Useful Hacks for a Zero Waste Christmas

In the UK, we produce around 31 million tonnes of waste a year. Around Christmas, the amount of waste produced increases by around 30% with 3 million tonnes of extra waste. Everyone up and down the country is encouraged to buy, buy, buy at Christmas. Whether this is food, presents, decorations – like the turkey that’s far too big for your oven, or buying unnecessary toys because all the kids have them these days – our consumption levels go through the roof. 

Now, this isn’t an attack on the festive period, we wouldn’t want to feed into any ‘war on Christmas’ fantasies, it is the season to be jolly after all. But, does it have to be so wasteful and polluting? 

Christmas is an intensely special time of year, and is one that offers us consistency, warmth and precious family moments in our hyper-turbulent times. Talking about changing our approach to Christmas can ruffle feathers, but lots of people are increasingly more interested in going zero-waste, and we’re going to offer you some hacks to reduce your waste or go completely waste-free after the holiday season.



What is Meant by Zero Waste?

The Environmentalist movement and way of thinking has surged in popularity over the last few decades, with much emphasis on becoming zero-waste. At the moment, Western society is built for convenience, not sustainability. 

Take single-use plastics for example, you’ll use them for perhaps just a few moments, yet that straw, that coffee cup lid, that plastic fork, will be on this planet for a thousand years. And yet we continue to make and use billions of these items. 

The zero waste movement is as it sounds. It’s a commitment to absolutely no waste whatsoever. The zero waste lifestyle is not for chancers, it really is a lifestyle that you have to commit to. But just like any time you form a new habit, it simply takes some time and patience for it to become second nature. 

Some people will just commit to a zero waste kitchen, sticking to a mainly plant-based diet or consciously shopping at places that don’t package their items in plastic and so on. There are even specialist zero waste products that have sprung up in the wake of this movement. 

What are the 5 R’s of Zero Waste Living?

There are 5 easy to remember commandments that underpin the zero waste lifestyle:
 
  • Refuse
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Rot
  • Recycle
  The first R is to refuse. This means refusing items that are packaged in plastic, that are disposable, that were produced using harmful chemicals and materials. This is a really important step, you need to have the discipline to outright refuse to buy these items and refuse to participate in wasteful consumerism. 

Next is to reduce. This is to simply reduce your consumption as a whole. Donate things, buy less, stick to your essentials and simplify your spending. 

The next R is reuse (and repair). Most of the disposable items you use can easily be replaced with a reusable alternative. Handkerchiefs instead of tissues for example. Make the effort to repair broken items instead of chucking them out.

The next R is rot and this is a very interesting part of the zero waste lifestyle. This might sound a bit far-fetched, but zero wasters often have worm composting systems or ‘worm bins’. You can keep this in your home too, as it won’t smell. The worms will turn your kitchen waste into an effective fertiliser. This will save you taking the bins out and any need for your waste to be transported. 

And finally, recycle. Recycling isn’t exactly new and recycling efforts continue to increase. Make sure you are recycling your items. If you live a committed zero-waste lifestyle, you should in theory have very little to recycle, if at all. But still, similar to reusing, recycling is key.  

How Can We Be Eco-Friendly This Christmas?

As you can see, going zero-waste is no walk in the park. There’s a number of ways that we can apply this philosophy and lifestyle to Christmas. The hardest part of zero-waste is definitely just getting started, but you can use these tips to drastically reduce your waste this Christmas and then who knows? It could be the start of a brand-new lifestyle for you.

In the Kitchen

So, how can you reduce your kitchen waste? 

Plan your meals – There’s an awful amount of food waste during the festive season, so one thing to do is plan your meals over the holiday period. It’s easy to get caught up in the festive spirit and just buy a bunch of food that you either won’t eat or won’t need. Plan your meals so you know exactly what you need and put everything you buy to use.

Use your own containers – Avoid over packaged items and take your own containers when doing the food shop. Lots of stores are now happy for customers to do this, or check to see if a zero-plastic or zero-waste store has opened near you. There are more and more independent shops springing up that are based around producing no waste. See if there’s one near you and if you could do some of your Christmas food shopping and more there.

Avoid convenience foods – Go for fresh and loose food instead, buying convenience food means more packaging. It’s probable that loose, fresh food will also be cheaper as you’re likely going to get more meals out of them. There are plenty of treats, dishes and foods you can make from scratch. If you’re time-poor this Christmas, you may not want to do that but it is a fantastic way to be more self-sufficient with food and to have more control over your diet, too. 



Be conscious of your food waste – Separate your food waste from your general waste and make sure you compost. If you have some leftover food, try to use reusable storage solutions like jars, beeswax wraps and so on instead of tin foil and clingfilm. You could also save your vegetable peelings and take your food waste on a Boxing Day walk with the family to feed some local ducks, who’ll appreciate a hearty, nutritious meal. 



Around the House

Opt for energy efficient Christmas lights – What is Christmas without lights? It’s an essential part of Christmas and all the lights give it that special feeling and certainly bring some colour and vibrancy to the darkest time of the year. However, in the US alone, the electricity used for Christmas lights is more than the energy demand of entire countries. Go for some solar-powered and LED Christmas lights instead, and use candles around the home. 

Make your own wrapping paper – Wrapping paper is a big one at Christmas. 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is chucked out every year in the UK, with Christmas making up a significant portion of that, and unfortunately not much of it is recyclable. That’s almost enough to reach to the moon! Make sure the wrapping paper you buy is recyclable or make your own if you can’t find any. You can make it super personalised and it can be a fun thing to do with your family. 



Go digital with your Christmas cards – If anyone is offended that your seasons greetings are digital instead of written on some card that will be thrown away, ask yourself why you’re even sending those people your well wishes! We’re joking of course, but you can use it as a teachable moment. Explain the impact that billions of Christmas cards has on our environment each year. 

Make your own gift tags – If you receive Christmas cards in the post, don’t throw them away! Keep them and use them as gift tags in the future. Lots will have patterns on them so they can be repurposed into cute little tags or details. 

Buy a potted Christmas tree – If you usually buy a real Christmas tree each year, opt for a potted one. This can be a slightly more expensive option in the short term, but if you look after it properly, you’ll be able to use it year after year. It’s estimated that six million trees are cut down each year for the UK at Christmas, creating 250 tonnes of waste once they’ve been used. 

Make your own decorations – Use old clothes and things you don’t need anymore to make some inventive Christmas decorations. This plays into the reuse part of the zero waste lifestyle and again, is a fun family thing to do. Be creative and make personal Christmas decorations you can use again each year. 



Buy pre-loved, handmade or experience gifts – Children’s toys tend to be massively over packaged and use a lot of material that isn’t recyclable. Explore your local charity shops for unique gifts. You’d be surprised at what you can find at charity stores, and how cheap they are too. You’re repurposing an item, donating to charity and saving money all at once!

The zero waste lifestyle is a big commitment, but is always growing in popularity and is becoming easier and easier as more people do it. As more people get involved in zero waste, more hacks are discovered and people start marketing towards this lifestyle. As a society we are moving towards zero or low waste. It’s happening at an extremely sluggish pace and there is so much more to do, but some progress is better than none. See if you can action some of our tips and reduce your carbon footprint and waste this Christmas!

Our Obsession With Meat: A Global Study

It’s no surprise that red meat consumption is on the rise. It’s been this way for a number of years, and despite a recent increase in vegetarianism and veganism across the western world, the demand for red meat has never been higher.

As a result of the increase, there is now an imminent cause for concern. Not only from a health perspective (red meat is classified as a Group 2A carcinogen and is linked to the development of bowel and stomach cancer) but from an ecological one too.

According to Ourworldindata.org, the farming of red meat livestock such as cows and sheep is responsible for releasing approximately 221g of carbon dioxide equivalents into the atmosphere for every gram of protein produced. Compare this to poultry at 31.75g and the differences are quite obvious.

That same study also states that over a metre² of land is required for every gram of protein produced from red meat – a real hair-raising stat when the same amount of protein can be obtained from pulses with just 0.01m² of land.

Is Red Meat Bad For You?

Going back to the health implications of consuming red meat, not only is it pegged as a carcinogen associated with certain cancers, but it’s high in saturated fats which can raise cholesterol levels and ultimately put you at higher risk of obesity and heart disease. As a result, the NHS and the Department of Health recommend that you eat no more than 70g of red meat per day. But what does that translate to in real terms?

Using the same research from Ourworldindata.org, we were able to extrapolate data that allowed us to work out what the average consumption of red meat is per person in the UK and just how much over the recommended daily allowance we actually consume. Not only that, we were also able to find out how we compare to the rest of the world and the results are definitely eye-opening.

Many factors can affect how much red meat is eaten in a particular region; from religious reasons to wealth and location. You can find out more in our infographic below:


Other Interesting Facts About Global Meat Consumption:

  • Total meat production is 5 times higher now than it was 50 years ago; with over 300 million tonnes of meat being produced each year (excluding offal and fats).
  • Chicken has gone from 12% to 35% of all meat produced globally since the 1960’s.
  • As a global average, per capita meat consumption has increased by approximately 20kg over the last 50 years, with the average person now consuming 43kg of meat per year (the average for the UK and North America is 80kg and 110kg, respectively).
  • The increase in per capita meat trends has meant that total meat production has increased at a much faster rate than population growth.
  • Consumption of camel meat has quadrupled since the 1960’s.
  • In the 1960’s Europe and North America accounted for 67% of global meat production compared to 34% today. Asia has increased production by 15 fold, making it the largest commercial producer of meat in the world, accounting for 45% of all production.
  • Meat consumption rises with wealth/GDP per capital. For every $10k we make, we eat an extra 12kg extra of meat per year.

If you wish to use this infographic for your own content, please credit CDA.au as the source.

Fast Food Rivals: Logo Mashups

Many of the fast food chains that we know and love are not only famous for their food and drink, but for the logo that represents them, too. The familiar golden arches of McDonalds, the iconic two-tailed mermaid of Starbucks… Instantly, we know exactly what brand we’re dealing with and the type of refreshments we can expect.

For many, these logos are cultural icons, emblems of a lifestyle that we’ve become accustomed to. But how deep into our subconscious are these logos ingrained? Would we still recognise them if they weren’t quite the same?

As a brand, the recognisability of your logo is a key component for driving success, this is why you’ll hardly ever see drastic changes made over the years. A perfect example of this is the Coca Cola logo: despite a slight deviation in the late 1800’s, the logo has remained largely the same. A classic case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it some might say.

But we wanted to mix things up.

Rivalry in any industry is inevitable, and no more so than in the food industry. But what if rival brands wanted to collaborate? Could they really work together from a branding point of view? We took this totally hypothetical situation and decided to have a little fun, so we’ve “mashed up” some of the most well-known fast food logos out there to see just how malleable they really are… and we have to say, our brains are now a little fuzzy because of it! Check them out below and let us know what you think…

McDonalds Vs Burger King

Cadbury Vs Hershey’s

Baskin Robbins Vs Dairy Queen

Starbucks Vs Tim Hortons

Domino’s Vs Pizza Hut

Chick-Fil-A Vs KFC

Krispy Kreme Vs Dunkin’ Donuts

Greggs Vs Pret-A-Manger

Subway Vs Jimmy Johns

Pepsi Vs Coca Cola



If you wish to share any of these images, please credit www.cda.eu as the source.
*PLEASE NOTE: We are not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned, the images created were purely for illustrative purposes only.

The Breakfast of Champions: A Closer Look at What World Class Athletes Eat

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and there’s nothing quite like a hearty breakfast to get things going. Whether that’s a full English or some fruit and a coffee, finding what works for you will mean that you’re able to get on with things to the best of your ability. But not all breakfasts are created equal. Oh no.

Unlike us regular folk, professional athletes need a certain diet suited to their daily routine to maintain peak physical fitness. But what works for one athlete may not work for another.

With that in mind, we did some digging to see what some of our favourite champions eat to get them started in the morning, and we have to say, some are pretty surprising indeed!

Cristiano Ronaldo



As one of the worlds biggest names in football, you might think that Cristiano Ronaldo would have quite a large appetite when it comes to the amount of calories he needs to consume. And you’d be right. Ronaldo’s breakfast is large with a typical calorie content of almost 1200! A wholesome affair, a typical breakfast for Ronaldo will be well rounded with European meats and cheeses, yoghurt, fruit such as avocado and carbs in the form of bread and pastries – all washed down with a coffee and juice. Perhaps not what you’d expect from someone of his sporting prowess, but well balanced nonetheless.

Caster Semenya



This world champion middle distance runner is breaking records all over the place! This breakfast surprised us the most. If you’re not quite sure what Bogobe is, then you’re probably one of many. Bogobe is a native dish from Botswana that roughly translates to “stiff porridge”, it’s also affectionately known as “slap-pap”. And while it doesn’t sound all that appealing, it’s known to be a tasty dish whilst also providing lots of carbs but low in calories. Perfect for anyone looking for a serious energy boost. It’s also worth noting that on the day Caster posted a picture of her breakfast on Twitter , she broke a world record! If that’s not reason to give Bogobe a try, I don’t know what is!

Serena Williams



Another breakfast that’s high in healthy carbs. As a professional tennis player, Serena needs to be agile yet strong. Serena eats a low fat breakfast that’s high in healthy sugars, loaded with fibre, and has a good dose of essential vitamins and minerals, is the perfect choice to give her that long-lasting energy boost when needed.

Hafthor Bjornsson



Hailed as one of the strongest men on the planet, this Icelandic giant definitely has to work hard to maintain his status as a man mountain, especially with Hollywood hot on his heels too. It may come as no surprise that this absolute beast of a man has an appetite to match. To stay in tip-top shape for competitions, Hafthor relies on a diet high in healthy protein and breakfast is nothing short of a feast. On an average day, Hafthor will consume in the region of 2700 calories, and that’s just for breakfast! His meal will usually consist of 8 eggs, 500g of lean beef, 500g of sweet potatoes for that energy boost as well as oats, fruit, nuts and leafy greens – all washed down with plenty of juice to keep his sugar levels up. Enough food to feed a small family!

Tiger Woods



Though golf wouldn’t usually be considered a physical sport, professional golfers still need to maintain healthy muscles and be able to endure the same level of performance over a long period of time. Low calorie, high protein diets work well. So, it looks like Tiger’s breakfast is just right with an egg white omelette and vegetables, helping to balance out the meal with just the right amount of carbs.

Muhammad Ali



If you want to fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee, you’ve got to eat right! And Ali definitely made sure he did that! To maintain his status as heavyweight boxing champion of the world, he would consume a hefty breakfast to ensure he had the energy for some high-octane action in the ring. It’s said that a particular favourite was steak and eggs, and he even consumed two steaks and a dozen eggs in one sitting with a bit of toast for good measure! Not your typical breakfast for a champion of his calibre, but it certainly worked!

The UK’s Favourite Biscuit 2019: REVEALED

As a nation of biscuit lovers, it stands to reason that the good people of the UK have a favourite. Some folk will opt for a humble Digestive, others fancy a Lotus Biscoff with their coffee. Whichever you choose, there’s always going to be someone that disagrees… but by how much is the question? With National Biscuit Day on the 29th of May, we’ve surveyed over 1000 people in the UK to determine which biscuits we value most right here and now in 2019. So without further ado, let us present to you our poll results… You might find the winner to be a little controversial! UK's Favourite Biscuit 2019 - CDA

Jaffa Cake is The UK’s Favourite Biscuit 2019

So the gelatinous, tangy deliciousness that is the Jaffa Cake has come out on top! But some might say it’s not even a biscuit, and legally they’d be right. In 1991, the courts ruled in favour of McVities when they fought to have the Jaffa Cake classified as a cake for tax purposes. If a biscuit is covered in chocolate it becomes a luxury item, therefore the standard 20% VAT is applied, however this doesn’t apply to cakes. So while legally it is a cake, the people have spoken and have ruled that the Jaffa Cake is indeed a biscuit… and their favourite one at that! With a whopping 17.8% of the votes, Jaffa Cakes beat out Shortbread for the top spot which has 13.6% of the votes. The biggest loser this year was the Chocolate Hobnob with 7.5% of the votes, dropping from 2nd place to 7th. The Chocolate Digestive also took a tumble, falling from 1st place to 4th overall with 11.8% of the votes. There were also some non-movers and some new entries, with the Ginger Nut and Plain Digestive holding on to their 8th and 9th places, respectively. The Lotus Biscoff made an entrance, coming in 11th place, will the new found popularity of this cafe culture favourite see it rise further up the ranks in years to come? Only time will tell!