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Nine ways you can be more eco-friendly this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:20 08 January 2020

We've pulled together some top tips on how to have a more eco-friendly Christmas. Picture: PA Images/Owen Humphreys

We've pulled together some top tips on how to have a more eco-friendly Christmas. Picture: PA Images/Owen Humphreys

PA Archive/PA Images

Christmas is traditionally a time of extravagance and a chance to spoil loved ones with gifts, great food and merry cheer. But can we enjoy the festive season sustainably?

You wouldn't be alone - 48per cent of Londoners said they intend on being more sustainable this Christmas by not sending cards or buying second-hand gifts, according to William May, experts in pre-owned luxury jewellery.

It's easy to host an eco-friendly Christmas with a few of our top tips.

1. Picking a gift that lasts, such as a plant or a charity sponsorship, will reduce the likelihood of it ending up in landfill a few months after the festive period.

2. Instead of filling up your Amazon basket with gifts for all the family, why not head to your high street and support your local businesses. Buying locally reduces the amount of greenhouse emissions produced from delivering gifts to your doorstep.

3. Choosing gifts made from recycled sources or made sustainably is a great way to reduce your Christmas waste.

4. Choose recyclable wrapping paper or use last year's Christmas cards as gift tags and pick up some eco-friendly Christmas crackers.

Research from recycling company First Mile shows that Londoners have the greenest of attitudes with 83pc of people living in the capital saying they are concerned about the additional waste that the festive season creates. That's significantly higher than the 71pc national average.

The poll also revealed that the amount of wrapping paper used and thrown away after gifts have been opened is what annoys Londoners most.

5. There's nothing wrong with a bit of re-gifting. More than half of Londoners said they would be happy to receive a pre-owned present, according to research by Mazuma Mobile, so why not wrap up that soap set you got for your birthday that just isn't to your taste? If you receive something you don't need or don't like, it makes sense to pass it onto someone who will like it.

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When asked which items are the most acceptable to buy as second-hand gifts, 37pc of people said jewellery, 18pc said toys, 18pc said games, 14pc said home items, 9pc said art and 4pc said clothes, according to William May.

6. Get outside and do an earth-friendly family activity on Christmas day, such as a nature restoration activity, such as planting a tree, or a bird count. You can do your bit for the environment while getting outside and building your appetite for a big Christmas dinner.

7. This is an easy one - turn off Christmas tree lights and outdoor decorative lights at bedtime.

8. Choose a live tree, rather than a plastic tree. Once artificial trees start to show a bit of wear after a few uses, they are often discarded and dumped in landfill, where the plastic won't decompose.

If you do go for an artificial tree, make sure it's a good quality one that will last. And if you go for a live tree, make sure it has been sourced sustainably and you dispose of it properly or replant it in your garden.

9. Find an alternative to tinsel. Tinsel is made of plastic and will be dumped in landfill once it's disposed of.

Nearly half of Londoners said they will go plastic-free or cut down of plastic consumption this Christmas, according to a poll by recycling company First Mile. There are many plastic-free options to work with, from pom-pom and felt Christmas garlands to paper bunting.

First Mile founder and CEO, Bruce Bratley, said: "The UK produces a colossal amount of waste every Christmas and it's us as consumers whose buying choices are responsible for our nation's festive footprint.

"Being more gift aware this year, will ultimately set the precedent of what appears on Christmas shelves next year."

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