Top Ten Ethical Christmas Tips

So the folk from the Free Christmas! movement (inspiration and support website for people wanting to have more ethical festivities) have put together 10 fab top tips for an ethical Christmas. Roll with some of these or even better, join the revolution!

1- Do gifts better! People in the United Kingdom are expected to spend £53 billion over the Christmas period (apacs.org.uk) Considering that it is estimated that only £13 billion is needed to provide health and sanitation to the whole world, this is just a bit crazy. Buy ethically or make your own!

2- Change the way you do Christmas cards. One billion Christmas cards (17 each for every man, woman and child) could end up in bins across the UK this year. Considering one tree is needed to make about 3,000 cards it is about time we get thinking of better ways! Send an E card to your friends, family and colleagues.

3- Plant a Christmas tree! We will use about eight million Christmas trees, most of which will be thrown away in January, generating over 12,000 tonnes of rubbish. Delight in watching your own Christmas tree bloom and grow or wait until your local school breaks up and go down and recycle their one!

4- Make a Fair Trade Christmas pudding! Fair trade has been changing the world over the last few years. Take it one step further and get baking with Fair Trade goodies.

5- Rejig last years Christmas outfit. Get involved with a Swapping Party and find an extra accessory to bring your outfit into 2008 or sew on a bit of ribbon or a few sequins!

6- Recycle stuff to make your own decorations. Turn jars into lanterns, last years wrapping paper into Christmas bunting!

7- Eco your party! Before throwing the spangliest, funkiest Christmas party ever, put in place some recycling bags and boxes. We will use an extra 500 million aluminium drinks cans and an extra 750 million glass bottles and jars over Christmas and the New Year. In all, enough rubbish to fill 400,000 double-decker buses will be produced. (www.wasteonline.org.uk) Make sure your party waste only fills a glove box!

8- Don’t be plastic fantastic! Around 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown away over Christmas. Make sure you choose food, wrapping paper, gifts and cards that don’t use excess plastic. The plastic you do have to use make sure it is recyclable.

9- Spend time not money. Throw your mind back over Christmases past- memories tend to be filled with the showing of love not simply what pressies you got. Back in April this year, more than four million people in the UK were still paying off their debts from last Christmas (www.telegraph.co.uk) Individuals plan to spend, on average, £385 on gifts and £178 on food and drink this year (moneyoutlet.co.uk). Don’t put yourself under pressure this year. Get creative and give presence not presents!

10- Spread festive cheer outside of your car! Use public transport to go to your parties and family visits- smile at people on the bus! Put reindeer antlers on your bike handles and when you walk get your Santa hat on. Car use is causing way to much damage to the planet so this Christmas bring joy to the world and get out of it

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