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Sustainability at Christmas...

Continuing on from the newsletter, there are so many ways we can be more friendly to the environment when we really stop and think about it.

I have long been a fan of recycled paper; I use it in my packaging and have used it to wrap presents for many years - searches for sustainable wrapping were up 24% last year and I'm sure this year will be even higher.

Do you keep gift bags that have been given to you? I do, it's a great easy way to avoid waste. Do you have a group of friends that you buy for? my sister and I and a friend once enjoyed a game of how long one piece of wrapping paper can last; one bought the initial gift and wrapped; we then took it in turn to have custody of the paper and wrapped the next one in lines gift, this went on for probably 5 years or more so that one piece of paper wrapped 15 gifts - this is extreme I know and not for everyone, reuse and recycle whatever gift wrap you can. Layer those leftover pieces of wrapping paper at the end of a roll - no waste and it looks fab!

I like to forage for those decorations to go on top of my recycled paper, a sprig of spruce and some holly berries looks stunning. We all probably buy a Christmas tree that needs a little bit of a trim - don't waste it, use it and save some money at the same time!

More and more people have decided to shop pre-loved over the last few years, I am obviously a massive advocate of this as it is what I do on a daily basis, finding those unique gems is such a thrill and whilst not everyone is buying antiques the principle is the same. Check out this article, although it is from 2021 there are some great personal stories of how people have found that this is not only a great thing for the environment but that their friends and family have really enjoyed the gifts more than a last-minute panic buy from the high street or online! Secondhand Christmas presents advice: how to buy pre-loved gifts (stylist.co.uk)

Lastly, the long-held debate - Real Tree versus Artificial... This statistic might make you think twice - According to the Carbon Trust, a two-metre artificial tree has a carbon footprint of 40kg, more than ten times that of a real tree. If you can, buy trees with a root ball, you can then plant out your tree in the garden once you have finished with it for the season, then dig it back up next year! It can be a bit of a pain getting rid of your tree if it isn't possible to replant or pot. They can be recycled at your local household recycling centre, and you can also put into your garden waste bin.

Lots of councils offer a tree collection service, they are then used for wood chippings in local parks - check your local authority website for information.

Whatever your plans this festive period - enjoy!

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