Here are a number of tips to help us all to celebrate a “greener” Christmas.

Sustainable wrapping: Buy fabric shopping bags at your local store or craft market.

Charity: Clean out your cupboards and give to the needy.

Green Christmas tree option: Buy an indigenous tree to decorate, and then plant it outside in January.

Choose handmade and homemade: Create your own gift tags/Christmas cards from last year’s cards or calenders.

Energy-efficient lighting: Replace your light strands with newer LED bulbs and install a timer to save electricity and avoid overheating.

Ornaments: Wood, metal or cloth are natural substances and will last longer than plastic or thin glass.

Shop local: Buy South African products instead of imported products.

Give “battery free” gifts: Discarded batteries are an environmental hazard.

Connect with nature: Get outdoors! Decorate a tree for the birds – place seed bells, suet, pine cones with peanut butter and seed trays on any tree in your garden. (Chat Newsletter, Holiday Edition, 2016-12).