How to check if wrapping paper is recyclable…if it’s glossy/shiny it’s very likely unrecyclable. If it doesn’t hold its shape when scrunched into a ball it isn’t recyclable.
- 74 million mince pies are consumed every year.
- 5 million Christmas puddings are wasted in the UK every year.
- 11.9 million carrots and 11.3 million roast potatoes!
- If all Christmas food waste was recycled into energy, it could power the average medium-sized home for 57 years. The process of turning food into energy is called Anaerobic Digestion (AD).
- Planning is key. Do the sexy maths so you’re only cooking what you need. Make room in your freezer for storing leftovers . Do you need the whole turkey, or will the crown do?
- Shop locally and take your own bags – buy loose fruit and vegetables to minimise plastic and travel emissions, as well as reduce the chances of it ending up in landfill.
- Buy organic, free-range and if possible vegan products from local farmers. Meat, agriculture, forestry and other land use accounts for 24% of greenhouse gases globally.
- Compost all food waste to avoid it ending up in landfill and contributing to more CO2 & CH4 emissions. Hopefully it will anaerobically digested (creating green energy).
If ever in doubt about how to have a Susty Christmas…
REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE
Please do tell your friends and make sure they’re being Susty too! The more we share, the more we Climate-Care.
Sources: Guardian, Independent, Nasa, Carbon Trust, Biffa