Wrapping Up Doesn’t Have To Be A Waste.

As we reach the end of the year, I am delighted to be able to write another Climate Change Collective post. With Christmas on the horizon, there are some aspects of our rituals that can be environmentally awkward. One such aspect is packaging.

The UK uses 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year. Each Christmas each UK household throws away three and a half black bags full of Christmas packaging. (Source: GWP)

Startling facts like this highlight just how important it is that we start to reign in our packaging obsession over the festive season.

The Trouble With Glitter

I have been checking recycling instructions for wrapping paper. It seems that the general UK advice is that if you can scrunch it up and it stays scrunched then it is recyclable. There is an important note added to that though. If it contains glitter or foil decoration, then it can’t be recycled.

This is disappointing but makes a lot of sense. However, it is the reason why so many general waste bins are going to be stuffed full of wrapping paper this week.

One of the worst offenders when it comes to being single-use is the renowned (and often pointless) gift bag. A shiny and expensive gift bag usually contains an already fully wrapped present. Is this really necessary?

Being covered in foil and soon worn out, a gift bag commonly makes its way swiftly into the rubbish bin.

But why do people wrap their presents and still feel the need for individual gift bags too?

Suggestions For Change

First of all people need to start thinking about the type of packaging they use. Does it have to be shiny and sparkly?

I will be honest and say that this Christmas I gave my presents without any wrapping on at all. I don’t have any children in my family but would have wrapped their presents if so.

Using coloured paper which has no foil is a simple way of making gift wrapping better for the environment. It should be the thought that matters and the consideration that went into the present buying, not the sparkly packaging.

Final Thoughts

If landfill sites are being filled with gift wrapping every Christmas, then we really need to challenge this. In the spirit of Christmas, should we not be giving back to the planet instead of polluting it with rubbish?

It takes tinfoil (the same as the foil found in wrapping paper) around 400 years to decompose according to Recycle Coach.

Let’s make an effort to move away from unnecessary packaging and towards a more sustainable future full of recyclable Christmas wrapping and emptier dustbins.

Thank you for reading this article. Please message me if you are a blogger wanting to join The Climate Change Collective. Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) and I came up with an idea to establish a group of likeminded bloggers to write monthly features about the environment. Our group has blossomed and every member writes a link post each month.

To read the most recent post from our collective simply check out Caroline’s wonderful Reconnecting with nature and self article from November.

Take A Breath And Think – Poem

Today I have written a poem which is based on gut feelings. I want to encourage everyone to take a breath and use their voices at a time where sensible, level voices need to be heard over angry ones.

Take a breath and ponder,

All the crazy in the world.

The last time I thought about it,

My fingers and toes curled.

But think about it nonetheless

And try and take it in.

The world needs clever thinkers

To ensure changes can begin.

A lot of things are thoughtless

Knee jerk reactions cause most wars.

Pollution comes from thoughtlessness

Meanwhile Antarctic ice shelves thaw.

As anger drives decisions

And feelings drive divide.

You need to take a moment

And carefully decide.

Will you sit and watch the chaos

And allow for things to spin?

Or will you make a choice to fight

To turn a corner with a grin?

Only clever thinking

Will help to steady the divisions.

Political clear thinking

And some really tough decisions.

So vote for those who care

About society at large.

Don’t allow the ignorants

To easily take charge.

Think about the climate

As it steadily decays.

Use you voice and thinking

To make a difference. Don’t delay.

Thank you for reading my ‘Take a breath and think’ poem. For more of my poetry check out my Terrible Turmoil poem. Please also consider following my blog for similar future content.

The Wonder Of Microforests

This month, The Climate Change Collective are focusing on greening up areas of land with trees. It is widely known that large areas of forest are being cut down and burned every week. So it makes sense that one of our environmental initiatives should be planting trees at every opportunity.

A few weeks ago Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) took part in the planting of a microforest in her beloved Waterloo region of Canada. I was really intrigued about this and thankfully she shared her experience in the latest lead post for the Climate Change Collective:

Small But Wonderful Changes

The idea of transforming a small area of land into a forest, with a range of local flora and fauna, is really cool. There are so many benefits, not only to the environment but also to local communities.

– It increases biodiverisity and has a localised cooling impact

– There will be more photosynthesis which means more recycling of carbon dioxide

– a microfest can provide an additional retreat for local people – a community-made natural gem

Reclaiming land for nature always makes sense. If by doing so we are creating new reserves for families to explore, then even better. Pockets of green within towns and cities can make a massive difference to local microclimates.

As a result of this post, I have asked my boss for a way of reclaiming part of our school field for a microforest.

Final Thoughts

Each month one of our wonderful bloggers creates a lead article about something related to climate change. Michelle originally set up The Climate Change Collective after discussing with me a need for a group of bloggers who expressed concern for global warming and made practical suggestions for change.

All of us in the group write our own posts linked to each monthly lead article. Our group is growing and welcoming, so please drop me a tweet if you are a blogger interested in joining.

Microforests are a great way to create biodiverse local woodlands and help to re-green our increasingly urbanised regions. Please check out Michelle’s article and let us know what you think in the comments.

You can also check out the last post that I wrote about climate change, Warmer Weather – What’s not to like? and the August lead post A Greener World – Debunking myths about climate change by Molly – Transatlantic Notes.

Thank you so much for taking time to read this blog post. Perhaps also considering following my blog for similar future content.