Christmas can be a time of excess for many. With parties galore, the tendency to decorate excessively and the tradition of gift buying, it seems the environment often gets forgotten at this time of year. This blog lists some of the ways we can all be more environmentally friendly during the
festive season.

● Take green bags or eco-bags when doing your Christmas shopping to avoid having to use the plastic ones shops offer.
● Choose gifts that are useful, have recycled elements and don’t consume excessive energy.
● If you are not sure what to buy give a voucher instead so that the recipient can get something they will actually use.
● Choose gift wrap made from recycled paper and avoid using bows and ribbons which will only end up in the garbage
● Send E-cards along with a personal email instead of posting traditional cards or at least buy ones made from recycled paper that support a worthy cause.
● Avoid buying Christmas Crackers – they’ll just end up in the bin at the end of the day and besides no one likes wearing the silly hats, the jokes are lame and the trinkets inside are never very interesting. Why not get every guest to bring a small gift instead and put it in a lucky dip if you can’t do away with
this tradition?
● Pitch in and do the dishes together rather than take the ‘easy’ way out by using plastic plates and cutlery.
● Don’t decorate your house with hundreds of lights and tacky Christmas decorations. These waste huge amounts of unnecessary electricity, not to mention all the wasted energy in producing them in the first place.
● Get or make your kids a quality Christmas stocking they can use as they grow up rather than get a new one each year.
● Grow your own Christmas tree rather than cut one down each year. Growing trees only to kill them by cutting them down each Christmas for decoration is insane. Instead buy a potted plant and after Christmas is over, place it in the garden.
● Buy smaller amounts of quality food that can be savoured instead of loading the table with everything imaginable. We don’t need all the food that is normally prepared at Christmas and a lot of it is wasted after everyone has stuffed themselves silly.
● Recycle all of your glass bottles, cardboard, paper gift wrap, Christmas cards etc. even if it means storing it for a week or two because the recycling bin is already overflowing.

Most of all though, enjoy your Christmas break and the company of your family and friends. Get out and go to some of our beautiful beaches, go hiking, biking, fishing, snorkelling, camping or just relax at home – anything
to get away from the commercial, and environmentally destructive, side
of Christmas.

If you liked this blog you may also be interested in reading one of my older ones with tips about being greener in everyday life.