This is the season to be jolly, merry and, increasingly, exceptionally wasteful. There is plenty to be happy about on Christmas as the family assembles to eat inordinate amounts of food and enjoys a well-deserved break from work. However, green campaigners are increasingly focusing upon the wasteful aspect that has become embedded into our Christmas celebration. Forget a partridge in a pear tree on the first day of Christmas. According to one source our true loves are giving us 227,000 miles of wrapping paper, followed by 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging, 5 million Christmas puddings and 16 million Christmas Crackers. And this is just a sample of the shocking figures that demonstrate the high level of waste that is produced every Christmas. So in preparation for next December at Brantlegh waste we have compiled an easy list with some simple suggestions to help you decrease you Christmas waste.

Christmas tree ornaments

There has been a recent tendency to adapt each year to changing Christmas tree trends. Traditionally ornaments were investments, items to pass down through the generations. However, over the past ten years there has been a stark shift in the buying patterns of customers, seen early on in the noughties when John Lewis sold out of black Christmas trees in mid-November. This move away from carefully stored, long lasting ornaments to disposables that last only a year has seen a marked interest in Christmas waste. For next December try investing in ornaments with some sentiment and create a family heirloom rather than an item to be chucked into a landfill by March 2016.

E-cards

An enormous 1 billion Christmas cards are thrown away every year. Now, whilst to your very nearest and dearest you may not feel overly comfortable resorting to online forms of communication. However, the cards to colleagues and distant family could surely be replaced with an online alternative. Websites like punchbowl and someeecards provide innovative ways to send loving or humorous messages to loved ones (or the ones you are obligated to remember come December.) More importantly it is far better for the environment.

Christmas Gifts

It is the time to spread some joy and nobody wants to be the Christmas Grinch and be the sole person to stand up and say what everyone is thinking. Do I really need another tie, guys? Can’t we just leave the presents this year and I’ll focus more money and buy one thing of true beauty? So think before you buy, look at the packaging and see if it is triple wrapped in three layers of impenetrable plastic or perhaps wrapped using recycled packaging or just less. Not only is that, but baking cookies or cakes for your loved ones a very special way of showing you care. And whilst gift cards may be something of a taboo at Brantlegh Waste we think they are massively underrated. With no waste and meaning the recipient can actually choose the gift of their choice we think gift cards are a glorious alternative to the stress of Christmas shopping.