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10 Green Acts of Christmas Kindness

10 Green Acts of Christmas Kindness Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Christmas is finally here! It’s a season for relaxing, indulging and spending time with loved ones. It’s also a time for compassion and kindness, and this extends to the environment too.

Here are our ten green acts of kindness to show your love for the natural world, save the planet’s resources, and support your local countryside.

1 Make your own Christmas presents

Christmas is a time for giving, receiving and sharing, but retailers will try their best to get you to part with your pennies and buy the latest gadget.

But why not embrace the strong tradition of rural crafting, get creative this Christmas and make your own gifts? A crafted gift is more personal, fun and environmentally friendly. Nature will thank you, as will your friends and family.

2 Plant a tree

Trees are at home in our countryside, help us fight climate change, and provide a home for wildlife. This Christmas, give the gift that keeps on growing, and plant a tree for your loved one. There are tons of tree-planting schemes happening across the UK - you can dedicate or plant a tree in the National Forest, or buy them from the Woodland Trust.

You could even offset your Christmas tree by planting two new trees, or give back to your community with a free tree pack for your neighbourhood or school.

3 Use scarves or plain brown paper for gift wrapping

Millions of rolls of wrapping paper will be binned over Christmas and much of it cannot be recycled. Skip the conundrum completely and either use plain brown paper, leftover newspaper, or even a scarf to wrap your gifts.

4 Look after wildlife this Christmas

Winter can be a tough time for wildlife. We may be wishing for a white Christmas, but wildlife may need our kindness and support if the weather turns bad.

Resist the urge to sweep away leaves other debris from your garden as many small mammals use them to keep warm. Set up a bird table and put out high-fat foods (sunflower seeds, peanuts, bird feed) for robins and other garden birds to keep them warm during the long nights. Register as a hedgehog champion, or give the birds a Christmas dinner!

robin websize.pngGareth Williams/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

5 Join CPRE

Show your love for our countryside and nature by joining CPRE. We believe a beautiful, thriving countryside is important for everyone, no matter where they live. In a world with so many threats to our environment, from fracking to climate change to litter, we’ll stand up for our countryside, and make sure we can all experience the gift of nature.

6 Buy your Christmas ingredients from a local farmers’ market

Buying the ingredient for your Christmas lunch from a local farmers’ market is a great way to give back to the earth. You’ll be supporting local farmers, cutting the distance your food has travelled, and supporting your local countryside. If you don’t know where to start, check out our guide to finding local food, and our top ten farmer’s markets.

7 Share a photo of your local green space with #CountrysideAtChristmas

Everyone feels cheered by the sight of some wintry natural beauty. Share your photos with #CountrysideAtChristmas to celebrate your local patch and the valued landscapes we’re fighting to protect.

Wreath Spratt websize.pngAnnie Spratt/Unsplash

8 Reboot by going for a mindful walk in your local park or countryside.

Christmas can be a stressful time of year. There’s the pressure of gift-giving, travelling and fights over board games. Be kind to yourself over the festive period and reboot by going for a mindful walk in your local park or countryside.

Take a deep breath of fresh air, focus on your breath, and enjoy the sounds of nature.

9 Give gift of your undivided time and attention. Get out in the countryside with a loved one.

The countryside is beautiful in the winter – frosty mornings, misty woods and gloriously muddy paths – perfect for sharing with your friends and family over Christmas.

There are a huge number of winter walks perfect for catching up with family and friends and enjoying the tranquillity of the English countryside. Check out the Ramblers and National Trust for some ideas for countryside routes to blow away the cobwebs spend quality time with your loved ones.

10 Refuse, reuse, recycle

Christmas and New Year can see our bins bulge with food waste, packaging and wrapping paper. Over 100,000 tons of plastics packaging will be thrown away and not recycled, and the total amount of waste created at Christmas is estimated to exceed 5 million tons.

Encouraging your friends and family to refuse unnecessary packaging, reusing existing materials, and ensuring what you do throw away is properly recycled, is one of the best green acts of kindness you can do this year.

Check with your local council to see if they can recycle your tree, and if you don’t know where to recycle, check out RecycleNow’s website.

What green acts of kindness will you commit to do this Christmas? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Here are our ten green acts of kindness to show your love for the natural world, save the planet’s resources, and support your local countryside

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