Seven ways to be more environmentally friendly this Christmas

Saving, celebrating, and sustainable shopping

The lights are up, the markets are open and the Christmas season is officially underway here in Exeter.

And whilst I most definitely approve of stuffing your face with turkey on more than one occasion, a lot of the festive staples can be rather damaging to the environment, not to mention our bank accounts.

To counter this, here are a few things we can all do to make this Christmas both enjoyable and environmentally friendly.

Reduce fast fashion

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If you're in need of a costume for a Christmas party this year, but don't want to splash the cash on items you won't wear again, Charity shops are the way forward.

They're cheap, cheerful and you're almost guaranteed great costume inspiration – don't think 'old lady blouse', think 'Christmas tree dress'.

Paper Decorations

If you are looking for Christmas decorations, why not invest in some paper ones?

Paper decorations are pretty and much kinder to the environment than plastic ones. They also don't carry the same controversy that comes with 'tacky' tinsel, making them a safe bet whatever the company.

Switch it off

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It can be tempting to leave the Christmas lights on all night or when you leave the room because the tree 'looks nice.'

However, this is a fire hazard as well as a waste of electricity. You may as well switch those lights off, as it doesn't matter how nice the tree looks if no one is there to enjoy it.

Rechargeable Batteries

You don't want to be searching high and low for new batteries for ALL of your festive lights every single year.

And Mother Nature is not a fan of cheap pound-store batteries polluting the environment, so why not save yourself the hassle and grab yourself some rechargeable ones.

Go Local

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Trying to buy local gifts for everyone can be difficult, but shopping more locally where you can, (extra brownie points if its in independent shops), rather than online, is far better for both your bank account and the environment.

No delivery = no fuel = no delivery cost.

If you buy your meat, fruit and veg from local butchers and markets, not only can it be cheaper and more environmentally friendly, but the quality is usually far better than that of a supermarket. That's good news for your Christmas feast!

Re-use wrapping paper, labels and decorations

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Its a great way to save money AND help the environment, and most of the time you'll be giving presents to the same people (i.e. family) anyway.

Having a stock of various wrapping items is also especially useful for those last minute presents, and re-using decorations allows you to spend more time relaxing and drinking mulled wine with your loved ones.

Recycle cards/wrapping paper/bottles

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When January comes around and the festivities are over, its easy to grab all the 'rubbish', stick it in the bin, and be done with it.

However, after removing tape and labels, cards and wrapping paper (and don't forget all those empty bottles once full of alcohol) can usually be recycled by your local council.

So before clearing up, have a quick Google and find out.

Have a very merry, environmentally-friendly Christmas!