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8 ways to have a greener Christmas

Abigail Shiers
Abigail Shiers

Christmas presents shouldn’t cost the earth. From buying second-hand to choosing sustainable products (and avoiding companies that aren’t eco-friendly), there are plenty of ways to show your loved ones, and the planet, a little love.

Buy a charity gift

There’s nothing better than deviating from the usual socks and chocolates, that’s why we love that Friends of the Earth have partnered with The Guardian to sell a range of beautiful prints (like the one below) from artist activists.

Buy a print here

Liforme yoga mats

How about a revolutionary 100% biodegradable yoga mat from the eco-friendly folks at Liforme? Mats are made from naturally-sourced sustainable rubber and a specially-engineered non-toxic polyurethane.

This Christmas, Liforme will donate 5% from each sale of its Purple Earth range  of mats to Friends of the Earth.

So, not only will you be able to give back, but it will also allow you to reduce any stress.

Rent a tree

Christmas TreeRent a tree for Christmas! Up to 8 million Christmas trees are bought every December in the UK alone. That’s a lot of intensive production, and potentially a lot of waste.

It’s true that fake plastic trees last for years – and nowadays they can look very realistic. But they take enormous amounts of energy to manufacture, and it will only need to be disposed of in the future.

More and more places, such as garden centres and plant nurseries, now offer a Christmas-tree hire service over the festive season. They’ll often even deliver and collect the tree to save you the hassle. And the tree can carry on growing after it’s returned. Sounds like a good solution.

Cut food waste

When you’re food shopping, try and choose things that are light on packaging. If you end up over-catering, don’t just bin what’s left. Transforming leftovers can be a great way to create new meals, save money and cut waste.

If you need some inspirations, check out the BBC Good Food leftovers recipes  for ideas, there is something for everyone.

Or why not donate some to an elderly neighbour, local food bank or soup kitchen? At Fieldworks we are working hard to cut waste and donate what we can to the local food bank.

Decorations and wrapping

Greener Christmas

Most of us love a bit of festive decoration and fancy wrapping, and who doesn’t like getting Christmas cards? But research suggests that the paper waste over the Christmas period is equivalent to 5-12 million litres of biofuel – enough to power a bus to go to the moon 20 times.

So why not recycle or make your own Christmas decorations?

Learn how to make traditional decorations for a greener Christmas with the National Trust’s how to guides. Get the little ones involved and learn how to make pine cone Christmas decorations, festive paper chain decorations, scented orange slice tree decorations and even a mistletoe kissing ring!

Greener Christmas Picture

Send an e-card

An unbelievable 1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away by UK households each year, according to Imperial College researchers. E-cards (sent online) are an increasingly popular alternative. They cut your carbon footprint, save trees and save money.

Buy Less

Some holiday gifts fill a practical need and need to be bought new. But many gifts are really gestures of thoughtfulness. You can give more while spending less.

Look for Locally Made Gifts

Many gifts in today’s marketplace come from halfway around the world, and the impact of transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions and global warming. Local craft fairs and artisan shops are a good source for gifts that come without the added costs of transportation. And gifts made locally often have a story which goes with the gift, since the artisan and the origin of the gift are known.

Greener Christmas Picture

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