Saturday, December 27, 2008

Enjoy a more sustainable festive season with your loved ones...

(Source: Australian Conservation Foundation)

Another year bites the dust, and the festive season is here once more!

Often the best time of year for catching up with family and friends, it's also the biggest time of spending - on presents, food, alcohol, parties and holidays. Unfortunately, all of our spending and consumption results in significant environmental damage and carbon pollution.

However, you don't have to be a scrooge to reduce your carbon footprint at Christmas!

Here's our top five tips for a more sustainable festive season:

1. Buy a service, not a product: To reduce embodied carbon pollution and water consumption, think about buying someone a service - say a voucher for a massage, rather than a massaging appliance. Vouchers for other services, (such as gardening or housecleaning) or film and theatre tickets are also good.

2. Buy gifts that give twice:Give your friends and family membership to charities, overseas aid groups or environment organisations - such as the Australian Conservation Foundation! Get someone an ACF membership, see Karma Currency for charity gift voucher ideas or visit Oxfam Unwrapped.

3. Buy carbon offsets:You can choose the amount you want to spend and offset someone's car travel, household energy use or airline travel, once-off or for a year. A great gift for people coming from interstate to celebrate the festive season!

4. Get a really green Christmas tree: Go for an Australian native tree in a pot which you can use year after year, or can plant in the garden after Christmas. Tip: Support the campaign to revive the native Wollemi Pine, an endangered Australian native which makes a great Christmas tree!

5. If you're organising a get-together with family or friends, check out what you can do to make your event more sustainable here.

To see how your local area rates in its consumption, check out ACF's Consumption Atlas.

Enjoy a safe and happy festive season!

The Team at Who on Earth Cares

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