As the hospitality sector gears up for a busy period of trade, we continue to support our hotels’ Green Teams with their sustainability programmes.
The Soil Association suggests Christmas is the perfect time of year for consumers to commit to a more sustainable future; “from the things we eat and wear, to the places we shop and the gifts we give, there are so many ways we can all help to build a better world.” But how can hotels make an impact this festive season?
Below are two obvious best practice actions that hotel teams can easily implement into their Christmas operations:
- Christmas crackers – a lot of traditional Christmas crackers contain packaging and plastic which cannot be recycled. Opt for recyclable Christmas crackers, and avoid single use plastic gift crackers and, again, those covered in glitter. [Wrap]
- Christmas trees – ‘real’ Christmas trees can be recycled and turned into chippings for parks. Some local authorities have special collections or organise drop-off points, or they can be taken to your household waste recycling centre. Artificial trees are made from a combination of materials and cannot be recycled. Unwanted artificial trees in good condition may be accepted by charity shops for re-use. More information about Christmas tree recycling can be found here
According to Carbon Trust, a 2m-tall cut Christmas tree that ends up in landfill has a 16kg carbon footprint – that’s around the same as taking three return flights from London to Australia. This article from Goodto.com further highlights the benefits of renting your Christmas tree which is fast becoming the go-to option for eco-conscious consumers.
Food, glorious (but wasteful) food
During the festive season, approximately 270,000 tons of Christmas food waste is disposed of despite being edible – that’s around seven million bins full of waste food.
Two tips from WWF:
- Cut your food waste: Food production is the biggest cause of tropical deforestation. Try to cut any waste by planning ahead – be realistic about how much food you need and use up leftovers. Instead of clingfilm, use Tupperware, foil and wax cloth covers to keep leftovers nice and fresh! 8. Eat More Plants: Poultry is in the top 10 most wasted foods in the UK and 100,000 tonnes of it ends up in the bin every year
- Eating more plant-based meals is good for you and the planet. The livestock industry generates 14.5%3 of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. It requires huge amounts of space, water and feed. Instead, you could try a meat alternative.
Remember, sustainability is an ongoing commitment, not a one-time tick box exercise.
If you’re a hospitality business who can offer festive related best practices for reducing your carbon footprint over the winter months, please email us; we’d love to hear from you.