A Christmas gift guide to offset your Carbon footprint. I am sure many have never thought about offsetting their carbon footprint to mitigate the impacts of their festivities. Christmas is the one time in the year when everyone splashes out on gifts, consume an immense amount of energy and travel thousands of miles to meet their loved ones. Some people spend and travel more than others do. No matter how hard we try, it is very difficult to resist this season. Why should we not celebrate and be with loved ones? Many will argue. We should not turn a wonderful, family occasion into a bleak and un-festive time.
Nothing beats reduction, but in doing so, if people feel stressed or anxious, then it is better to find alternative ways to protect the environment. Therefore, this year rather than feeling guilty about your consumption, be it travel, Christmas trees or presents, reduce where you can and offset the rest of your Christmas carbon footprint. Below is a guide to offset unavoidable Carbon footprint over Christmas and reduce your waste.
Let Us Start with How to Offset your Christmas Carbon Footprint
With Christmas arrives an overload of consumption, waste and travel arrangements. We tend to have an outcry when we see deforestation taking place for agriculture, but on the other hand, we dramatically increase our consumption of Christmas trees during the holidays. Not many would think about replacing a tree for tree.
Whilst we think about deforestation, our travel arrangements will also have a significant impact on the environment. During this one period, people travel by planes, trains and cars to spend time with their friends and families. Each person travelling on a transatlantic flight this season will contribute 1.2 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere. At the same time the use of energy in lighting, heating and cooking will also dramatically increase. Not travelling to see family or engaging in the festive season feels bleak and depressing.
So this year, change options and choose to offset your Christmas carbon footprint by planting trees. According to a study carried out by NC State University, on average, ‘one tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 tonne of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.’
There are many organisations to which you can donate to offset your carbon footprint. Click A Tree, the ad above, is one such organisation. Not only will you replace a tree for a tree and offset your carbon emissions, your donation will aid habitat rehabilitation and provide job opportunities to local communities. Upon my last check, Click A Tree had planted over 100,000 trees, created 1000 workdays in 12 countries. So do not dismiss the positive impact your donation can make to the environment and livelihood of communities whilst offsetting your carbon footprint this Christmas. Alternatively you can give carbon offset gift by donating on their behalf. Planting trees as carbon offset or ethical gifts is a great way to increase reforestation during peak occasions such as Christmas, Easter, Eid, Diwali, Valentine’s day etc.
Ethical Gifts to Offset your Christmas Gift Carbon Footprint
Nordgreen US specialises in watches desired by everyone. I love what their brand stands for and how they support sustainability. They have a giving back program whereby every customer gets to choose how they would want their purchase to influence the world. When you buy a watch from Nordgreen US you can choose whether to support the clean water project in Central Africa, education in India or preserve a piece of rain forest in Latin America. If you are looking for a long lasting gift that makes a positive impact, be sure to visit Nordgreen US by clicking on the banner below.
Ethical, Organic, Cruelty Free Christmas Advent Calendars as a Gift
There is no doubt that kids love advent calendars. Most parents will relax their rules and allow a chocolate a day at this time of the year. Did you know that advent calendars are now targeting beauty enthusiasts? You can now buy an advent beauty calendar from several known brands such as ASOS, Lush Cosmetics, The Body Shop and Pipbox. The women’s health magazine has compiled a list of brands offering beauty advent calendars that are ethical, eco, vegan or cruelty free. Be sure to read their list if you are a beauty enthusiast. Lush Cosmetics is known for its ethical buying policy and contributes to social and environmental projects globally. The Body shop calendar will help raise money for children’s charity Plan International. ASOS and Pipbox are also on the list, offering brands that are ethical, eco, vegan or cruelty free.
A number of online sites nowadays offer handmade and ethical accessories for the home and for the fashion enthusiast. Below is a list of sites that are definitely worth visiting:
- Buy Me Once have long lasting and zero waste homeware options.
- The Ethical Silk Company offer clothes and bedding accessories made of ethical silk.
- RizAndMicaMake run an etsy shop for their handmade reclaimed wood furniture.
Reducing your Carbon FootPrint in other ways
Choose Vintage – Preloved
The demand for vintage and second hand goods is on the rise. As a result, a number of new online marketplaces have recently emerged. You can now scroll through thousands of items to find a gift for virtually anybody.
Use sites like Preloved, banner ad below, to look for gifts and also to sell your unwanted gifts. Not only are people buying and saving money from such sites, they are listing their discarded items to make money. EcoATM also known as Gazelle is another such site where you can sell unwanted phones to earn a bit of cash.
Over Christmas, a phenomenal amount of waste is created from two predominant areas, namely, food and packaging. Pinterest and Yummly are wonderful saviours when it comes to planning meals. Turn any leftovers into new meals by scrolling through their websites to find recipes that match your ingredients. You may not be able to go 100 percent waste free, but by pre-planning meals, selecting unpacked fruit or vegetables and choosing foods in recyclable packaging you will dramatically reduce how much you throw away.
For your Christmas decorations, think about going minimal. Once the holidays are over most of your decorations will end up in the bin. This year, instead of buying brand new decorations, visit your local charities and opt for recyclable decorations that contain less packaging. A number of charities have online shopping platforms. Visit their sites to choose from a greater variety of items. Also, do not forget to sell or donate unwanted decorations and gifts to charities at the end of the festivities.
Whilst you are thinking of how to use this Christmas gift guide to offset your carbon footprint, below are some articles about how to turn a high carbon experience into a low carbon footprint:
- A quick review on the organic and vegan makeup brand Inika
- The basics on seeking sustainability in Dubai
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