I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

By EssentialsMAG environment contributor Rob Renouf

The pressure to consume will soon reach its peak, with Black Friday, Christmas and the January Sales all on the horizon. America has almost the highest carbon footprint per person of any country, and the frenzy of consumption they’ve exported to us in the form of Black Friday helps explain why.

I don’t want to come across as all bah humbug - I really like Christmas; but if we’d like to reduce our environmental impact, we need to consider how we celebrate it.

Many people are now boycotting crackers filled with plastic tat and wrapping paper containing plastic. Not buying stuff we really don’t need that’s been transported half way around the planet is an incredibly easy and painless change for us to make. Besides helping the environment, it’ll also leave us with a smaller credit card bill in January. One of the reasons China has the highest total carbon emissions of any country is the massive quantity of goods they produce for export. Essentially, we can help decrease emissions in other countries by reducing our demand for their products.

A more sustainable Christmas doesn’t mean no gifts or fewer gifts – we can give many other things:

  • Memories – event tickets, memberships and experiences (although perhaps not a super car experience if we’re aiming to help the planet).

  • Our time – by sharing our skills or giving something like a help decorating voucher.

  • Upcycle – for example by refinishing an old piece of furniture, or the wind chime I made from worn out bike cogs.

  • Buy second hand – from antique shops, charity shops or online.

  • Make – bake a cake or craft something unique.

If we’re going to buy something new, then ethical options like Fairtrade and organic items are a good place to start.

And whilst we’re on the subject of buying less new stuff…

Repair Café Wrexham

The Wrexham Enterprise Hub will host the town’s very first repair café on Saturday 16 November. Bring along an item that needs repairing and volunteer fixperts with the necessary skills will endeavour to fix it for you. Whilst they do this you can either watch and learn, or just relax and have a cup of tea. There’s no charge for repairs, but donations are welcomed. They’re also looking for more volunteers to join the team of fixperts. Further details can be found on the Repair Café Wrexham Facebook page.

EssentialsMAG environment contributor is Rob Renouf, robsrenouf@gmail.com

Victoria Lee