Mr Christmas Tree

Below you will see a photograph of a Christmas Tree. That photo was taken on January 29 2014. Christmas Day was thirty five days ago: a distant memory. I’ve been walking past this Christmas tree for a few weeks now, enough time to make me think; what exactly is that Christmas Tree doing there? Who put it there? And where does the person who put it there, expect it to go?

"Six million trees are thrown out after Christmas, creating more than 9,000 tonnes of additional waste. That’s about five times the weight of the London Eye!"

— The Independent

Four to five weeks ago, possibly more, that Christmas tree would have been purchased; from a garden centre; a Christmas Tree wood; or a seasonal Christmas Tree seller by the side of the road. Who knows. But this much we do know, it would have been taken from that point of purchase and carried, driven or dragged into a warm and loving home, dressed, watered and showcased for all the family to see. Mr Christmas Tree was very much a part of the family and his new family would awake every morning to see him stood tall with head held high as Lord Protector of the presents. He was the man.

‘Oh look at him, dear. He’s a good one isn’t he?’

‘Yes-he-is. A very good one indeed. Branches are all very even, a good amount of branches at the top, well rounded. Dare I say it, I think we’ve got ourselves perfection here.’

Yet despite all of the positive praise set upon him, throughout the season of good will, the trees time is up. Mr Christmas Trees services are no longer required and he’s thrown out, into the gutter, cast aside and left to rot against a cold brick wall. The owners (yes ‘the owners’), the ones that purchased Mr Christmas Tree must now be walking past this sorry state each and every day.

"Britain is facing a season of bad will towards the environment with Christmas tree recycling levels falling like their own needles. The Government needs to provide universal recycling of all Christmas waste, and must put more pressure on manufacturers and supermarkets to cut the massive overuse of packaging. Having a Merry Christmas could end in a rubbish New Year."

— Chris Huhne

Lob it out

Unfortunately Mr Christmas Tree is not alone. There are others, just like him, thrown out and left to work it out for themselves.

So what does this sorry tale of Mr Christmas Tree tell us? Well it demonstrates a mindset within society. Out of sight, out of mind. I’ll throw it out and someone else will come along and clear it up. But isn’t it our duty as consumers, and businesses alike, to take responsibility for the items that we consume and the items that we then turn into waste. Should we consider the impact that throwing a plastic bottle into a bin and into landfill will have on our planet. Maybe in a million years time a future generation will mine all of these plastics and use them as plastic fuels! But it’s unlikely!

What would you do if your local council brought in a new waste management legislation. ‘Bins will continue to be collected weekly, and an annual fee for this service will now be applied.’ Posters running the new Council legislation will be flyed on all wheelie bins, ‘You bought it. You’re responsible for it.’ Far-fetched? I don’t think so. My local council already charges an annual fee for garden waste!

"You bought it. You’re responsible for it."

— The Council

Reduce, Recycle, Repurpose

We have an opportunity to make a difference and we should start now. And that is exactly what we at FPCG are planning to do from February 10-16, we are embarking on our ‘Zero Waste Week’, with one simple aim: Use our creative minds for the good of the planet to create zero waste solutions and implement them, both at home and at work. This is our opportunity to make a difference. No matter how big or how small that difference maybe, if we all make a change, the greater the change will be. What change will I make? What future promise do I pledge to make today? Well from this day forth I promise to use both sides of a piece of paper. No matter how high that pile of paper becomes I will not recycle it until every section of space available has been used.

What difference will you make?