Have a holly, jolly, sustainable Christmas!

Say no to glitter and yes to recyclable wrapping paper!

Christmas is a magical time of year - presents under the tree, new toys, new clothes, FOOD!

But this year maybe take a moment to think about the national treasure that is David Attenborough and how to make your Christmas more sustainable!

Oh Christmas Tree:
An artificial tree, although you may have it for a good few years, will contribute to plastic waste. Buying a real Christmas tree is more environmentally-friendly than a fake one. Just make sure you buy an FSC certified tree so it is responsibly sourced. Be clear on how to dispose of your tree once the season is over, or if its potted – just replant it! There are also some schemes in London where you can rent a tree! 

Light it up:
Use LED lights on your tree! They use less energy and look just as good! Also, switch off your lights at night, it's safer and won’t cost the earth. 

Get crafty:
You can DIY Christmas decorations quite easily - there are lots of tutorials online about making your own decorations. You can also make these as a gift for others and their tree! 

BYOB:

Bring your own bags! When you’re out and about (in certain Tiers), remember to bring your own bags when Christmas shopping!

Less is more:
Did you know, last year people in the UK received 70 million unwanted Christmas gifts? That’s a lot of returning, regifting and donating! There are more sustainable ways to get someone a gift! 

  1. Ask - what would they like? This way you are reducing the chance of getting them something they don’t want or already have. 
  2. Get thrifty - we need to start normalising buying and gifting second hand. The thought is still there, and you can find some real gems in your local charity shop! 
  3. Secret Santa - you can always decide to go for quality, not quantity. By having less people to buy for, you’re not panic buying and really thinking about what the person would like! 

Presence, not presents:
You can always gift someone an experience, rather than a material item. You can choose something you both enjoy and make a day of it! Although there are restrictions on at the moment, you could always write them an ‘IOU!’ 

Battery free:
Batteries can be recycled at many places, but a lot still end up in landfill as they are difficult to get rid of. They can leak harmful chemicals into the environment. When choosing items or toys for younger family members, try choosing something that doesn’t need batteries! 

Adopt, don’t shop!:
This is great advice if you’re looking for a family pet, but it’s also great advice for Christmas. Why not adopt an animal in someone's name as a gift? They might get regular updates and photos about the animal, so it’ll be a gift they can enjoy all year round!

Waste not:
Did you know, food production is one of the biggest causes of tropical deforestation? This Christmas, especially as they are smaller affairs, think about how much food you will actually need - and eat! Of course you can have leftovers (which you don’t have to wrap in plastic! Try putting it in Tupperware, foil or beeswax covers!), and safely freeze what you won’t eat. 

Gobble Gobble:
It’s not everyone's favourite meat, so why not choose move veg instead? It’s always good to eat more vegetables, and there are lots of meat alternatives for the big day! You could even consider taking part in Veganuary in the New Year! 

Where does it come from? :
When purchasing your Christmas food haul, be sure to check if you are buying your meat and veg from local or British farmers. It’s not always an option for everyone, but might be something to keep in mind when you are choosing what to buy! 

Looking great - again! :
Whether it is in person, or over Zoom, dressing up for Christmas is a tradition and we’re all feeling especially festive having spent most of the year in pyjamas or jogging bottoms (just me?). You don’t have to splash the cash - wear something you already have! Or do a jumper swap with friends and family! Or check out the local charity shop - especially after Christmas and plan ahead for next year! 

Appreciate the little things:
The festive season is about spending time with loved ones. Many of us can’t do that this year, but there are still things within the guidelines you can do. If you’re in Tier 4, you can still meet one other person outside. Why not go for a walk in Portsmouth. It might be a bit chilly and windy but bring a hot drink with you and appreciate the little things! 


Have a Merry Christmas - and make David proud!

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