#Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love everything about decorating a tree, waiting for Santa (or the legend of him) to pop in with gifts, baking a decadent white cake and huddling around a bonfire with my family. As merry as this winter festival is, like almost all festivals, it leaves a big, fat carbon footprint on the Earth.
From huge trees strung with power-guzzling lights, reams of plastic and foil gift-wrapping that’s used, more presents that have used up tonnes of natural resources and will very soon land up in landfills, there is a price for our materialistic merriness.
1. Bring home a potted Christmas tree. Instead of chopping one up for December 25th or buying a plastic tree, get a potted plant that you can use season after season.
2. Gift experiences and eco-friendly gifts this Christmas. Everyone has enough outfits, toys, gadgets, and whatnot. But all of us could do with more wholesome experiences. Whether it’s a holiday, a course, homemade meal or a service, see what your friends and family will enjoy. You could also make or buy #ecofriendly presents from small businesses and self-help groups to support the Earth and a cause.
3. Ditch food waste. As delicious as it may be, there’s often far too much food cooked or bought during festivities. Pack up and take the excess portions of your feast to an orphanage or shelter; freeze what’s leftover; and, compost what you cannot consume anymore.
4. Go for #planetfriendly decorations. When you’re decorating your house and tree, ditch the plastic, store-bought stuff, and opt for items that you can forage, make or buy from a #greensmallbusiness. Try using pine cones and flowers, cloth bunting and wreaths, and, stars and baubles made from upcycled Christmas cards.
5. Go green with your gift wraps. The major chunk of gift wrapping paper out there is made from cellophane or foil, both of which are harmful for the Earth. Why not switch to newsprint decorated with funky cutouts, and painted & upcycled brown paper bags, scarves to wrap gifts with?
6. Send an e-card instead of a paper card. As pretty as Christmas cards are, swap the paper ones with a digital version. You save both money and trees, and come out into the New Year with a smaller carbon footprint.
7. Give more and de-clutter. Most of our modern lives are cluttered with too many things, in our homes, minds and to-do lists. Why not give away gently-used items that you no longer need to those who really could do with those things.
8. Use LED lights on your tree. When you wreath your Christmas tree with LED fairy lights, you not only have brighter lights but also more Earth-friendly lights.
9. Give gifts that do not need batteries. Whether its zooming cars or gadgets that need batteries, see if you can buy and gift things that can be #solar recharged. Binned batteries are an #environmentalhazard, so the fewer of these that we chuck out, the better for #MotherEarth.
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