While the festive season is the “most wonderful time of the year” for many, it is not such a wonderful time for our environment. As we celebrate the end of another year with parties and relishing in a little over indulgence, we end up consuming more goods, wasting more and consequently producing more carbon emissions than at any other time of year.
This year can be different. Here are few quick tips to help ease the effect our festive indulgences has on our pockets and on the environment.
Carpool – There are always a multitude of functions to attend over the holiday season which often leaves you feeling exhausted. Consider carpooling with family and friends, saving you on the cost of fuel, on your carbon emissions and it may even be safer than driving while tired.
Plan your meals – Thankfully turkeys and fish are the star of many Christmas meals as rearing cattle is one of the most carbon intensive agricultural practices. Producing turkeys and fish for consumption has a smaller carbon impact but it is still considerably higher when compared to vegetables. Growing vegetables is one of the least carbon intensive ways of producing food, so why not add a couple of extra vegetarian dishes rather than a red meat option.
Support your local farmer and buy fresh vegetables from your market instead of buying tinned, frozen or packaged vegetables from your supermarket. This will save on emissions from transport and packaging as well as provide a fresher, healthier meal.
Avoid food wastage and cater according to the number of visitors you expect rather than for an army. If you do have left overs, consider making a soup, a pie or bubble and squeak to polish off what remains of Christmas dinner. Avoiding food waste can reduce your emissions by up to 30% as well as save you money.
Environmentally Friendly Indulgence – We all like to indulge a little over Christmas, whether it is enjoying your favourite meal or buying your family presents you know they will love. Either way take a quick look at the products you buy; does the manufacturer promise to limit deforestation in the creation of the product? The Body shop, Marks & Spencer, Unilever and Ikea have all committed to developing a sustainable supply chain that reduces greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and they all still supply outstanding goodies.
Give a Gift that Keeps on Giving (Yes another cheesy festive season phrase) – Carbon Tanzania tree gift certificates are about more than giving a loved one an iconic Umbrella Thorn Acacia Tree from Tanzania. These certificates represent the protection of trees located in the Yaeda Valley, a forested landscape that has been inhabited by the Hadza hunter-gatherers for thousands of years. By giving a friend one Carbon Tanzania tree certificate you are protecting the land the Hadza depend on to survive, protecting ancient Hadza traditions, their land rights and protecting the global environment by preventing 1 tonne of carbon from being released into the atmosphere and thereby reducing the impact of climate change. Each certificate has its own unique GPS way point so you can look up the location of the tree you have saved on google.