Our Chief Executive, Mike Robinson, has shared his thoughts on small changes you can make to ensure your Christmas is planet friendly as well as fun! Read on and share our infographic too. 

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I have been asked many times over the years how I square my deep concern for environmental issues with the materialistic glitter-fest that is modern Christmas.

I have to admit I am sometimes torn.   I love Christmas.   I love giving to people I care about.   I love the chance to breathe, the warm log-fires, the crisp mornings and the air of altruism.   Even the soft twinkly lights and the big family meal-times appeal.   And although it can be tinged with sadness and boredom, I remind myself that boredom is a privilege of youth and a rare treat these days.   It is also a time to remember what I hold dear in life and a chance to reflect and plan ahead.   But the consumerism that goes along with modern Christmas can get out of hand.

There are however ways in which to enjoy the season with a mind to the planet.    The spending of money can do good as well as buy things, so in case it is helpful, here are some of the things to consider that I have found popular presents in the past, which I hope might give ideas especially when giving to those people who seem to have everything.

  • Buy tickets for an event – the gift of a night out, especially if you buy 2 or 4 tickets
  • Buy a lesson or an experience
  • Buy second hand
  • Buy from a charity shop
  • Buy from local shops and suppliers – use Amazon to build a wish list and buy it locally.
  • Buy gift membership of an organisation or charity
  • Buy consumables like high quality local food and drink or crafts
  • Or make a photo book of images that mean something
  • Buy things that employ people you know
  • Or buy simple things which are sociable, like a jigsaw, or a board game or quiz cards – anything that doesn’t have batteries or needs plugged into the wall.

And for those that want to go further and perhaps have a vegetarian Christmas dinner, I would wholeheartedly recommend mushroom en croute, which I make using a Rose Elliott recipe with pine nuts and chestnut mushrooms, but a version of which you can now buy in some supermarkets.    And of course, it helps if you avoid wasting food.

All of these things can help make for a great festive season and help make sure it doesn’t cost the earth.

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