28 June 2004
Presents – Buy local and buy less. Each Christmas, 4,000 tonnes of products arrive from China. Support small suppliers and the local community by shopping locally, while minimising your carbon footprint. Alternatively charity shops and online auction sites have many used items that are as good as new.
Wrapping – The Department for Environment estimates that last year’s wasted paper would be enough to wrap up the island of Guernsey. If we all recycled just half of the 8,000 tonnes produced we’d save 25,000 trees. Try wrapping your presents in brown or recycled paper, recycled foil or newspaper or vintage fabric and using string or raffia (made from bark which regenerates) to tie it up.
Food – By the time the ingredients that make up the average British Christmas dinner arrive on our plates, they have travelled a combined distance of 49,000 miles. www.foodcarbon.co.uk (link to a carbon footprint calculator of food).Ten million turkeys are eaten every Christmas, so try to make sure it is locally sourced and has been reared in humane conditions. Shop at Stratford’s farmers market 1st and 3rd Saturday of month from 9am – 3 pm and buy your fruit and vegetables loose. Pack all your goods into a re-usable shopping bag or re-use old plastic bags. Try to avoid serving people with paper or plastic plates and cups if you are entertaining. And don’t forget that ALL your food peelings, bones etc. can be put in your green bin for composting.