9 December 2013

Concern for the environment doesn’t have to stop over the festive season

Give loved ones a green Christmas

This year has been a watershed for public concern about climate change and rising fuel bills.  Across Europe and in the traditionally more sceptical US, more than half the population accept that climate change is a serious threat, and want their governments to do more to limit carbon emissions.

In addition, the grinding years of austerity, combined with rising fuel bills mean this Christmas, a home-made or recycled gift will be joyfully received.  

That doesn’t mean you have to give everyone paperweights made from stones you picked up in a field. There is a wide range of gifts out there, from virtually free to very generous that will not use up precious resources or contribute to environmental damage. 

Vintage/reclaimed:  Buy items from bric-a-brac shops, second-hand warehouses and garage sales to improve apparently redundant items and, with a bit of sanding, waxing and imagination, turn them into usable practical homewares.  I think that’s why I call ‘upcycling’ or ‘repurposing;.

Home-made:  The extra effort of Such as scarves, pictures, patchwork cushions and jam is always appreciated.  And what about sloe gin, chutney, bags?

Adopt-a-tree:  The money donated goes towards buying and maintaining a tree.

Renewable: Gifts from renewable sources, such as wool and wood, don’t deplete the earth’s resources. 

Recycled:  Make items from unwanted and old clothes, such as bags, quilts, gloves, cushion covers.

Energy savings:  A fan to sit on top of a wood-burning stove; hand press expresso machine, wind up torch.

Esoteric:  A gift that has no physical presence at all, such as membership of a charity; a goat for Africa, a voucher and promise to have a meal together or go to a show.

 to be continued ...

Article in telegraph 9.12.13 by Sarah Lonsdale

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