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Christmas is just around the corner and preparations are in full swing for the special day, but while it's the most wonderful time of the year, it's not the most environmentally friendly. Celebrate by investing in the future!

We round up some of the best ways to have a greener, more sustainable Christmas this year:

Shop locally

Give your local shops and markets some love this Christmas. As well as supporting independent businesses, you're likely to seek out special finds you won't get anywhere else.

Supporting small businesses helps boost a strong, sustainable local economy. They have often put more care and love into their products, too. Plus you're guaranteed to find a gift they [your recipient] doesn't already own!

Switch to eco-friendly wrapping paper

Sticky tape, ribbons and paper covered in glitter can't be recycled, so stay away from those types if you can.

Switching to brown eco-friendly paper instead will help to minimise the high levels of waste produced at this time of year. Choose recyclable wrapping paper and use last year’s Christmas cards as tags. Alternatively, use brown paper and twine with a few twigs of eucalyptus tucked into the string – it’s both sustainable and beautiful!

Opt for fabric wrapping

You can ditch paper altogether and wrap presents this year in fabric. Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese method of using cloth to wrap up and transport gifts, or really anything that needs to be brought from point A to point B – and it's a great way to live a little greener and reduce waste this festive season.

This zero-waste take on a very old fashioned way of wrapping is a great way to add a unique twist to your gift.

Turn your houseplant into a Christmas tree

Turn your existing houseplant into a modern looking Christmas tree – and all you'll need is some fairy lights!

Buy plantable Christmas cards

A zero waste alternative is plantable Christmas cards. When the biodegradable paper is planted in a pot of soil, the seeds will grow and eventually the paper will decompose.

Cut food waste

When you're food shopping, try and choose things that are light on packaging, or buy loose items. If you end up over-catering, don't just bin what's left. Transforming leftovers can be a great way to create new meals, save money and cut waste.

If you have too many leftovers, see what you can freeze. Or why not donate some to an elderly neighbour, local food bank or soup kitchen? Compost any other waste.

Buy certified 'green' or plastic-free gifts

Good intentions can fall short if we don't know what we're adding to our shopping baskets.

Switch to LED Christmas lights

When it comes to eco-friendly Christmas decorations, LEDs are far better than traditional twinkling incandescent lights, because they use up to 80% less energy.

Switch to solar-powered lights outdoors, and put both sets on a timer. You'll not only make environmental savings but your energy bills will be reduced too.

Let's make this year our most eco-friendly Christmas yet.


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