Have Yourself a “Green” Little Christmas

Have yourself a “Green” little Christmas

Soon Christmas will be here – the trees will be up, lights on lining the streets and Christmas carols filling the shops.

Christmas is one of the busiest and most celebrated holidays in the UK, it is also the time we eat the most food, spend the most amount of money and of course enjoy time with our families and friends.

Christmas certainly doesn’t need to be burden on the planet, and with a little effort we can all reduce our environmental impact during this happy time.

The joy of giving gifts

We all enjoy giving and receiving gifts and want to show our appreciation to our loved ones, but gifts don’t need to be “things” that collect dust over time.  A theatre experience, gin tasting class or maybe give the gift of a piece of protected rainforest.

Wrapping those wonderful gifts in paper, can add another impact to the environment.  According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, last year’s wasted paper would be enough to wrap up the Channel Island of Guernsey.  When it comes to wrapping, steer clear of foil gift wrap and anything with added glitter, as these are not recyclable.

Try wrapping your presents in recycled paper and if you are trying for a plastic free Christmas, don’t fall down at the last hurdle with the sticky-tape, use string or raffia to tie the perfect bow.  Top it off with a piece of holly, sprigs of evergreen or a cinnamon stick.

Christmas trees

People often assume that artificial Christmas trees are “greener” than the real ones as they have not been cut down from a forest.  Large amounts of energy are used to make artificial trees, there are transport emissions to take into consideration and they cannot be recycled at the end of their life.  If you have a fake tree, keep using it, make it last as long as you can.

If you are looking to buy a tree this year, buy one with the FSC certification logo, this will provide you with the reassurance that your tree has been grown sustainably and is not environmentally damaging. 

Also look to buy one with roots so you can use it next year too, reducing the environmental impact and saving money.  Or possibly decorate a large indoor plant that you already have in your house.

Many people treasure their Christmas decorations, and use them year on year.  Natural decorations such as fir cones, holly or mistletoe look wonderful at this time of year and can be composted, as long as they are not covered with glitter.

Christmas lights are part and parcel of decorations, so why not invest in tree lights that are more eco-friendly?  Choose LEDs over the older incandescent bulbs which will reduce the energy consumption, old incandescent bulbs can use up to 90x more power than LED bulbs.

Christmas Dinner

There are always some horrific statistics on how much food we throw away and no one wants to leave their guests hungry, especially at Christmas.  According to the Soil Association, “food is the single most important, everyday way for people to reduce their own environmental impact”.  This year, why not try to cut down on the meat, if not on Christmas or Boxing Day, maybe for a day or two over the festive break?

If you want to serve meat this year, try choosing organic and free range.  It is more expensive, but it’s better to buy less than more of the cheerless intensively reared meat.  Consider buying local produce from small suppliers that not only supports your local community but also reduces your carbon footprint and if you are able to, choose loose fruit and vegetables, reducing the amount of plastic waste.


Brookfields Consultancy would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Peaceful New Year

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