As the festive time of year is fast approaching again, we look forward to celebrating it with our family and friends. As we enjoy Christmas, let’s not forget about the importance of reducing energy waste. There are just so many ways that you can contribute to a Greener Christmas this year. When the family are all together, why not take some time out and talk about what you can do to help. Here are a few thoughts and ideas that will make it easier for you to move towards a much Greener Christmas.
Why not start off by setting out a list of tasks for the family, assign one to each member, and make that task their responsibility, this way everyone in the family is doing their bit and it can also be a lot of fun,
Did you know that Irish families this Christmas will consume an estimated 1 million selection boxes, 1.4 million boxes of biscuits and will pull 16 million Christmas Crackers. All this waste will result in a packaging mountain this Christmas, unless we do our part!
Real Tree V’s Artificial Trees
The decision you make when buying your Christmas tree is very important. Buying a real tree is more helpful to the environment than an artificial one and can be recycled after. Just ensure you have a solution for recycling it afterwards before you complete your purchase. Most Local Authorities collect trees after Christmas, you may just need to contact them. It is important that you ask yourself some questions when choosing where your tree. Where are the trees coming from? Are they sustainably managed? Coillte have depots all over Ireland that sell sustainably managed trees. Christmas trees are in short supply this year. It takes 7 years for a Christmas tree to grow and 7 years ago they did not plant a sufficient amount of trees to cater for this year’s demand.Artificial trees are made from non-renewable resources, and while they are a good alternative as they can be reused, they are usually made from a number of different materials including plastics that are difficult to recycle once they are no longer needed. Christmas tree safety is also very important, don’t forget to unplug lights at night and when you are leaving the house.
In recent years, exterior lighting has become a big issue and an environmental hazard. The energy consumption is colossal, for every KW used, 2/3 of a KG of CO² is released into the atmosphere. Choose LED lights, (Light Emitting Diode) when buying lights this Christmas. LED lights are up to 90% more efficient and the lifespan of one LED is 50,000 hours which makes them a cost effective choice. They last 10 times longer and are more Eco – Friendly.
Each household will generate approximately 64 Kilos of used packaging this Christmas, which will result in waste weighing up to 80,000 tonnes in the new year, that’s a 30% increase in the overall amount of used packaging at this time of year, so when you are buying this Christmas, make sure to pick products that have less packaging.
Remember to think before you shop, and be more selective in what you buy. We shouldn’t have to recycle as much as we do. Also consider food waste this Christmas, only buy what you actually need, don’t worry the shops will be open again after Christmas! Do bear in mind that there are over 1 Billion starving people in the world at the moment.
It is estimated that 164 million drink containers will be consumed this Christmas. So it is very important to remember to organise a trip to the bottle bank, and recycle them appropriately.
When buying Christmas gifts be more selective in what you buy, many gifts and toys received this Christmas will be powered by batteries, and it is important that people are aware how easy it is to recycle them after. Most supermarkets and other retail outlet stores have free of charge battery recycling boxes available. 1/3 of Irish batteries are purchased at Christmas.
By following these tips this Christmas it will all contribute to a much Greener and Happier Christmas for everyone and for the environment.