A Low Carbon Christmas

December 17, 2012, 2:44 pm Climate Friendly Yahoo!7

Great tips for a carbon conscious Christmas and an energy efficient New Year!

A Low Carbon Christmas

Christmas can prove challenging to even the most conscientious carbonistas. With soaring temperatures and air conditioners working overtime, traffic congestion and online shopping frenzies, emissions certainly aren’t scarce.

But while you focus on keeping the cash flowing in over the festive season, it’s worth taking a little time to ask whether you’ve considered your environmental impact this Christmas? Now is the time to review what you have done this year and what you may consider doing next time.

Climate Friendly’s clients have provided some of their top tips for being green and carbon conscious over the Christmas period:

1. Celebrate your work Christmas party using local food and wines. The less food miles travelled, the lower the carbon footprint.

2. Keep your customers happy by send an e-greeting, reducing emissions from paper and postage. It’s important to personalise your greetings, so your customers feel engaged and unique rather than bombarded.

3. Keep your store decorations to a minimum. More is less when it comes to decorations, which often get in the way and cause unsightly clutter.

4. Christmas lights can chew through power but there are LED versions now widely available. Again, more is less.

5. Cut your waste. Offer customers reusable bags or ask them if they want one, rather than automatically providing one. Naturally, recycle whatever you can.

6. Skip wrapping if you can, or reuse existing or waste wrapping and paper. You can demonstrate your ingenuity with this one!

7. Buy a sustainably sourced Christmas tree. It is possible to reuse the same natural tree the following year if you have a keen green-thumb.

8. Adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature in summer. Around 23-25 degrees keeps most staff and customers comfortable.

9. Don’t cool unused space. Try to zone areas of your workplace or shopfront and leave the unused areas uncooled.

10. Don’t buy when you can swap. Freecycling is rapidly gaining popularity. Republic of Everyone has a nifty application on their Facebook page where you can create a wish list and swap items with others.

And once all of the dust has settled from Christmas, setting New Year’s resolutions becomes the order of the day. Here are some common tips that our clients have provided us for acting on climate change in the new year.

If your business is able to commit to just one of these, you’re already on the journey to carbon mastery.

New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Assess where you stand and commit to measuring your footprint.

2. Get all staff involved and informed about sustainability. Bottom-up solutions from your staff often make the best ideas and staff are likely to support initiatives more comprehensively.

3. Support renewable energy or quality offset projects.

4. Team up with like-minded businesses and share your top tips.

5. Continue to engage your staff and customers about your activities, welcoming their input at regular intervals.

It’s been an exciting year for carbon in 2012. With the carbon price springing to life in July and an ever increasing number of businesses deciding to offset and reduce their emissions voluntarily, we are on track to make a serious dent in carbon emissions in 2013.

From the team here at Climate Friendly, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a great start to the New Year!

What will your business do to reduce its footprint in 2013? As always, we’d love to hear from you about your initiatives and help you on the journey to become more sustainable. Join in the conversation today on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or email us at takeaction@climatefriendly.com.