Top tips on lowering your Christmas carbon footprint

Dreaming of a green Christmas? Transition Town Letchworth gives tops tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint this...

Dreaming of a green Christmas? Transition Town Letchworth gives tops tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint this festive period. Picture: Transition Town Letchworth - Credit: Archant

We’re dreaming of a green Christmas – will we or won’t we? That is the question. Of course, I am talking about being able to have a family Christmas. Or will we still be in lockdown?

By the time you read this we will hopefully have a better idea, and I expect many of you will already have done much of your present buying online.

Just in case you are still preparing and shopping, may I put in a plea for the climate. The problems of climate change and plastics have not gone away.

In fact, they are more desperate than ever – and just like COVID-19, there are some things we can do to help.

The first challenge, when buying gifts, is to choose those with as little packaging as possible and plastic free if you can. Buying local is best for this.

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You may want to think about gifts that can help friends and family lead a low carbon lifestyle – a reusable coffee cup, water bottle or preserving jar filled with a favourite Christmas treat or perhaps some garden seeds.

A refillable fountain pen and bottle of ink can change your child’s habits and better still, may set the latest trend in the classroom. Winter is the best time of year for planting a tree or fruit bush, so these could be a perfect gift that, once established, will deliver its gift again and again.

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If you are creative, handmade gifts can bring a personal touch. It may be something crafted, like a set of reusable make-up wipes, or a shopping bag.

For the cooks maybe your favourite recipe given in a hamper filled with the ingredients for creating the dish.

A cracking read is just as good when a book is second hand, so take a look in the second-hand shops to see what treasures you can find (lockdown permitting!).

Lastly a word about decorations and wraps. Imported Christmas decorations often contain plastic. Reuse old ones or make some with your children, like paper chains and snowflake hangings. We all know that all that glitters isn’t gold – in fact glitter is usually plastic – so seek cards and wrapping paper that are fully recyclable. Some brown paper, a Christmas stamp and an ink pad is all you need to produce a classy wrapping paper, or use some leftover fabric and ribbon which can be reused.

Take on our festive challenge – be imaginative, have fun, lower your carbon footprint and have a memorable Christmas.

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