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Tips for an Eco-friendly Christmas 

By Adam Sibley
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    ‘We’re concerned that households are clogged up with consumerism at Christmas’ 

    21 eco-friendly Christmas tips | Friends of the Earth 

    Top Tips For A Sustainable Christmas | WWF 

    Tips for an Eco-friendly Christmas 

    1. Let’s start with the food 
    • Turkey: Here’s some helpful info on making a decision about the welfare of your Christmas turkey.  Turkeys (arocha.org.uk) 
    • Go for Fairtrade chocolates in boxes or advent calendars. Also try other Fairtrade foods for gifts – see Traidcraft or similar for a wide selection 
    • Use up your leftovers – www.lovefoodhatewaste.com 
    • Compost fruit and veg peelings at home or via your local green waste collection scheme. 
    1. Christmas Trees 

    A real pine or fir tree absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during it’s typical 10-year lifespan, a service that cannot be provided by artificial trees! It also provides a habitat for wildlife. The Carbon Trust state that a real Christmas tree has a significantly lower carbon footprint than an artificial tree. 

    Many trees are grown in monoculture farms with high chemical input. Consider buying a tree that is FSC certified or locally produced. 

    Find out more here: British Christmas Tree Growers Association (bctga.co.uk) 

    1. Christmas decorations 
    • Try natural materials not plastic, go on a walk and see if you can find fallen pine cones, ivy or rose hips for natural decorations. Make a wreath yourself from natural foliage. Use plant based glitter. 
    • Try having your Christmas lights on a timer to save electricity.   
    • Switch to LED Christmas lights. If every UK household swapped a string of incandescent lights for its LED equivalent, we could save more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2, just over the 12 days of Christmas. 
    • Get a reusable or refillable advent calendar 
    • Eco-friendly crackers – buy or make your own (reusable) www.notonthehighstreet.com 
    1. Christmas wrapping and cards 
    • Try Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved wrapping paper and cards and recycle what you can afterwards.  

    The FSC label ensures that it has been produced sustainably and ethically. 

    • Or try sending e-cards, no need for stamps either! 
    1. Presents 
    • Stuck for gift ideas?  Rather than buying something that may end up unwanted and unused, why not give the gift of your time instead? Make a voucher to offer babysitting, cooking a meal, or a coffee shop treat instead. 
    • Consider giving a donation to charity or a ‘Gift for Life’ available from many charities this Christmas time. 
    • Candles – rather than oil based candles try buying beeswax or soy candles instead 
    • Try plastic free gift ideas: Plastic-Free Christmas Gift Ideas (countryliving.com) or www.Woodlandtrust.org.uk 
    • Reusable cups and drinking bottles make good stocking fillers 
    1. New outfit 
    • Many materials that make it into our clothes harm humans or animals (oftentimes both). Not to mention, they release harmful chemicals and microplastics into our environment for hundreds of years.  
    • Consider buying clothing made from organic cotton, linen, hemp or bamboo or other sustainably produced fabrics. For further info: 30 Sustainable Fabrics For The Most Eco Friendly Fashion (sustainablejungle.com) 
    • Try looking in charity or vintage shops for unique pre-loved clothing. 
    1. Travel 
    • Walking and cycling are both carbon neutral and healthy, but not always practical when visiting friends and family over the Christmas season!  So, if you can travel by public transport then do, if not, consider off-setting the carbon from your car journey with Climate Stewards. www.climatestewards.org 

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