Shopping Responsibly

Over the festive season it's easy to get into a shopping frenzy, however everything we buy represents an investment in energy and water, and an output of greenhouse gas.  There are lots of clever ways to give presents that show friends, family and colleagues that you care for them and for the planet.  They may well save you money too.

  • Reduce waste by making a list and checking it twice...for things that will make it a good season. Are you really going to use that extra box of mince pies? Financially and environmentally it's better to buy more later if you need it, than to waste what you have too much of.
  • Choose goods that aren't over-packaged to minimise what you'll need to dispose of and go for toys, electronics or other items that use simplified packaging, which is easier to recycle.
  • Support environmental sustainability by choosing products that have been produced using methods and materials that do little or no environmental harm. Look for third party accreditation to ensure the manufacturer's claims are true.
  • Most of us are in the habit of taking reusable bags to the supermarket with us and it's just as easy to take reusable bags to the department store and other shops. When you're doing the Christmas shopping take a pile of old bags with you (you've probably still got the ones you were given last year in a draw in the kitchen or the laundry). A backpack works just as well as a plastic bag for carrying your new purchases home.

More eco-ideas

For other green tips over the festive season, download the Festive Green Guide as a pdf or podcast below.