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5 Tips for a Greener Christmas

| 11/4/2015 9:43:00 AM


For all the joys of Christmas, it’s not exactly kind to the planet. It seems like we use enough wrapping paper to fell a whole rainforest, and the electricity consumption through December must be astronomical. It’s important that at this time of year we think of new ways to be kinder to the planet. All the festivities can be preserved, just with a little less wastefulness. Here are some helpful ways for you to cast a smaller environmental shadow this Christmas.

Buy Local, Buy Less

The environmental impact of all those new toys and gadgets aside, there is a huge impact on shipping them across the world. Instead of going to buy Chinese imported gadgets and items from far-flung places, consider trying to source your gifts from local producers. Traditionally crafted items make great gifts, have a far smaller environmental impact, and do your local economy good.

Additionally, you should take stock of how many presents you really need to buy. The volume of the gifts you give doesn’t equate to how much you care. Be thoughtful about what you buy, and you’ll find the recipient is just as grateful for one great gift as they would have been for a mountain of small, thoughtless gifts.

Real Trees

There is a huge amount of debate over Christmas trees and how damaging they are to the environment, and whether or not buying a real tree is best. The bottom line is that real trees are better, and here’s why: despite the fact that chopping down trees might not sound very eco-friendly, the process of growing and disposing of real trees is actually much better for the environment than the production of plastic trees. And despite the fact that you can reuse a fake tree several times over, the PVC they are made from makes them impossible to recycle.

A real tree is going to shed needles, and it’s going to go brown eventually, but over the actual Christmas period it’s going to smell fantastic and in general look much better in your home. To be kinder to the planet this Christmas, go get a real tree.

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