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Let’s make it an environmentally friendly Christmas

eco friendly christmas treeChristmas this year falls right in the middle of major times. #wearewatching our leaders and insisting on changes to save the future of our environment and planet. What can you do at home to help? Here are our tips on making this an environmentally friendly Christmas

Food The food we consume has a major impact on the environment. Here is how we can reduce it.

• Choosing locally grown food has a major impact. How much of the food you are buying was shipped from places all around the world?

• Choose organically or low pesticide grown vegetables where you can. There are many great veggie box schemes, like Ethical Coop and Abalimi Harvest of Hope. Single crop farming is often sprayed with chemicals & pesticides that affect our health, pollute our landscapes and destroy sensitive ecosystems. It may be cheaper in the shop but not overall.

• Meat is very carbon intensive so try an reduce the meat you consume over Christmas and choose what meat you do eat carefully. Was it happy when it lived? Fed natural foods? Unmedicated? Again consider the cost to the environment and your health in the whole cost of the product.

• Buy unpackaged food as much as possible. Take your own bags and Tupperware to the Supermarket. Choose suppliers using packaging made from plants and put the packaging in your compost.

• Don’t throw left over food in the bin. There are many hungry people who would love to eat it and when food gets sent to landfill, it lets off nasty gasses. If you have to throw it away, compost it rather. Bokashi systems are a great way to deal with cooked food.

Gifts

• research shows that having fewer toys can actually actually benefit children. Choose one good gift or perhaps give an outing instead of a present.

• Try and avoid the mall. Spend some time rummaging around in a vintage shop or at markets for locally made, special and unique gifts.

• Locally made gifts don’t have to travel far to get to your Christmas tree. You know who made them and under what conditions and know they are being paid well for their products.

• Choose gifts made from natural raw materials. Or gift a tree, adopt a an endangered African Hornbill. Support a crowdfunding campaign that you really believe in and use the gift as your gift to someone.

• Chose unpackaged gifts and refuse a shopping bag.

• Find clever ways to package your gifts without having to buy reams of Xmas paper. If you do buy paper, avoid anything that can’t be recycled – the shiny ones are usually plastic based and there are plenty of recycled Christmas wrap options around.

• Can we avoid batteries? Batteries contain toxic chemicals, don’t biodegrade and are difficult to recycle so use rechargeable ones.

• Donate the gifts you receive that you didn’t actually want. Someone will want them.

Activities Lets have some holiday fun and activities that don’t cost the earth.

• Picnics, walks, the beach. The sun is shining and nature is calling. Remember to take only pictures and leave only footprints.

• Volunteer. Perhaps you can get involved in a local beach cleanup or volunteer some time spent with helping people in less fortunate circumstances.

• Get involved in the community. Support street art and local community markets. Use your time off to get into the community, make some friends and make a difference.

Energy etc.

• Loads of household electricity is wasted by leaving TVs, Hi-fi’s and other appliances on standby. Switch off the Christmas tree lights before you go to bed. Father Christmas says its fine, he can see in the dark.

• Or if you go for all natural light and choose candles, look out for beeswax or natural vegetable-based candles – they are smoke-free and are biodegradable. Paraffin candles are made from petroleum residues which aren’t good for your health or the environment.

We wish our clients and everyone reading this a fantastic, connected and empowered Christmas.

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