As a small charity based in rural Dorset, we try our best to be 'green' where we can; reducing our waste, reusing items for children's crafting projects and recycling. At Christmas, the season of excess, we wanted to try a little harder. This year we aren't sending cards out to our supporters, instead choosing to send a festive e-mail in order to reduce paper-waste.
If you're interested in having a fabulous festive season with a 'green' twist, here are a few things you could think about....
- Cards – Nearly 1 billion Christmas cards get sent in the UK, with an average person sending 16 cards. Saving trees by not sending cards is one incentive, but you would also save a lot of money, as even second class stamps cost over 60p! The money saved could then be donated to a charity of your choice, helping them to continue valuable work. As an alternative to cards, take a look at our 'Don't Send A Card Christmas Appeal' video and share with your workplace, school, family or friends.
- Wrapping paper – Each year, a forest the size of
Wales is required to produce the Christmas wrapping paper bought in the UK.
Re-usable fabric gifts bags are a great way to be
more eco-friendly. Small cotton produce bags can be stamped with washable inks with
children then re-used to take to markets when buying fruit and veg.
If you need to buy paper, try to buy recycled or FCS
approved so some re-forestation is happening and make a concerted effort to
avoid shiny/foil types of paper which can't be recycled afterwards.
- Trees – Over 8 million Christmas trees get sent
to landfill every year and fake trees are usually made of un-recyclable plastics. The most environmental option would be to buy a smaller tree and dispose of
it with care.
- Food – 10 million turkeys are cooked, and 23,000
tonnes of festive food is thrown away. Try to ensure you are buying what you
will eat and don't aim to have too many left-overs.