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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

The festive period can often be a time for overindulgence, and I am sure anyone who ventures anywhere near their local shops on the weekend before Christmas would agree with me. Overindulging every now and then is something that I think everyone will admit to doing, especially over Christmas when you might well have a large meal of roast turkey and all the trimmings. This is always a particularly enjoyable meal; however, if you think about the long term impacts of eating so much food in such a short space of time, you might actually stop and consider the benefits of reducing your consumption for that one meal. When you reduce your consumption, you can often end up having food left over that can then feed you for the next few days in the form of sandwiches or curry. Our Love Food Hate Waste campaign is able to provide you with some further ideas about what to do with any left over turkey, but the idea of using this food over a longer period of time shows a good example of increasing resource efficiency.

Promoting resource efficiency is something that is applicable to your business model as well as how you might choose to live your life because it can lead to cost savings. Resource efficiency is all about managing raw materials, energy and water in order to minimise waste and thereby reduce cost. Another reason why you would want to increase the resource efficiency of your business is because it can help increase the overall sustainability of your business. Not only does minimising waste output have significant environmental benefits, but there are also clear economic incentives as the costs associated with waste disposal will be minimised. Research has shown that there is the potential to save up to 4.5% of your annual turnover by reducing costs associated with landfill tax. Reducing the quantity of waste that your business generates can lead to increased business efficiencies as you gain a greater understanding of your business processes and this can give you a competitive advantage over your competitors.

There are clearly a number of advantages associated with improving resource efficiencies in business and I will now go on to explain how you can implement changes that will lead to improved resource efficiencies. The first thing that your organisation should do, is to undertake a waste review to see exactly where waste is being created in the first place, and therefore what actions can be taken to reduce this. These reviews can either be done internally, or you can call on organisations such as Zero Waste Scotland who are able to offer businesses of all sizes free advice. When making changes to your business it is important not only to involve your staff, and work with them, but also to consider your entire supply chain. This includes working with your suppliers and your customers so as to examine the true costs associated with waste, and also to help promote change amongst others. It is important to set realistic targets. Remember to start small and grow from there, it is worth remembering that there are numerous simple measures that you can implement before trying a large change. Many small successes are greater than one large project that perhaps does not work as well.

Over the festive period, there are a number of steps that businesses can take to improve their resource efficiencies. These can be simple steps such as anticipating that there might not be as many people in your workplace and therefore remember to get fewer supplies, particularly if the items have a short shelf life or these can be larger steps such as choosing to send out e-cards instead of cards. By examining what resources come into your workplace, it is possible to reduce what comes in and therefore create a more efficient, sustainable workplace and a more profitable new year.

I hope you have a very resourceful, Christmas and an efficient New Year.

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Christmas Time

This post is for employees within businesses who might be taking some time off over the Christmas period. I hope it proves useful.

What is Christmas? For children it’s a time of magic and mystery with special stories, songs and food which imbue a warm, safe feeling on long winter nights. For some it’s a time to put aside the everyday routine of life and come together with friends and family to reflect and share. For others it’s bound up in religious celebration. Whoever you are and whatever your reason for celebrating Christmas there are many things you will probably find yourself doing more than usual over the next four weeks as we approach the end of another decade.

Some potential Christmas activities

Eating, drinking, meeting people, watching films, seeing your family, relaxing, taking time off work, travelling, going on wintery walks, feeling bloated, cursing the oven, celebrating, reflecting, nursing a sore head, reading to children, putting a tree up, sending cards, receiving cards, wrapping gifts, shopping, feeling all warm and fuzzy as you hear the sounds of carol singers in the distance, lighting fires, listening to music, using the internet, cooking, making mulled wine, writing lists, buying magazines, getting to know your butcher, trying to work out how to sit twelve people round a table built for eight, calling people on the phone, texting, emailing, instant messaging, social networking, feeling overwhelmed by the number of ways people can get in touch with you, feeling poor, using credit cards, worrying about money, hoping for a bright new year, wondering why no one has invented a way to wrap presents without getting sellotape all over the furniture, thinking about those less fortunate in countries where Christmas means being hot and hungry, giving to charity, buying a santa hat, working out what to wear at the work Christmas party, going to the pub, buying gloves, bringing decorations down from the attic/wardrobe, stringing up cards and watching them fall down again, tying tinsel round the cat’s collar, getting small gifts for stockings, hoping that crazy uncle Fred doesn’t drink too much again, wearing slippers, having long baths, cracking nuts, watching snow fall, building snowmen with humorous appendages, jumping for joy when you hear school is closed for the day, considering emmigration as a real possibility, being unable to remember the name of people you bump into at parties, trying to restrain yourself when it comes to food and drink consumption, feeling fat and guilty, getting annoyed in queues but not doing anything when someone clearly queue jumps, ice-skating (aka bum-skating), feeling magical as you look at Christmas lights in the city, enjoying the warmth of another as you settle down for a cosy night in, eating leftovers, getting all tangled with wires as you try to have a family game round the games console, remembering why other family members don’t play games consoles, playing Monopoly, watching as your little Sister storms upstairs because she couldn’t afford Park Lane, pulling crackers, wearing silly hats, thinking about making bread/cranberry sauce and then buying it from M&S as usual, ordering a massive bird and wondering how to cook it so it doesn’t go all dry, polishing the champagne flutes and realising you only have three left after the last New Year’s eve party, putting a santa hat on the dog, wearing wellies unnecessarily to collect logs from the garden, filling the room with smoke as you realise wet logs don’t burn well, trying spiced flavours of tea and remembering why you normally drink regular, thinking about how Grandma will cope, worrying about getting older, taking multivitamins to fend off seasonal flu, getting ill on Christmas Eve just in time to miss all the fun, highlighting the best programmes in the Radio Times, finding your highlights crossed out by other members of the family who prefer stupid films, renting Christmassy DVDs, eating mixed nuts and raisins, trying to counteract all the nuts with satsumas, eating seafood at breakfast, arguing about when to open presents, leaving the cooking to Mum, stretching your foot out on Christmas morning and feeling the excitement as it hits something, tearing off the wrapping as you discover what Santa brought, playing with new things, snoozing on the sofa, going to church, singing and finally wanting to do it all again in a year’s time.

With all this activity there is bound to be some waste. Whether it be from the food we cook or the presents we give. Our website offers some hints and tips on how to combat some of this waste on a special Christmas hints and tips page.

We also have a Waste Aware Advent Calendar with daily tips including:

  1. Avoid Christmas food and gifts with excess packaging. Buy food, such as fruit and vegetables, loose. Try to buy packaging that you can recycle locally.
  2. Refuse any clothes hangers that you don’t need when you buy new clothes. Some stores may be able to reuse or recycle their old hangers.
  3. Choose reusable glasses, crockery and cutlery for parties, instead of disposable alternatives that generate more waste.
  4. Use a compost bin or food waste digester to compost your green waste, such as fruit and vegetable peelings, at home.
  5. Choose mechanical toys as Christmas presents to reduce waste from batteries. Find charity and toy shops in your telephone directory or online.
  6. Choose ‘low’ or ‘no’ waste presents such as gift vouchers and gift experiences as alternatives to large, packaged presents.
  7. Hire party accessories, such as drinking glasses, instead of buying brand new. Find hire companies in your telephone directory or online.

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