Happy New Year to everyone! Now we’re all back at work, Christmas is beginning to turn into a distant memory. So what are some of our memories from this hugely anticipated festive event? Opening cards, unwrapping presents, eating and drinking copious amounts perhaps…
As fun as this can be, from an environmental and sustainable perspective, Christmas can create an awful lot of unnecessary waste if you think about all the empty drinks cans, food packaging and wrapping paper alone. That said, I think the majority of us are getting significantly better on the recycling front. The environment and sustainability is certainly moving back up people’s agendas after the end of a year that saw much debate around the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, a heated debate around the landfill ban issue and the government’s packaging strategy.
From my own experience, my family, friends and neighbours were all definitely making far more of a concerted effort to recycle all the waste. On a wider scale, people have even got impressively creative in their recycling – for example, one environmentally-conscious guy created the ultimate eco-friendly Christmas tree purely out of fizzy drink cans. His fabulous ‘fir’ has now proved so popular, he has quite the following on Facebook and MySpace. A little closer to home, one family has put us all to shame by putting just one rubbish bin out for collection in the whole of 2009! Very impressive when you consider the uproar that went on when councils tried to make some collections bi-weekly. This families’ achievements pay testament to what can be achieved through due diligence, passion and persistency as well as a genuine concern for the planet.
The only disappointment that I witnessed this holiday – and have subsequently read about in the nationals – was the lack of support from some of our councils when it came to taking away our hard-sorted, festive recycling. I noticed that my grandparent’s local council was throwing all the contents of both rubbish and recycling into the same lorry. Somewhat frustrating and de-motivating to those others who noticed the same thing.
If we’re going to seriously make a difference to the climate then we all need to buy-into making our lifestyles more sustainable and green with no exception. Hopefully this was a one-off blip that won’t happen again in this new, refreshingly green decade.