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You can have a Green Christmas.
You can have a Green Christmas. Often the best time of year for catching up with family and friends, it's also the biggest time of spending - on presents, food, alcohol, parties and holidays. Unfortunately, all of our spending and consumption results in significant environmental damage and carbon pollution. However, you don't have to be a scrooge to reduce your carbon footprint at Christmas. Here are tips for a more sustainable festive season.

Buy a service, not a product: To reduce embodied carbon pollution and water consumption, think about buying someone a service - say a voucher for a massage, rather than a massaging appliance. Vouchers for other services, (such as gardening or housecleaning) or film and theatre tickets are also good. Beware gifts that will increase the recipient's motor travel.

Buy gift vouchers: Gift vouchers are a good thing for the environment. People use them to get exactly what they want. And they can use its value for a purchase in the store at any time after christmas. Make sure the validity is at least 6 months or a year, so that recipient will not forget to use it before it expires.

Buy gifts that give twice: Give your friends and family membership to charities, overseas aid groups or environment organisations.

Buy carbon offsets: You can choose the amount you want to spend and offset someone's car travel, household energy use or airline travel, once-off or for a year.

Buy energy saving gifts: For energy saving gifts to really save energy, generally they must be tailored to the recipient's circumstances. Many of these items require behavior adjustments to be fully effective, so be conscious of what the recipient is willing to do to get the full energy savings from such a product.