Christmas is a magical time of year, but our excessive festive spending, consuming and wasting, has a massive impact on our planet.
For the first time ever, the Zero Waste Christmas Market will be held in London, which hopes to combat some of the surplus that results from the festive season. A 2017 study found that each Christmas, Brits throw away the equivalent of 108 million rolls of wrapping paper, 54 million platefuls of food, almost 100 million black bags full of packaging, and use more than 40 million rolls of sticky tape. Throughout the year, many of us work hard to limit the amount of waste we produce, but this can go out of the window at Christmas. Remarkably, 34 per cent of Britons reported that they think excessive waste is just a part of the festive period.
Hopefully, this year will be different, with the Zero Waste Christmas Market offering an alternative way to shop for Christmas that aims to keep waste away from landfills. Market organiser, Melanie Fisher, explained the concept: ‘I love Christmas – everybody does, but I also care about the planet,’ she said. ‘Christmas is the perfect opportunity to have the conversation about over consumption and environmental impact, but to do so in a way that is both inclusive and enjoyable. I want to make it fun and easy for people to do the right thing whilst addressing the issue of consumer waste at the same time.’
The festival will be 100 per cent free from single-use plastic, packaging, and animal products, and seeks to offer: ‘Stress-free shopping that doesn’t cost the Earth’. Stalls will only sell sustainable, ethical, compostable, recyclable, and reusable gifts, and vegan-friendly food and drink products, including cakes and mulled wine.
Visitors will be able to find everything from stocking-fillers to luxury items across fashion, beauty, home and lifestyle, travel, and food and drink. An array of goods from eco-friendly retailers will also be there, including clothes from Gung Ho Design, biodegradable glitter by Eco Glitter Fun, wonky vegetables from Oddbox, and planet-friendly skin-care goodies from Optiat.
Attendees can enjoy talks from key figures, festive workshops, and a Christmas hamper competition. One hundred per cent of the money resulting from ticket sales will also be donated to Cool Earth, a non-profit fighting climate change and Amazonian deforestation.
The Zero Waste Christmas Market joins a number of vegan-friendly, eco-conscious Christmas festivals sweeping the UK this winter, including those in Peterborough, Gloucester, Cardiff and Manchester.
If you’re planning on heading to a Christmas festival for some present-shopping, make sure you stop by the Hoxton Arches on Saturday 8th December, for the Zero Waste Christmas Market.