If you’d like to cut your carbon this Christmas why not try some of the suggestions below around reducing your consumption. We’d love to hear your ideas too – just email us at [email protected]
1. Give experiences – make a ‘cheque book’ of experiences that you will do with your children or partner, these could range from a day out at the seaside or a trip to a musical, to an evening spent playing their favourite board game, helping them cook a special meal or doing a bug search with them. Exclusive access to a parent is a precious gift for a child!
2. Agree on a spend limit and stick to it! – avoid going OTT on buying stuff for your loved ones – is another box set going to make their day or just devalue what you’ve already bought them?
3. Buy original preloved exclusives – the secret to second hand shopping is making time to mooch. It’s amazing what treasures you can find in vintage or charity shops if you’re not in a rush. Second hand toys and books make great gifts for younger children.
4. Give consumables not stuff! – food and drink make great gifts especially if you take time to find out what the person really enjoys. Not everyone has the time or skill to make delicious home-made food gifts but there are lots of local delicacies to be found at your farmers’ market or deli and you’ll be supporting the local economy rather than big chain shareholders.
5. Stocking fillers – these are the bane of any eco-warrior’s Christmas – bits of novelty tat that get used once and either break or are abandoned. If you love giving stockings but hate waste, try filling them with practical goodies like socks, underwear, scarves, gloves, a toothbrush, a book, shower gel, hair styling stuff, crossword/puzzle book, art materials, and food treats.
6. Agree not to exchange gifts – if you end up exchanging meaningless gifts every year, why not agree not to? Or agree to give a donation to a charity or a foodbank instead.
7. Give a charity gift – what to give the person who has everything? How about a cooking stove, clean water, a new woodland, or school books for a village? Charities like Treeaid.org.uk and BookAid.org have great donation ideas that make a real difference to people’s lives.
8. Ditch the wrapping – for immediate family gifts why not use (clean) pillow cases tied with twine or ribbon, or wrap small gifts in tea towels. For friends and family outside the household, either re-use wrapping paper/gift bags from previous years, or use old newspaper tied with brightly coloured raffia (from craft shops). You can even potato print it if you’re crafty!
9. Go cracker-free! – find some cringeworthy jokes on the internet, write them on folded bits of paper and draw them out of a hat. Make some hats out of old newspaper with crafty embellishments, and do without the miniature screwdriver set and bottle opener keyring.
10. Cards or phonecalls? – why waste forests and fuel on sending Christmas cards when you could give someone a ring instead? Call it a ‘talking Christmas card’ and make it a Christmas tradition.
Whatever you decide to do this Christmas – we wish you a happy and regenerative holiday!