Are you dreaming of a green Christmas?
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas sang Bing Crosby. But with the environmental problems people today should be dreaming of a green Christmas.
That’s the advice of energy expert Ron Fox who believes householders can still have festive fun without adding to the global carbon footprint.
He suggests the following eight easy steps:
- Barking up the wrong tree: Although artificial trees last longer than real ones, they are often made from plastic, are not recyclable and have probably been shipped great distances. “By far the best option is a real tree which helps to remove carbon dioxide while it is growing and can be replanted in January and reused year after year,” said Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science Innovation Park (www.noreus.co.uk).
- Beware of batteries: According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) about 40 per cent of all batteries are bought this month. As many contain toxic chemicals, do not biodegrade and are difficult to recycle, shoppers should instead buy rechargeable batteries.
- Shedding light on problem: Tree lights left on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas produce enough CO2 to inflate 12 balloons Use LED bulbs on your tree, which are more efficient, last longer and can provide a more natural looking light.
- On the cards: More than a billion greetings cards are sold each year in the UK, which is an average of 17 for every man, woman and child, costing a lot of trees. Ron said E-greetings are better, but for those who still want to send best wishes through the post he suggests charity ones or those with the Forest Stewardship Council United Kingdom. (FSC UK) tick-tree logo. This is a a registered charity dedicated to protecting the world’s forests. After Christmas recycle all cards to cut down on waste going to landfill sites.
- It’s gift: Many presents come from halfway around the world, so transport costs add to greenhouse emissions and global warming. Instead shop locally and support businesses that use recycled materials.
- After a fashion: More than 80,000 tonnes of old clothes will be thrown away this Christmas. Make sure you donate them to a local charity shop.
- Ice one: Defrost your freezer before Christmas. It will work more efficiently, use less energy and create more space to store leftover food, so that it doesn’t go to waste and create more carbon emission.
- Food for thought: By the time the ingredients that make up the average British Christmas dinner arrive on our plates, they will have travelled a combined distance of 49,000 miles, the equivalent of 6,000 car trips around the world, new research from the University of Manchester has found. Instead shop locally and buy an organic turkey which has been reared in humane conditions.
“If you want any advice contact me on 0845 474 6641 – but in the meantime have a green and cosy Christmas,” said Ron.