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Your green guide to a planet-friendly Christmas

Top tips from The Green Blue  on how to be a sustainable Santa…


Christmas is often a time of excess and indulgence, with traditionally the only thing being green are the Brussel sprouts and the twinkling Christmas tree. However, if there is anything that many of us have learnt over the past few years it is that the best things can often cost our pockets minimally, so why not lower the cost to the planet this Christmas too?


Savvy shopping


When purchasing gifts, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for third party certification to determine if a product is environmentally friendly. Some symbols to look out for include: Fairtrade, Soil Association (organic), Rainforest Alliance, Cruelty Free, Vegan Society, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Palm Oil Free.


Another top tip is to shop local! Reduce your present’s miles and emissions by visiting your local boat jumble or car boot sale for a great find. Look out for memorabilia, trinkets, decorative maps, and equipment. You can also search on local Facebook groups to find sellers near you.


Lower waste 


Give the gift of experience, a memory is not just for Christmas! Purchasing an experience voucher, going on an exciting day out together or booking a RYA training course can give hours of fun and won’t get thrown out with the wrapping paper on Boxing Day.


Or how about purchasing a RYA Individual Membership? Your loved one would be joining a world-wide community of over 100,000 people and would enjoy receiving exclusive member benefits. Annual memberships make a thoughtful and considerate gift suited to any age. You could help support the vital conservation of seabirds and marine life by purchasing an annual membership from the RSPB or local Wildlife Trust.


Think long-term 


Re-usable BPA free bottles and bamboo food containers are the gifts that keep on giving! Batch cooking meals is more environmentally friendly and reusable containers are perfect for storing any on-board culinary delights. Remember to check out the free app ‘Refill’ which pinpoints your local refill water stations as well as cafes that offer discounts if you bring your own bottle.


You could also give the gift of knowledge this Christmas with a RYA training book, great for when getting out on the water in winter isn’t an option and which your loved one will be able to re-read over and over. Second-hand bookshops are also great for finding hidden gems or previously forgotten titles.


Finishing touches


Once you’ve purchased your gifts, remember to choose a recyclable wrapping paper. Want to know if your wrapping paper can be recycled or not? Use the scrunch test! Simply scrunch up the paper in your hands and then let it go. If the paper stays scrunched up, then it can be recycled but, if it unfolds, then it probably contains non-recyclable elements. Remember, if your wrapping paper contains glitter or foil, it cannot be recycled.


You can find a full range of products and services on The Green Blue Business Directory that will aid you in finding a great gift for the boater in your life – or maybe just a green treat for yourself!


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