Devon Life|December 2019
Christmas is a special time, marked by family and friend get-togethers, festive meals, gift-giving and general all-round celebrations. But sadly, it’s also become a time of huge waste.
Generosity becomes overindulgence, gifts may be well-meant, but unwanted; there’s a frenzy of food buying that often leads to leftovers being thrown away; recycling boxes are heaving with mountains of gift wrap and Christmas cards.
Two years ago, Nicola and Richard Eckersley, owners of Earth.Food.Love, the UK’s first Zero Waste shop in Totnes, decided to go for a waste-free Christmas. Carefully considering every aspect of their festive celebrations, they set about doing things differently.
“You have to warn your family though and say to them that you are trying to be zero waste and plastic-free,” says Nicola.
People have expectations around what makes a ‘traditional Christmas’ and, in Nicola’s case, this includes being sent a Christmas card. “Some people in the family would get really offended if they didn’t have a card,” says Nicola. But she found a shop in Totnes that was selling Christmas postcards, complete with festive scenes. It cuts down on card, there’s no envelope and no plastic packaging.
Christmas cards may not be on everyone’s hit list for a waste-free Christmas, and they can be a useful way for charities to raise money, but if you are getting them, aim for as minimal packaging as possible.
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