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How to reduce your impact on the environment this Christmas?

How to reduce your impact on the environment this Christmas?

 Christmas… A time for families to come together, exchange gifts and eat to their heart's content. But what impact does our overindulgence and shopping habits have on the environment? During the holiday season our carbon footprint is 6% more than the rest of the year, so how can we make our Christmas a little bit greener? Every pound you spend this Christmas is a vote for the world you want to create, so here are Delphis Eco's top tips for a Christmas that doesn't cost the Earth.  

 

Should you go for the real tree or get the plastic one out of the loft? 

Every year there is a debate about whether people should ditch their real tree and go for a fake one. Or ditch the Christmas tree altogether. Research has found seven million trees are thrown out every year in the UK, releasing copious amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Artificial trees can be reused on average 7-20 times, which is better for the environment as it saves fresh trees from being chopped down and can save you money! 

  

But if you want to buy a real tree, know that the carbon footprint is lower than that of an artificial one. A popular alternative is opting for potted trees, which can be reused and replanted. Another option is replanting your Christmas tree in your garden or converting your old tree into beneficial woodchip mulch by putting it through a shredder which can reduce its carbon footprint by up to 80%. It's a win-win! 

 

Spread the Christmas magic 

At Christmas, we know the pressure is on to buy the perfect present for your nearest and dearest, but just under a half of us Brits admit that we have received gifts we don't or will never use. But the only good can come from buying gifts from small businesses, being mindful of sustainability and going for gifts with less packaging. 

  

According to Gov.uk we use enough card packaging (and material) at Christmas to cover Big Ben nearly 260,000 times. That is mind-boggling! Were you aware that to make 1 tonne of paper, around 24 trees must be cut down? So why not get creative by making e-cards to send your Christmas wishes by text if you want to give a great gift to the planet? 

  

The main event 

Christmas is the ultimate time to overindulge by eating our body weight in pigs in blankets or stuffing. But all that overindulgence means that around 270,000 tonnes of food are thrown away at Christmas every year. That's five million Christmas puddings, seventy-four million mince pies and two million turkeys, according to the Big Issue. And if that statistic doesn't make you want to spit out your eggnog, the government reckons that the number of poultry we throw away yearly is enough to make eight hundred million Boxing Day curries. Unbelievably, a herd of 636,000 reindeer weighs the same carrots thrown away by UK households annually.  

  

Fareshare is a charity network focused on reliving food poverty and food waste in the UK, was awarded 1.9 million pounds in 2019 from Defra. With the funding, Fareshare could redistribute even more food to those who need it. Their work also prevented 2,000 frozen turkeys from Gressingham Foods from going to waste in 2019, almost double the number redistributed the year before. So why not donate some of your leftovers to them? 

  

  

What actions are we taking to do our bit? 

Around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown away and not recycled in the UK this Christmas – which is more than the weight of 3.3 million Emperor penguins. One way to lower your contribution to the plastic plight is to buy products made of post-consumer recycled content. Ultimately you can only purchase the products available to you, and here at Delphis Eco, we offer refills on a range of our products so that you will be all kitted out for the festive season. 

 Here are our top ten Green Christmas tips: 

  1. Use eco-friendly cleaning products that don't harm the planet but get the job done!
  2. Donate your untouched food item to your local food bank  
  3. Eat less meat - Christmas is the perfect opportunity to try something new 
  4. Try out your local refill shop to dodge the unnecessary packaging at your supermarket 
  5. Buy your food from suppliers that use minimal packaging 
  6. Get all your food in one trip or order online if it's more convenient  
  7. Buy loose fruit and veg to avoid unnecessary single-use plastic
  8. Try and reduce your food waste by buying only what you need 
  9. Invest in some reusable wax wraps and foil liners (foil is recyclable in most cases but check with your local authority)
  10. Store your leftovers in the freezer

Written by Ellie Meredith

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COP27- From What To How

COP27- From What To How

As COP27 ends, we reflect on the discussions surrounding the global climate change conference and what we can take away to tackle this global fight. The annual conference presents opportunities for all stakeholders, government leaders and activists to discuss strategies to reduce climate change. The international conference gives global leaders and shareholders the platform to discuss ways to minimise the effects of climate change and the potential impact it could have on the planet. 


COP27 highlighted a solution-focused approach to minimise global surface temperature. Unlike the most recent Climate Week held in New York, which emphasised the ongoing global climate issues.

Now climate change specialists are urging global leaders to develop strategies to mitigate the global warming effects on the planet. There is an emphasis on governments working with businesses to accomplish this. Connecting with countries globally to work together is paramount, and this needs to happen with everyone in the same room. 


Previous COPs emphasised businesses were moving together at the same pace, working together to deliver environmental change. However, with global temperatures reaching record-breaking highs, the race is on, and there has been a shift to urge companies and countries to act as fast as they can.


COP27 bought speculation concerning whether the COPs are the best way to direct positive action against climate change. One word that circled COP27 was ‘greenwashing’ (deceiving customers by falsely advertising natural, green and eco-friendly products). The growing demand for sustainable products in the market means that everyday brands are renaming, rebranding and repackaging products to keep up to date with customers’ needs, but without holding sustainable values at the core of the business. COP27 presented the opportunity to mitigate greenwashing and bring awareness to the issues at stake when deceiving consumers. The conference reminded us that we each have the responsibility to make conscious decisions, an integral part of our lives to make a significant change.

We at Delphis Eco are proud to have sustainability at the forefront of our business values, and as a certified B-corp, we make all business decisions with the planet in mind. 




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#AskMark – Scope 3 and the combined might of a collective

#AskMark – Scope 3 and the combined might of a collective

I love the summer because you can invariably count on long days packed with sport. This year is a right feast, with the Euros, Wimbledon, Lions Tour and Olympic Games all packed into a few short weeks.

The thing that I’m always fascinated by is the fantastic team ethics of top-class competitors. Even those in ferociously competitive individual events such as track cycling or athletics are supported by huge networks of backroom staff – such as nutritionists, coaches and physios – to help them get over the line.

Business is the same. Success certainly is never down to one person or idea, but typically is about taking the combined might of a collective to achieve a dream. And it usually requires both a ‘carrot and a stick’ to get the best results.

I make no secret that I want my company, Delphis Eco, to be a winner when it comes to being for the planet and for profit. And to that end we need to lead our entire team including suppliers to become net positive businesses – who care about the planet, people and profit.

We’re already a B-Corp business, which means we can demonstrate a high moral and social compass. Our products are EU Ecolabel certified to prove they do not harm the environment or users and come in 100% recycled plastic bottles. We were founding signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) Plastics Pact and among the first 100 companies globally to back  Global Optimism’s The Climate Pledge. We are also signed up to The Race to Net Zero and The Prince of Wales’s Terra Carta. I am proud of every single initiative and support them passionately.

Being an eco-friendly business can’t be the end of things though. In our drive towards net zero emissions we are already working hard on what’s called our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Basically, that’s all the greenhouse gas that we produce directly through our facilities, vehicles and energy use. More difficult is Scope 3 – these emissions include all our supply activity, not strictly ours, but directly related to our products.

The letter that landed on the desks of the respective CEOs of our suppliers addressed these emissions. Think of it as a mission statement about how we all move forward to reach a net zero target. It effectively asked them to join our journey and now the ball really is in their court as to how we get there.

We work with a tight selection of businesses and, typically, have chosen those along the way that have similar ideals to us. For example, as I’ve mentioned before, our printer for our labels is the greenest in the world, using eco-friendly inks and cutting-edge processes. So what we are asking of these guys won’t be too much of a struggle, but for others it will be a huge challenge.

You see, what we have suggested is that all our suppliers come on an eco-journey with us, cutting their own carbon emissions and improving the green credentials. We will be conducting audits to see how they are progressing – and holding them to account on promises.

I’ll admit that years ago you could not have expected the type of businesses we work with to have given these issues much thought. But things have moved on. Today, there is no reason why a factory in the Midlands can’t have solar panels on its roof to decarbonise its power needs.

This all sounds a bit draconian and Big Brother, but it really isn’t. The feedback we’ve had so far has been amazingly positive. Now’s the time to realise they are called ‘business partners’ for a reason. The ‘partnership’ comes in the form of a two-way exchange of views and ideas. We are helping with advice and contacts but have also set clear goals about what we expect.

Having a greener and more holistic supply chain requires bold action and may mean some short-term increases in costs. I like the famous IKEA example best – the Swedish giant unilaterally decided to only sell low energy LED bulbs and de-list all non-LED bulbs, which over time completely changed the lighting market. The good news is that LED bulbs have dramatically come down in price and are a normal thing in every home.

We expect to see changes in behaviour across our supply chain, and this will feed further along into thousands of other companies – the suppliers of our suppliers.

It’s all about the action of the collective. Teamwork makes champions.

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Wandsworth SME create 100% recycled plastic packaging - while Coca Cola, M&S, Unilever and Pepsi claim they can't commit until 2025. Can't or won't?

Wandsworth SME create 100% recycled plastic packaging - while Coca Cola, M&S, Unilever and Pepsi claim they can't commit until 2025. Can't or won't?

Speaking at the fourth annual 'Our Oceans' conference in Malta, Prince Charles stressed the importance of plastic waste in our oceans. 

The conference was also addressed by Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, Federica Mogherini, the EU Foreign Affairs High Commissioner, and Karmenu Vella, the EU's Fisheries Commissioner, to name a few.

The conference is expected to bring an announcement of pledges to protect the sea, 40 ministers from over 100 countries are in attendance. 

Prince Charles urged the consumer to match the commitment made by a few worldwide brands in an desperate effort to stop plastic pollution further destroying our oceans.

Sign Delphis Eco's Plastic Pledge here

The Prince said, “Plastic is indeed now on the menu!  Faced with such damaging effects on the ocean from plastic waste from the throw-away, convenience lifestyles of many around the world, it is, I believe, utterly crucial that we transition to a circular economy.” 

By 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic than fish warned researches, a fact that Price Charles highlighted at the conference. 

A prediction that only highlights the lack of urgency from brand heavyweights, such as Coca Cola and M&S, stating a vague timeframe of transitioning to recycled plastic packaging by 2025. 

 

If we can do it, why can't they?

 

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