AS the holiday season approaches, many of us are eager to embrace the spirit of giving and celebration.

However, it's essential to remember that our choices can have a significant impact on the planet.

This Christmas, let's make a conscious effort to be more environmentally friendly.

Here are five easy ways to make a positive change:

  1. Eco-friendly decorations: Consider using reusable or recycled decorations. Swap traditional tinsel and plastic ornaments for natural elements like pinecones, or try creating DIY decorations. Also opting for energy-efficient LED lighting to adorn your home and tree will reduce your carbon footprint as well as your electric bill.
  2. Sustainable gift wrapping: Choose reusable gift wrap options like cloth bags, scarves, or even newspapers. If you prefer traditional wrapping paper, ensure it's recyclable. Lush sells fab fabric wraps and My Carbon Coach on Station Road sells Christmas brown kraft paper wrap.
  3. Local and handmade gifts: Support local artisans and reduce the environmental impact of shipping by selecting locally-made gifts. They often have a smaller carbon footprint and are unique and meaningful. Rocket And Bird in the Independent Quarter stocks 30 Somerset makers, and the monthly Independent market in Castle Green is a great place to find gifts too.
  4. Reduce food waste: Plan your meals and portions carefully to minimise food waste. Composting organic waste is a sustainable way to dispose of leftovers. You can also download an app like Olio or Too Good To Go which allows you to share food and pass on what you no longer need.
  5. Recycle electronics: Properly recycle old electronics when upgrading to new devices. Many electronics contain hazardous materials, so recycling them responsibly is crucial. Also don’t forget a refurbished phone or laptop will help the planet and your pocket.

This Christmas, let's spread joy and happiness while also being kind to our planet. Small, thoughtful choices can lead to a greener and more sustainable holiday season for all.

Tim Walker owns My Carbon Coach, a sustainable living shop at 85 Station Road, Taunton.