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How to have a greener Christmas

You may not realise it but the festive season can actually be a large burden on the environment. The roads are much busier as people head out to the shops to buy gifts, and travel the length of the country to visit friends and family. Your household waste will increase over Christmas too as you buy lots more food, some of which may never get eaten; not to mention all the wrapping paper that will need to be disposed of on Christmas day. If you’re looking for a greener way to celebrate the holidays then read on and follow some of these tips…

 

Buy less presents

Christmas has become incredibly commercialised these days, with children wanting the latest toys and gadgets. However, not all of the gifts you give have to be store-bought. Even if you’re not particularly crafty there are gifts that you can make for your loved ones. Why not bake some biscuits and put together a food hamper for someone? Or if you know how to knit or sew, a hand crafted gift of this nature shows that you have put thought into creating a unique gift.

 

Shop in a greener way

Look out for local craft fairs and markets as these are usually frequented by local crafts people selling handmade wares. Handmade products don’t have the same negative impact on the environment as mass produced factory made products do. If you shop local the products haven’t had to travel for miles to get to you, thus reducing their carbon footprint. You’ll also be helping a local small business to make a profit in a world where supermarkets dominate most markets by selling everything so cheap.

 

Give battery-free gifts

Many modern toys tend to be battery powered, which means sales of batteries increase exponentially around Christmas time. Give gifts that don’t require batteries and you’ll be helping to reduce the amount of batteries that will get thrown out in January. There are plenty of battery recycling centres, but many people still throw them in with general refuse, perhaps not realising the hazard they pose to the environment.

 

Go easy on the lights

Many people enjoy adorning their homes with lights at Christmas in order to spread festive cheer around the neighbourhood. However, all of these lights require electricity, putting a further strain on the worlds resources, and costing money. If you must have a light display then choose LED bulbs which use less energy, and opt for a smaller presentation of lights, which can still look effective whilst reducing your energy consumption.

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