Christmas decorations, presents, cards and food – there's so much to enjoy during the festive season. But Christmas can be more damaging to our environment than the rest of the year put together.
The good news is that it's easy to enjoy Christmas and still ease the pressure on our battered old planet. Here are five simple ideas for a carbon-conscious Christmas …
Millions of cards end up in the bin each Christmas. They take energy to produce – and many then end up in landfill. A simple solution is charity e-cards, available from many organizations including MacMillan and Friends of the Earth. E-cards can be sent right up to Christmas Eve, so they're great if you've missed the post!
Rather than exchanging cards with all your work colleagues, why not organise donations for a local charity instead? And children could take a bag of sweets or box of chocolates to school to share with classmates – most kids prefer this to receiving a Christmas card anyway!
After Christmas, make sure you recycle your cards – many supermarkets have special bins in store in January. Or reuse cards by turning them into colourful gift tags for next year's presents – a great rainy day activity for children!
Every Christmas, thousands of tonnes of plastic packaging are sent to landfill. Avoid adding to the pile-up with some carefully selected gifts.