Eight Festive Tips for a More Sustainable Christmas

We all want to do our bit to help the environment and Christmas is a really great time to think about sustainability. Here are some top tips to help you enjoy a more sustainable Christmas:
1. Quality not quantity – buy better gifts from local shops, such as those stocking Fairtrade gifts, and your local bookshop and zero waste shops.  Support local businesses at craft fairs in the run up to Christmas. 
For Secret Santa – set a price limit and ask everyone to only buy from charity shops.
2. Gift an experience – such as trees (https://shop.woodlandtrust.org.uk/), animals and nature (https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/), and toilets (https://www.toilettwinning.org/).
3. Avoid plastic – look for goods with minimal packaging.  Any packaging should be made from recycled materials and be easily recycled.  Wrap presents in reusable packaging or easily recycled materials.
4. Check eco-credentials – look for eco-labels such as Fairtrade and FSC and check out a company’s sustainability practices so you know where your money goes – ask questions such as where is it made, what is it made from, who made it and how did it get here.
5. Get creative – make your own decorations and Christmas cards to reuse materials or make gifts, such as home made jams, chutneys etc.
6. Cut food waste – plan ahead and take a look at re-use menus, such as those at Love Food, Hate Waste (https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/)
7. Plastic v real Christmas tree – If buying a plastic Christmas tree, make sure that you’re going to reuse it for at least 10 years, otherwise it would have been better to buy a living tree from a sustainable forest. If buying a real tree, make sure it’s FSC-certified (responsibly sourced).  Dorset Council does not collect Christmas trees but they do provide advice on recycling over the festive season, including how to recycle trees (https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/w/christmas-and-new-year-rubbish-and-recycling).
8. ‘Tis the season to be generous to others – donate to a food bank, presents for kids or a charity.
Here’s to a peaceful and more sustainable Christmas.