Let’s have a more sustainable Christmas

Thursday 5th December 2019

For those of us lucky enough, Christmas can easily become a time of indulgence in all respects: abundances of food, gifts under the tree wrapped in glitter and the glimmer of lights and decorations wherever we look. This may have become the norm for some, but it comes at a price for our planet.  Together, we can make our Christmas greener by taking small, sustainable actions in our own homes and communities.

Last week we saw Black Friday deals taking over the country. Many of us will have rushed to buy the latest gadget or outfit without a thought as to how this will affect our common home.  This Christmas we can make our own mark by trying to buy thoughtfully from local, ethical sellers.  Our diocese is home to many independent businesses who sell sustainable and unique gifts, and an array of charity shops where you might be able to locate a hidden gem which is perfect as a gift for your family and friends.

As appealing as it is, an easy change we can make is by trying to ditch the ribbon and by avoiding glittery and metallic wrapping paper. Why? These things aren’t easily recycled and therefore go to landfill sites or, in the case of glitter, which is simply micro-plastic, further pollutes oceans around the world.  Going back to basics with brown or plain paper is a great and practical idea.

It is easy to get carried away when doing the Christmas shop.  We can all try to reduce waste by sticking closely to a shopping list of necessities and freezing or using up any leftovers we may have.

Instead of sending Christmas cards, you could make a donation to a local charity like Caritas Salford who are helping the most marginalised groups in our community who may be facing challenges in their own lives.

Advent can offer us the perfect opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, as well as a time to step back and reflect on how we are living our lives.

These actions are all small but meaningful.  Use the next few weeks to think about how you can give a gift that’s worth more than a smile on Christmas morning. This year, you can give the promise of clean oceans, safe air and a future that will be passed on for generations to come.

Parishioners from Our Lady of Grace, Prestwich, have shared tips on how to have a more sustainable Christmas in their parish newsletter. Could you do the same?

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Tagged | Environment

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