Make this a greener Christmas

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'Tis the season to be jolly—and eco-conscious! As we celebrate the joyous festivities of Christmas, it's essential to keep in mind the impact our festive celebrations can have on the environment. This year, we can all work together towards a greener Christmas by adopting more sustainable practices that will not only reduce our carbon footprint but also help support our local communities. Here are some practical tips to make your Christmas celebrations more eco-friendly.

Public transport and carpooling

If you plan on attending any parties or celebrations this Christmas season, consider using public transport or carpooling to reduce individual vehicle carbon emissions. Encourage family and friends to coordinate travel plans, helping to minimise the overall environmental impact. It also helps to only have one designated driver if you want a festive tipple!

Make sure you check the Christmas timetables for public transport in advance though.

Support your local businesses

Why not have a look at shops in your area, buy locally-made products and support small independent businesses in your community? Not only does this contribute to the local economy, but it also reduces the environmental impact associated with shipping products over long distances.

For presents, you could visit local markets or craft fairs to find unique, handcrafted gifts that have a lower ecological footprint and supports local craftspeople. Not only is this more sustainable but it also makes the gift more unique.

Sustainable deliveries

You could investigate how businesses transport their items, for example, if they use e-cargo bikes. These light electric vehicles allow goods to be delivered safely and sustainably. E-cargo bikes can transport significant loads and have the benefit of being able to move freely through congested areas.

Even larger businesses are looking at greener delivery alternatives. For example, Amazon has added e-cargo bikes to their delivery service in Glasgow, the first of its fleet in Scotland to offer this, to make deliveries more sustainable.

Nestrans offers organisations and businesses across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire free trials of their e-cargo bikes to let them experience using them and help them decide if an e-cargo bike is an investment they want to make for their business.

Mindful gift giving

Consider giving people experiences instead of physical gifts. Concert tickets, spa vouchers, or cooking classes are not only thoughtful but also reduce the demand for material goods. Opting for sustainable gifts, such as reusable water bottles, eco-friendly beauty products, or items made from recycled materials also helps to reduce wasteful gift-giving.

Surprises can be wonderful, but make sure you think about whether the person you’re giving the gift to will use it or whether it will go to waste.

Energy-efficient lighting

Illuminating your home with Christmas decorations is always lovely, but doing so with energy-efficient LED lights will mean these consume significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and they also last longer.

Using timers or smart plugs to schedule when your lights turn on and off, ensures they are not unnecessarily left on throughout the night or when you leave the house.

Sustainable Christmas feast

Where you can, opt for locally sourced, organic ingredients for your Christmas dinner. This not only supports local farmers but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting food over long distances.

Plan your meals efficiently to minimise food waste. Consider composting leftovers or donating excess food to local shelters. Christmas is the best time of year for eating, but make sure as little as possible of that delicious food goes to waste.

This Christmas, let's celebrate not only the spirit of giving but also the spirit of sustainability. By making conscious choices to reduce our carbon footprint, we can enjoy a festive season that leaves a positive impact on the planet. Small changes in our festive traditions can lead to a greener, more sustainable Christmas for everyone to cherish. Cheers to a joyful and environmentally friendly celebration!