Christmas is a time of giving, and this year the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park is asking its visitors and residents to give back to the environment by making some careful choices this festive season.
The Christmas period tends to lead us to increase in our level of consumption. From eating and drinking to giving and receiving, it is the time of the year when we do things to excess. Unfortunately, it also means we are likely to have a greater impact on the environment.
Our total consumption and spending on food, travel, lighting and gifts over three days of festivities could result in as much as 650 kg of carbon dioxide emissions per person – equivalent to the weight of 1,000 Christmas puddings!
However, we can still have a good Christmas and be kind to the planet. With a bit of thought we can cut our carbon footprint and still have a great time this Christmas.
The National Park is encouraging people to take steps to a more sustainable Christmas by following these tips, provided by the Stockholm Environment Institute:
- Support your local economy and try buying from local organic suppliers.
- Compost your vegetable peelings after you’ve finished cooking to make sure that this extra organic waste doesn’t head straight to landfill.
- Plan your meal carefully to reduce the amount of uneaten food thrown away – check who likes Brussels sprouts!
- Plan your Christmas travel to reduce the distance travelled and try and use environmentally friendly modes of transport or car share.
- Less is more when it come Christmas lighting! Opt for a small tasteful lighting display and turn the fairy lights off before bed and save both money and carbon.
- When it comes to Christmas presents buy quality not quantity. Well-made goods last longer and will not have to be replaced in the New Year.
- A good Christmas gift doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Think about giving alternative gifts such as a charity or environmentally friendly gift, an experience or giving your time.
- Give your unwanted gifts to charity or to local hospitals or hospices.
By following all of these steps it is possible to reduce our CO2 emissions by over 60% this Christmas.
For more information about climate change in the National Park, visit: www.beacons-npa.gov.uk/environment/climate-change/