Have a happy but green Christmas remembering COP26 message
Following on from this autumn’s international climate change conference, it is even more important to ensure households have a green Christmas.
That’s the views from Midlands energy expert Ron Fox after the agreements at COP26 to reduce greenhouse gases and to slow the rise in the earth’s temperature.
“Although it is the season to be jolly careful with covid, people can still have both an enjoyable and an environmentally friendly time, but remembering the messages from the Glasgow summit in November,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science Innovation Park. He suggests the following ten cheap and easy steps:
1: According to the Carbon Trust festive fir trees have half the carbon footprint of a 6ft plastic tree which ends up in landfill. He suggests by far the best option is a potted tree which can be replanted in the New Year and reused year after year.
2: Use LED bulbs on your tree. These are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, last longer and can provide a cleaner and more natural looking light. Ron said: “If every UK household swapped a string of incandescent lights for its LED equivalent, we could save more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2, just over the 12 days of Christmas.”
3: A quarter of us no longer write Christmas cards. Although E-greetings are better, for those who want to send best wishes through the post Ron suggests charity ones which guarantees the paper has been produced sustainably and ethically.
4: 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 buy rechargeable batteries instead.
5: Those who buy new Christmas paper may not realise many rolls contain non-recyclable elements like foil, glitter or plastic. To find out if it can be recycled or not, use the scrunch test. If the paper holds its shape when it is crumpled up, it is recyclable. If it springs back, it is not.
6: 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.
7: Many festive decorations are made from plastic – make your own using garden foliage.
8: To keep the heat in your home cut out the gusts and breezes with draught excluders on all your main room doors.
9: Once the sun sets close your curtains to stop the heat escaping through the windows at night. When the sun rises open the curtains and allow the free heat from the sun to warm up your home during the day.
10: Buying the ingredients for your Christmas meal locally supporting nearby traders and farmers.
“If you want more advice on environmental issues contact me on 0845 474 6641 – but in the meantime have a green and meaningful Christmas,” said Ron.
Caption: Have an enjoyable – but green Christmas.