Christmas festivities have an alarming impact on our environment due to wasted food, unnecessary packaging and extra travelling.
83 square km of wrapping paper and 6 million roles of sellotape are sold every year leading up to Christmas, while 4.2 million Christmas dinners are wasted across the UK. Small changes can be made to our Christmas routine such as ensuring our festive feasts are bought locally or buying a sustainable tree. However, technology can help decrease your carbon footprint beyond the holiday season. Surely, the environment is for life, not just for Christmas!
We are guilty of leaving our Christmas tree lights on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas. This produces enough CO2 to inflate 12 balloons. Switching to LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) is a quick and simple way to dramatically reduce your Christmas impact. LEDs use up to 95% less energy than traditional bulbs and can last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors, before being replaced. Plus, their low energy means that their running costs are minimal.
Smarten up your home
With the extra time spent at home watching Christmas movies, it is a good time to consider the smart technology. Smart tech can reduce your footprints and your energy bills for Christmas and beyond. From remotely controlled bulbs to smart thermostats, there are a variety of ways that you can connect your home and be more smart about energy usage. Smart switches, for example, allow you to control your appliances automatically from your smartphone. With smart thermostat like Hive or Nest, you can manage your heating schedule, while GPS can detect when you’re on your way home.
It is debatable whether online shopping is a more environmentally friendly alternative to visiting a shopping centre. Once the extra pollution and traffic congestion caused by returns or rush delivery are factored in, online shopping may not be as green as we think. Scientists calculated Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all his presents, travelling at 650 miles a second! Rushed shipping may be causing more carbon emissions than if presents had been when running errands or bought locally.
However, going online for other aspects of your Christmas routine cuts out unnecessary production of products. More than a billion cards are delivered every year- that’s enough to stretch around the world five times. While Christmas cards are considered an unbreakable tradition, the environmental impact is an unnecessary use of resources and postal mileage. With the ability to add video and interactivity, e-cards can be as exciting as a handwritten greeting. In a recent survey, a third of young people chose to send virtual messages over a card. A fifth of people admitted they won’t send a Christmas card this year at all. 47% of young professionals will simply send a text to their friends and family, while 38% would choose Social Media. Although some may consider this the end of a tradition, online greetings is a big step towards an eco-friendly Christmas.
How many batteries will you need this year to feed new toys and gadgets? The toxic chemicals used are bad for the environment and harmful to humans and wildlife. Rechargeable batteries not only conserve resources but also can save money despite their initial costs. USBCELL batteries can be charged using a USB stick and the powerslayer USB charger only delivers energy when needed preventing overcharging and wasted energy.
Promote sustainability amongst your friends and family by giving a fun green gadget. The port solar charger charges your phone while attached to a window, converting natural daylight into power for your devices. The Water Pebble is a gadget that helps reduce the amount of water wasted by taking long showers. It monitors the amount of water used and displays different lights to help you to shorten your shower. Alternatively find hand powered alternatives of gadgets that won’t require batteries, such as the Sun & Cloud Camera, a digital camera that is solar powered or wound by hand.
At ITVET we are keen to promote sustainability. Technology doesn’t only help maintain our environment but it also makes good business sense.
Read our previous blog post for information about how sustainability can boost productivity. If you would like to discuss how to improve your company’s footprint email [email protected] or call 01279 464 470.