I do not usually talk about Christmas in November but this year I want to encourage a change in the way we may choose and buy Christmas presents. I am thinking here about presents for people who fortunately already have the things that they actually need day to day and where the joy is in the sentiment not the acquisition of more ‘stuff’. Blue Planet II aired on the BBC last winter and this year has seen hugely increased awareness of the damage that plastic does in the natural environment and the sustainability of human activities in general. This Christmas we might not be able to avoid buying plastic items and packaging completely but we can all give a moment’s thought to where our purchases come from, what resources are used to manufacture them and what happens when we dispose of them. There are so many ways to achieve this: handmade, homemade, locally produced, re-usable, refillable, biodegradable. Whether we are reducing plastic waste, habitat destruction or air & truck miles in our choice of presents, every step helps.
What other ways are there to be ‘green’ at Christmas? Well I’m not advocating sitting in the dark with no presents but you can celebrate and decorate without losing sight of the environmental impact. For example, a locally grown Christmas tree that is shredded for mulch or burned as fuel afterwards; decorating the house in traditional style with evergreen foliage (all colours) from the garden and some treasured tree decorations instead of buying new every year. For presents many garden or conservation charities offer specific membership benefits to the recipient as well as helping the charity. And of course the greatest gift of all – Gardening! Tools, gloves, books and plants all encourage someone to get more enjoyment out of their garden or may be more vegetables out of their allotment. You could opt out of physical objects and avoid all packaging by buying the gift of learning: I offer vouchers for one-to-one garden advice (onsite or online) and the Box of Tricks video tutorials.
With a month’s notice I am sure that we can all contribute something to the Blue Planet this Christmas.
Happy Gardening, Alison