Have a Very Merry Green Christmas

Christmas is the time for excess and indulgence. For those people trying to adopt an eco-friendly approach, it's the one time of year that can prove the most challenging. Yet, there are lots of things that we can do to stay green this Christmas, without making us feel blue!

Curb your spending

Most people overspend at Christmas time and buy excess items that often end up in the bin. Make a list of what you really need and try to stick to it.

Make your own

Try to make your own as much as possible, whether it's your own cards, gift tags, decorations or mince pies, making it yourself is a lot better for the planet and can also be very rewarding.

Send e-cards

Choose to send Christmas e-cards this year. Most of us communicate through email these days, so sending e-cards is becoming an increasingly acceptable way to send a greeting - it's also good for the planet!

Buy recycled

Choose recycled products, such as wrapping paper, as much as possible. Always recycle items again after use.

Shop local

When it comes to buying food for the Christmas period, try to shop locally as much as possible. Buy local produce and choose an organic or free range meat from your high street butcher. Choose items that are loose rather than wrapped in packaging.

Buy second hand

Children won't know the difference if you buy toys that are second hand, as many are of very good quality. Buying second hand gives items another lease of life, and reduces the need for them to be sent to landfill.

Avoid batteries

Try to avoid buying toys or gadgets that rely on batteries, as batteries are a huge environmental burden.

Candles

It might be a lot darker at this time of year, but that doesn't mean to say you necessarily need to whack more lights on. Opt for lighting candles, instead. They create a really cosy mood and won't impact on your energy bills.

The tree

A real Christmas tree is actually more environmentally friendly than an artificial one, so consider buying a real one this year. You can plant it after it has been used.

Lights

Don't leave your Christmas tree or decorative lights on if you go out or when you go to bed. Choose LED lights, which can help reduce energy usage.

 

Gifts

Avoid buying gifts that are made with excess packaging or have been made abroad. Source locally made products, or consider buying friends and family an experience type of gift, such as a voucher, spa day or even money, which won't need wrapping up or comes with packaging.

Defrost your freezer

Your fridge and freezer will be working over time during the festive period to hold all the excess food. Before you start grocery shopping, defrost your freezer so that it will be working at its most efficient over Christmas.

Watch your kettle

With all those family and friends coming and going over the holiday season, your kettle will be working hard to keep everyone topped up with hot drinks. One of the biggest energy guzzlers is the kettle, so make sure that you only fill it with the amount of water that you actually need.

This article was written by Amy Elliott from Juice Electrical, retailers of wholesale electrical and energy saving supplies in the UK. Amy is passionate about the environment and believes that doing our part to be green in the home will be beneficial to ourselves as well as the environment.