By: Will Herman, Manufacturing Sector Lead
That’s right. It’s Christmas, again! Or it will be soon. This shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, to state the jingling obvious, it happens every year. Yet, somehow, rather like the clocks changing, it seems to catch us out, again and again.
'I’m ready. Bring it on.’
No doubt some of you will be prepared, have your presents wrapped, guests confirmed, and food ordered. I should say that with a background in retail marketing and PR, I’m as used to Christmas coming early as anyone.
Christmas shows in July? Yes, that’s normal.
Filming the Christmas advert even earlier? Yes, that’s normal too.
Christmas preview deadlines in August? Obviously.
Christmas lights illuminating the house next door in October… Hang on a minute, really?
And this is the point, which is nothing at all to do with bah or humbug, it’s that we keep making the same mistakes. Perhaps the cost-of-living crisis and continued high cost of energy will mean we see fewer reindeer illuminating festive front gardens next month.
Frankly though, I suspect there will still be an army of Santas shimmering across the country. And this after a year in which climate related disasters linked to emissions associated with energy use, have been in the spotlight like never before.
Of course, it’s only natural that we are drawn to the (fairy) lights. Like a log fire, there’s something warming about Christmas lights, arriving home on a cold, wet night. And as we see out the old and prepare to celebrate something new, they’ve become integral to that cyclical process of renewal.
But what about circularity?
For a growing number of sectors, circularity is the new sustainability. For manufacturers, it’s no longer enough that their packaging is recyclable for instance. How many times can it be recycled before the material has lost its inherent properties, rendering it fit for little else, is the question.
Some materials perform better than others – permanent materials best of all, for these do not lose any of their properties in the recycling process and can therefore be considered more circular.
As consumers, we should be thinking in much the same way, questioning what at first might appear to be sustainable – after all, that radiant Rudolph in the garden is powered by green energy right? – and thinking about how we can contribute to a more circular future. A future in which the products we buy more of at Christmas than any other time of year and the packaging that protects them, are made from resources that have been kept in the loop and require a fraction of the energy to produce compared to those made from new, virgin materials.
If nothing else, we could simply wait for the 12 days of Christmas, before turning on the lights. And if you’re in need of a resolution for 2024 – how about breaking the cycle and being more ‘circular’?
A happy Christmas to you all. Again.