Green Tips for Christmas by Barbara Echlin


Here is an article to use in your local parish magazine:

Are you looking forward to Christmas? Before we get there we have Advent. A time to look forward and to prepare for the future. Advent is the start of the Christian year. A time to take stock, consider where we’re going and make resolutions. If Christ comes at Christmas for all life can we use Advent to reflect on how our actions are contributing to the well-being of all life on Earth? Can we think of ways we can be more considerate in caring for God’s creation?

With all this in mind I had a look for eco-friendly tips for a green Christmas.  Did you know it’s possible to rent a Christmas tree? It goes back afterwards and is replanted in the ground. Whether renting or buying a real tree make sure it’s grown sustainably by looking for either the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Soil Association logo. Or go alternative and use a large branch of holly, or a large perennial indoor plant like a yucca or palm, and decorate it like you would a Christmas tree. If you have a fake tree already then keep on using it as long as possible. If you light up your tree with fairy lights then LEDs use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent lights.

Instead of using wrapping paper, much of which has plastic within it, use a scarf to wrap that special present – like the bottle in the picture at the top.

Buy recycled, or look for the FSC mark on Christmas cards to guarantee the paper has been produced sustainably and ethically. The Woodland Trust sells cards with also support Britain’s woodlands.

Food waste is a huge problem. It’s so easy to over-cater at Christmas. Plan to transform left overs into new meals. Freeze what you can’t eat. Or donate to a local charity feeding those in need. And compost what is still left.

Almost everything we buy has a carbon footprint and much of it is packaged in un-recyclable plastic. Put simply – by buying less we can reduce the rate at which natural resources are used up and the earth is polluted. Let’s rejoice and take delight in God’s free gift to us – God incarnate, a baby born in a manger.

Barbara Echlin

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2 comments on “Green Tips for Christmas by Barbara Echlin
  1. Geraldine says:

    Why not carbon offset the flight with a good charity like Climate stewards?

  2. Andrew Pearson says:

    My wife and I are thinking of not flying on holiday ever again to help the atmosphere but I am committed to a work trip to Sri Lanka in February 2020 and the airfare is costing me £594. If I was going with Ryan Air I could donate one pound to carbon-offset this and help plant a small wood in Ireland. A pound seems derisory. So, what would be a sensible figure? I’m thinking of tithing, perhaps donating another tenth (£60) to a green charity, maybe GC. What do you think?

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