How to get your Christmas shopping done and still reduce your impact on the environment

How to get your Christmas shopping done and still reduce your impact on the environment
Posted by Russell Wells

If you celebrate Christmas and love to get together with friends and family over the holiday, this really is the most wonderful time of the year. The weather gets chilly, the shops are all playing festive tunes and there’s always a mince pie on offer somewhere. But all the joy is sometimes overshadowed by the effect we can have on the environment. Here are a few tips for lowering your carbon footprint while out shopping this December.

Take to the streets - on foot
If you are able to and live in London, walk as much as possible when doing your Christmas shopping. Once you’ve selected your destination, whether it’s Covent Garden, Kings Road or Westfield shopping centre, pick a route that doesn’t involve driving or getting the train (although public transport is still better for keeping emissions low than driving your car). Once you’re in central London, you’ll be surprised how close everything can be. Covent Garden to Regent Street is just a 10 minute walk, for example. So no need to hop on the Tube!

Take your own bags
It’s estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the world’s oceans each year, according to scientists at University of Georgia in the US. Adding to the amount of plastics we throw away is not necessary anymore, as taking your own bags shopping is considered the norm. You can find really great canvas shopping bags like this one at Oliver Bonas, and you’ll be reducing the amount that need to be recycled (as well as saving yourself 5p each time!)

Recyclable products
Many of the Christmas presents we buy for people include parts that will be thrown away when they’re used. For example, bottles of perfume, candles and even clothes will eventually need to be discarded. By choosing gifts that can be recycled easily, you’ll be helping to reduce the impact you’re friends and family may have on the planet. If the brand is responsible, gifts such as bottled shower gels will have a request to recycle the plastics on the packaging. Look out for these when you’re making your purchases.

Don’t choose cosmetics with beads
Lotions, potions,, fragrances, powders and creams are all popular gifts at Christmas time. They are great for the man or woman in your life who loves a little pampering. But as we reported earlier this year, some of the scrubs and creams that contain tiny microbeads can be harmful to our marine life. Read the article here. And wherever possible try to choose products that don’t contain the little pieces of plastic.

Choose edible gifts
For the hardcore environmentalists among you, there is one sure-fire way to reduce the impact you have on the environment when it comes to Christmas gifts… make them edible! Cookies, homemade jams, cakes, gingerbread and mince pies are all a low-carbon-footprint gift as they are rarely wasted, your recipients will probably be touched that you went to the effort of making something. Plus there is minimal shopping and packaging required. 

Did you know Outlet is an environmentally-friendly property company? We do all we can to help the planet and reduce our carbon footprint as a business. Measures we take include walking wherever possible, recycling our paper and even planting a tree for every property we let or sell! 

Give Outlet a call if we can help you with anything property related such as property managementproperty sales or lettings in London. We can also help you with lets with pets. Call 020 7287 4244 and one of our friendly team will be happy to help.

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