What are you giving the planet for Christmas?

Published: Tuesday November 30, 2021

St Catharine’s Church in Gloucester set their congregation the challenge to give the Earth a Christmas present. Some really creative ideas were submitted. Here are a few of the responses, compiled by Lesley Barrett.

 

Painted sign on the ground for an electric car charging pointTransport

“We tried hiring an electric car for a month through the website on.to We enjoyed it, and certainly, our next car will be an electric one to reduce emissions.”

“I have started car-sharing with another family. Now the weather is cold and dark it’s a bit tough for the children to cycle or walk.”

“We have decided that it is right for us not to travel in an aeroplane again and we have recently bought an all-electric car in which we are doing most of our local journeys.”

“When our small petrol car gives up the ghost we will get an electric car or no car at all.”

“If and when we travel to the continent, we will try to go by train and not short-haul flight.”

“We will try and walk and cycle where we can and look forward to the new cycleway opening between Gloucester and Cheltenham.”

“Our hybrid car allows us to do local journeys around the city on the electricity mileage. We try to minimise use by gathering tasks together.”

 

A pile of fresh vegetablesFood

“Sometimes I cook meat burgers for the children, but meat-free ones for us adults. This halves our meat consumption for that meal-time. We are continuing to have two vegetarian meals each week.”

“We have signed up to get a fortnightly delivery of vegetables from Oddbox. They say: ‘By going directly to farmers, asking what they’ve got too much of and what’s in season, we’re cutting out the supermarkets and reducing the amount of food chucked away. Better for the planet, better for your plate.’ There should also be less plastic involved. And of course, we buy Fair Trade tea and bananas from Tesco to encourage them to support the economy of struggling countries. Plus Traidcraft cards, chocolate, gifts etc.”

“Fruit and vegetable waste goes into a large compost bin – avoids peat-based bought compost. If we need more, we buy bags of non-peat commercially composted products.”

 

Heating

“Radiator thermostats are on lower and we wear extra layers.”

“When we update our heating system we will endeavour to look at systems other than oil which we have currently, which will be more earth-friendly.”

“If possible we will heat our house by a heat pump in future and will look out for government schemes to help with this transition away from gas.”

 

Household

A railing of second hand clothes on the street“We will buy more second-hand clothes and try to make clothes and household items last as long as possible.”

“Start simply. Clothes buying is our national pastime. I will try to:

1. Wear my clothes out
2. Give away what I do not need
3. Visit charity shops
4. If I need to buy something new, read the label.”

“Rather than wash up using hot water several times a day, we now do a quick cold rinse (if necessary) and use the dishwasher 3 times a week. Reduces gas and water consumption.”

 

Recycle

3 recycling bins“We already recycle everything we can – including batteries, food waste, paper, plastic pots and trays. We re-use as many plastic bags as possible and recycle once necessary.”

“We use large, strong multi-use shopping bags.”

“We re-use ice cream tubs for freezing cooked food, homegrown fruit etc.”

“Oh, I wish I was doing more (yes, I easily sink into despair, despondency). Yet looking back, we’ve started the journey—less meat; less heat; less ‘stuff’; more lights off; more pedal-cycling; more careful recycling, up-cycling, and a little more use of ‘preloved.’ (Oh, and more vocabulary!) More talking, reading and thinking about our call as earth-keepers, challenging my daily life, actions and decisions. Wanting to be willing to be inconvenienced, to sit lightly to our resource-greedy lifestyle, to bear hardship; and to be ready when major sacrifices are forced on us. All for the sake of those already suffering as well as for our children and our children’s children. And so that my daily prayer ‘thy kingdom come on earth’ will have integrity, backed by my actions. A long, long way to go; but confident in the courage and grace our compassionate God gives us to continue the journey.”

 

Have you been inspired by any of these actions? Let us know what you’re planning to give the planet this Christmas by emailing or tweeting @glosdioc

Article shared by kind permission of St Catharine’s Church, Gloucester.

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