New research has revealed that 2018 is the year that Christmas has gone green, as 15.3 million Brits are planning to have a more sustainable festive period, according to figures released by the campaign to promote electric cars, Go Ultra Low.
With the run up to Christmas comes lots of extra packaging and deliveries, as well as lots of miles driving up and down the country to visit family and friends. As a result, more than a third (35%) of us are worrying about our environmental impact this year. Of those of us who are concerned about our impact, the most troubling issues in the run up to Christmas are the amount of plastic packaging used (72%), and the increase in household waste (63%).
Another issue giving us guilt is the number of miles we’ll be responsible for this Christmas and the impact that can have. The average Brit will drive or be driven 108 miles over the festive period for activities such as visiting friends and family or dropping off presents – a distance easily covered in an electric car. This means that the nation as a whole is set to rack up a collective 5.6 billion miles, driving around the country.
The level of concern surrounding sustainability and the festive season varies between generations, with 43% of Gen Z (aged 18-24) concerned about their environmental impact compared to just 29% of those aged over 55.
The research also confirms that many of us look set to make more sustainable choices in the long term, not just over the holiday period. Almost one in five (18%) of us would like to switch to an electric car next year – one of the top five most popular sustainable resolutions for 2019.
Electric cars help you reduce your environmental impact, as pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars driven in electric mode produce zero tailpipe emissions. They also help you save money on fuel, with driving costs from as little as 3p per mile, as well as low maintenance, servicing and repair costs.
The nation’s top sustainable resolutions for 2019
• Use less plastic: 42%
• Recycle more: 33%
• Buy less: 24%
• Stop using plastic straws: 23%
• Switch to an electric vehicle: 18%
5 easy ways to make your Christmas greener this year
1. Choose wrapping paper that is recyclable: You might not realise, but a lot of wrapping paper cannot be recycled, because of dyes, laminations, glitter or foil, or because it has tape on it. Go for a simple paper and tie up with string to make sure it can be recycled. And if you aren’t sure, do the scrunch test – if it scrunches, it is recyclable!
2. Cut down on meat: With us all feasting on turkey, goose, ham and beef at Christmas time, we’re eating a lot of meat over the festive season. Make a couple of your meals plant-based and help reduce your menu’s environmental impact.
3. Give greener gifts: While giving gifts brings us a lot of joy at Christmas, they can contribute to our environmental impact. Make an effort to give presents that have less of an impact – like an experience, some homemade treats, or even an IOU pledge. These can all bring a smile to your loved one’s face, without requiring lots of packaging and plastic.
4. Grow your own Christmas tree: If you worry about whether to choose a real or artificial tree, then buying a plotted tree with roots can be the solution! By growing it outside, you can use it again the next year, reducing your environmental impact and cost of Christmas.
5. Switch to an electric car: Research shows that as a nation, we will drive some 5.6 billion miles this festive season! All that travelling up and down the country, as well as getting our gifts delivered by van, means a lot of vehicle emissions. Pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars are able to emit zero tailpipe emissions, meaning that you can help improve local air quality while still dropping in to see the family.
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Many of us are becoming increasingly worried about our environmental impact, and trying to be sustainable at Christmas can end up causing stress. There are lots of simple switches you can make to be greener, but one change that will make a big impact is choosing an electric car. With pure electric and plug-in hybrids able to emit zero tailpipe emissions, as well as low running and maintenance costs, the cars can help you go green not just at Christmas but all year round, and save money too.”
1. Research by OnePoll on behalf of Go Ultra Low in December 2018 with 2,000 people aged 18 and over. 35% of UK adults (52,078,525) worry about their environmental impact over Christmas. Of those 84% are planning on making more sustainable choices this festive period. 84% of 35% is 29% or 15,311,086 British adults.
2. 108 miles multiplied by 52,078,525 UK adults (18+).
3. The festive period was defined as 1-31 December.