Green Christmas!

We’re Dreaming of a Green Christmas…..

Suggestions for a low carbon, low waste festive season….

1.       Send e –cards rather than card cards ..it saves lots of money and you won’t miss the last date for posting! Make your own from digital photos, or here are some other possibilities –

http://www.1010global.org/sites/all/modules/christmas_card_maker/img/1010ChristmasChecklist.pdf?utm_campaign=People%2BDecember%2B2010-12-01&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email

2.       Do a list of all the food and drink that you will need over the holiday period – and stick to it when you shop. As a way to save money – this really works.

3.       Try to use recycled wrapping paper when wrapping presents – and make it a challenge to everyone to unwrap their gifts really carefully, so that you can use it again.

4.       In fact, try to recycle everything that you can – compost your peelings, recycle your cardboard, bottles and cans, cards, foil…..

5.       If someone you know seems to have everything, have a look at ethical gifts, such as goats for subsistence farmers, help with  water supplies and education  – see these sites for ideas –

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped#intcmp=shophub_shoppromo3

http://shop.wateraid.org/BrowseCategory.aspx?catid=18

http://www.coolearth.org/store/uk/gifts-for-rainforest-communities/school-text-books.html

6.       Local Christmas trees with roots on are available from the Christmas Tree Farm in Chesham. Here’s their website  – http://www.christmastreefarm.co.uk/

7.       If it snows – how about a recycled plastic sledge?

http://www.ecosledge.co.uk/acatalog/Standard_Sledge.html

Or just the same but cheaper on ebay –

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Snow-sledge-large,-recycled-plastic-made-in-UK_W0QQitemZ200547480278QQcmdZViewItem?rvr_id=177314273893&rvr_id=177314273893&cguid=9505b4fc12b0a0aad376b4c6ff499f38

8.       In general, try to avoid plastics as much as possible this Christmas – plastic toys are usually shipped in from across the world and once thrown away, sit in landfill, literally, for centuries. Plastic bags don’t decompose but stay in eco-systems for years too. Plastic is crapstick!

9.       Agree an ‘honesty policy’ with your nearest and dearest – save all the receipts from buying presents, and if anyone doesn’t like what they have received, it can go back or be changed – so everyone ends up with what they want, is absolutely delighted, and nothing is wasted.

10.   Support local business and buy in the village. Local breweries supply excellent beer to Budgens, Birrings and the health food shop stock locally produced honey, and Birrings stocks local eggs.

11.   Buy direct from farmers at local farmers’ markets; Beaconsfield’s Saturday farmers’ market is on 18 December this month in the Old Town from 9am to 12.30. Little Chalfont’s last market before Christmas is on Saturday 11 December. Fabulous local produce for sale – meat, dairy, bread cakes, flavoured oils, pickles…all produced with care and pride.

  1. For more facts and figures have a look at this site – http://www.wasteonline.org.uk/resources/InformationSheets/ChristmasRecycling.htm

AND for the New Year – turn over a green leaf!

It’s easy to be green!

Here are some suggestions of small changes to make to be greener….

  1. Sign up to 10:10 (http://www.1010global.org/uk)
  2. Walk and cycle as much as possible – enjoy being outside
  3. When travelling abroad, fly less and let the train take the strain– see this helpful website  http://www.seat61.com/
  4. Instead of buying new stuff, try to buy second hand where possible. Amazon and charity shops are great for second hand books. (Second hand  DVDs and CDs are also good to buy and loads cheaper –  the DVDs and CDs from Amazon are all checked to ensure that they work perfectly)
  5. Look for publishers that use paper produced from renewable sources
  6. It’s easy to switch to an eco energy supplier. Have a look at http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/
  7. Run your car into the ground, and once it’s in the ground, replace it with a second hand one
  8. Exercise outside rather than in a gym – it smells better!
  9. Use low energy lights
  10. Avoid leaving electrical goods on standby – switch everything off at the wall – move your switches so that you can access them easily
  11. Make sure you have good home insulation
  12. Enjoy good personal insulation – jumpers and boots
  13. Keep a warm blanket on the sofa for late nights in front of the telly
  14. Turn off radiators in rooms when they are not being used
  15. Dry your clothes outside when the weather allows, and over clothes’ horses inside when it doesn’t – but try not to use your dryer
  16. Shower rather than bath
  17. If you do have a bath, then consider keeping the water in the bath till it has cooled down, so that the warmth goes into your house rather than down the drain
  18. If you are not using your fireplace, block up the chimney (just use newspaper or cardboard). A lot of heat is lost up the chimney
  19. Excel at one pot cooking
  20. Value food and try to avoid waste as much as possible
  21. Buy cloth napkins and save on kitchen paper
  22. Send your kids to school with tupperware lunch boxes, and try to avoid cling film and foil
  23. Give up using plastic bottles as much as possible – buy a reusable water bottle for tap water
  24. Don’t buy plastic bags for food! So many smaller plastic bags come into our houses that we don’t really need to buy any specially. Keep the plastic bag that the bread came in! If you receive magazines or catalogues, cut the covering plastic bag open and re-use. Re-use the bags inside cereal boxes.
  25. When a food bag is necessary, use greaseproof paper or paper bags instead of plastic bags
  26. Take an old bag shopping! Also, take some paper bags or old cereal bags to put vegetables in so that you don’t pick up a plastic bag
  27. Enjoy the clothes that you have, and wear them out. If you don’t like or want something any more, charity shop it
  28. Enjoy the possessions that you have – maybe more isn’t better
  29. Grow some veg in your garden or in some pots
  30. Sign up for an allotment
  31. Eat a little less meat
  32. Buy fish from sustainable sources as recommended by the RSPB or the Marine Stewardship Council
  33. Only eat dolphin- and albatross-friendly tuna
  34. Buy biodegradable cleaners
  35. Use natural cleaners – vinegar, soda crystals, lemon juice etc
  36. Buy biodegradable soap, shampoo, etc
  37. Compost compost compost
  38. Buy as little plastic as possible
  39. Holiday in eco-friendly B&Bs, hotels, etc – they do the best breakfasts on the planet!
  40. Campaign! Write to M&S, Tesco, Budgens to complain about excessive packaging, lack of local produce and so on
  41. Take a bag to the beach or on a walk and pick up plastic bottles and tins to recycle
  42. Use your economic muscle:
    1. use supermarkets that adhere to a strong ethical policy
    2. buy products that don’t contain palm oil
    3. buy from farmers’ markets or other local sources
    4. try to avoid non-recyclable wrappings
    5. ask your supermarket for paper rather than plastic bags, in their vegetable section
    6. buy from Oxfam – they have a fab range of solar powered or recycled stuff and biodegradable household cleaners
    7. Ask your butcher whether the meat is sourced locally
    8. Ask you greengrocer the same, except for vegetables
    9. Go a bit green at Christmas – Oxfam do excellent, ethical crackers, the Ethical Superstore do a good range of stuff that would makes good gifts,

Thank you!

5 Comments

  1. Judy Ainger

    Another source for local food is Colne Valley Food – they have veg. boxes and meal boxes that contain locally produced meat and they deliver to Flexmore Farm in Chalfont St. Giles to be collected by you. See http://www.colnevalleyfood.org.uk

  2. Very effectively written information. It is going to be worthwhile to anyone who usess it, including myself. Sustain the nice work – for certain i’ll take a look at extra posts.

  3. Very effectively written information. It is going to be worthwhile to anyone who usess it, including myself. Sustain the nice work – for certain i’ll take a look at extra posts.

  4. Being Inexperienced Im constantly discovering on-line for reports which will help me. Thank you

  5. The Oxfam shop in GX has some great recycled gift items, Fair Trade chocolate Advent calendars and beautiful nearly new hardcover books. Was able to source some great holiday items there!



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