The holidays are a glorious time of year but the traditions we've come to know and love over the years have recently been found to have a devastating impact on the environment. Research by the London Cleaning System unveiled some troubling seasonal stats:

  • 300,000 tonnes of card packaging is used around the holidays; enough to cover Big Ben almost 260,000 times.
  • 1 billion holiday cards end up in landfills when a large majority of them could be recycled or better yet, not sent at all.
  • The amount of wrapping paper used for gifts is enough to wrap around the equator 9 times – 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away.
  • 6 million Christmas trees are discarded every year including 250 tonnes which could have been composted.

It's clear with staggering stats like these that we aren't doing our diligence to make eco-friendly choices like properly disposing of holiday items or recycling responsibly. Of course, we can reduce our waste around the holidays but what about making a bigger impact by opting for zero-waste?

Zero-waste is a philosophy that simply encourages the use of reusable products with the goal of not sending trash to the landfills or incinerators.

To get started with eliminating waste this Christmas, send online cards instead of paper ones. Same goes for holiday party invitations. Fill up growlers with your favorite beer, wine, or cider instead of purchasing bottles and cans. Upcycle items you already have around the house to make Christmas decorations and consider giving friends and family "experience" gifts rather than materialistic ones. Use cloth napkins instead of paper when you're entertaining guests –and remember that all of these tips can be applied throughout the year, not just around the holidays.

Still stuck for ideas on how to start your zero-waste celebrations?

Here Are 4 Sure Ways to Have a Zero-Waste Holiday Season This Year:

What treats to include or not to include

Have a zero-waste holiday this year by replacing old traditions with new eco-friendly ones. What are some other ways to go zero-waste this holiday season? We'd love to hear your ideas and tips in the comments section below.