Green Christmas

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You can have a Green Christmas.

Often the best time of year for catching up with family and friends, it's also the biggest time of spending - on presents, food, alcohol, parties and holidays. Unfortunately, all of our spending and consumption results in significant environmental damage and carbon pollution.

However, you don't have to be a scrooge to reduce your carbon footprint at Christmas.

Here are five tips for a more sustainable festive season:

Contents

Buy a service, not a product

To reduce embodied carbon pollution and water consumption, think about buying someone a service - say a voucher for a massage, rather than a massaging appliance. Vouchers for other services, (such as gardening or housecleaning) or film and theatre tickets are also good.

Buy gifts that give twice

Give your friends and family membership to charities, overseas aid groups or environment organisations

Buy carbon offsets

You can choose the amount you want to spend and offset someone's car travel, household energy use or airline travel, once-off or for a year. A great gift for people coming from interstate to celebrate the festive season!

Get a really green Christmas tree

Go for a native tree in a pot which you can use year after year, or can plant in the garden after Christmas. In Australia, you can support the campaign to revive the native Wollemi Pine, an endangered Australian native which makes a great Christmas tree.

Keep a list of things you want/need

Some people love giving presents and they will only feel happy if they give you something. So keep a list of things, of various costs, that you do want or need. For example a book, or a tool, a scarf, a cooking implement, some kind of special food for Xmas... Note your ideas down somewhere where you will remember them - for example on the calender or in your phone. If you are like me, then if you don't keep a list, your mind will go blank and you won't be able to think of anything when your relative or friend asks 'what do you want for Christmas'?. It might feel a little greedy, but it is better to be able to say 'actually, I would really like this...' than to get something you don't particularly need or want.

Enjoy a safe and happy festive season!

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