Implementing a Christmas Business Waste Management Plan
Planning for the festive season can help your business reduce waste and stay on track with the rest of the year. However, implementing a Christmas business waste management plan can be difficult. This year, many things can affect your business, including staff shifts, marketing strategies, and the gas is turned off for the holidays. However, by implementing a Christmas waste management plan, you can ensure that you are prepared for the additional volume of waste that comes with this time of year.
Re-use or recycle Christmas business waste
A Christmas business may generate more waste than usual, but the good news is that there are plenty of ways to reduce the amount of waste you create. The festive season is one of the busiest times when companies and households throw away more than ever before. UK households will throw away nearly 277,000 miles of wrapping paper – enough to stretch the Earth to the moon. The waste sector in the UK is responsible for over 25 million tonnes of CO2 emissions – enough to power seven million households for a year.
There are many ways to reduce your waste during this busy time, such as making gifts from time or yourself. Christmas wrapping paper is usually recyclable, but wrapping paper with a plastic coating, foil or sparkle cannot be. Wrapping paper can be recycled if it doesn’t have a plastic coating, but other materials, including ribbons, tinsel, bows, or glitter, should be discarded instead. Once the paper is shredded, it can be used again as gift tags or other products.
Recycling wrapping paper can also be difficult, but many companies have special recycling programs to assist with this task. Undecorated Christmas trees can be chipped and recycled into mulch. Mulch made from Christmas trees is a rich nutrient source and biodegradable. Some communities provide free mulch to home gardeners, while others use it as a ground cover in public places. These mulches are used in the landscaping of public areas and can help with erosion control and wildlife habitats. These are just some ways you can re-use and recycle Christmas business waste.
Avoid sending holiday cards.
If you want to help save the environment, avoid sending holiday cards as a Christmas business waste. These disposable cards can add up to 25 per cent of our waste from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. We waste millions of tons of paper and ribbon and miss out on the chance to be more environmentally friendly. There are ways to reduce the amount of paper, ink, and envelopes we use for Christmas greetings. Invest some time in designing your holiday cards.
While hiring a professional designer isn’t a bad idea, several online tools help you create custom designs that match the heart and style of your business. Check out VistaPrint’s free templates and save half off your order if you’re pressed for time. While they may be cheap, these templates are not likely to win any brownie points from recipients. Another way to reduce paper waste is to consider sending e-cards.
You can find free e-cards at The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund websites. Or, you can send physical cards only to people who aren’t online or don’t answer their phone calls.
Skip the envelopes and use 100% recycled paper if you are sending physical cards. Avoid wood-based paper and metallic finishes. Consider sending holiday cards as a gesture of goodwill. Sending a holiday card instead of generic greetings can help build connections and keep those relationships into the New Year. Using a card as a Christmas business waste requires a genuine heartfelt gesture of thanks. Depending on your business’ size, you can include marketing messages in your message.
Your cards can be both environmentally friendly and cost-effective by utilising recycled materials and recycling paper. When you send holiday cards to your customers, try to limit your use of glossy family pictures. Many people collect these cards as souvenirs and keep them in their homes. The good news is that they can be recycled, too. However, glitter-coated holiday cards can’t be recycled, so you must separate them and throw them in your household waste bin. You can still recycle plain Christmas cards.
Reducing food waste during the holiday season
The holiday season is a time to indulge, but it’s also a time when a lot of the leftovers we buy end up in the trash. According to the National Resources Defense Council, 40% of the food we purchase is wasted. This waste impacts our food security, the environment, and climate change.
To help curb this problem:
- Start by planning your holiday meals.
- Plan your meals based on the number of guests. If you’re hosting a large party, plan for a larger group.
- Check the expiration dates on all of your food before planning your meals. You may want to consider using only what’s still edible.
Like fresh fruits and vegetables, many foods with short shelf lives are better to freeze than keep in the fridge. You can also use the Guest-Imator to estimate how much food you need to prepare for your guests. This tool is designed to help you plan your holiday meals more efficiently. Most holiday food waste results from overserving, which leaves food on plates and eventually ends up in the trash. To reduce food waste during the holiday season, try limiting your portions.
You can always ask for seconds, but it is best to eat “family style” to avoid this. In addition, consider buying items in bulk rather than individually. It’s better for the environment and your wallet if you re-use your food instead of throwing it out. The average American throws away about 25 million pounds of garbage during the holiday season. This is a lot of food, so consider giving valuable gifts to your family.
Consider volunteering to do some light housework for the holidays or go on a full moon walk or winter picnic with the family. Alternatively, you can create holiday bouquets or make a videotape of favourite family stories. You can find dozens of ways to reduce your holiday food waste, including these easy tips: Organise leftovers. Keep reusable containers on hand. Donate leftovers to your neighbours or food agencies. For a more creative way to use leftovers, search for recipes on the internet.
The web is full of delicious recipes that use leftover food from the holidays. The holiday season is a great time to use up leftovers and reduce the amount of trash we create. By making the most of leftovers, we’re not only helping the environment but also our pocketbooks.
Reduce plastic packaging during the holiday season
The holiday season is an excellent time to find ways to reduce plastic packaging. Many products on the market are wrapped in plastic, much of it unnecessary. Instead of buying plastic holiday gifts, choose items with reusable packagings, such as glass jars or wooden spoons. You can also make your paper decorations or hang natural items from a garland. Choosing these products will make your holiday season a little greener while saving money and time.
Most holiday packaging is single-use. Items like gift bags, wrapping paper, ribbon, and gift wrap are typically one-time-use. This linear approach to packaging makes no environmental sense. Instead, it puts the burden of disposal on the consumer. And unfortunately, most of this plastic is not recyclable. Therefore, it is your responsibility to recycle this packaging. Choosing products that don’t use plastic will save money and the environment this holiday season.
To make matters worse, the holiday season also brings a lot of waste. Aside from holiday-related decorations, there’s an influx of shipments and gifts. According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash during the holiday season, equivalent to one million tons of trash each week. That’s a tremendous amount of garbage! Consider these tips to reduce your holiday trash. There’s nothing better than feeling good and giving back to our planet!
If you have to buy physical items, consider the whole product rather than just the packaging. Visiting used book stores is an incredible way to find unique items. Try to purchase items with less packaging and natural materials, such as wood. You can also try Sole Footwear, which uses recycled cork in its footbeds and footwear. Sole footwear has many other ways to reduce the plastic packaging your holiday gifts come in.
Implementing a Christmas Business Waste Management Plan – Learn more about UK business waste statistics here
Other useful links from our Commercial Waste Centre
The Benefits of Dry Mixed Recycling
Looking After Your Business Bins
Commercial Skip Hire – How to Find a Cheap Deal
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