Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.
Being green doesn't have to be costly or mean a huge change in lifestyle. It’s the little things that make a difference.
So for a green, greenChristmas simply keep in mind the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
1. Send e-cards
They cut your carbon footprint, save trees and are free – we love Jacquie Lawson’s chocolate Labrador Chudleigh.
Or give a donation to charity rather than send Christmas cards to people you see frequently – support Friends of the Peak District to help us conserve the spectacular Peak District.
2. Bag a bargain
Shop in vintage and second-hand stores. Second-hand means lower carbon emissions and resource use from manufacturing and packaging, and your friends will love receiving something unique!
3. Deck the halls with real holly
Instead of buying artificial Christmas decorations that won't biodegrade, let nature decorate your home. Once you have finished with them, you can recycle them in the compost bin. Someone on the radio was adorning their Christmas wreath with brussel sprouts – this maybe one step too far!
4. Romantic Candlelight
Use old jam jars, ornaments and cups as containers for candle wax, you can get them refilled with festive fragrant wax at On a Wick in Tissington (free postage for orders over £10)
5. Christmas Trees
This always creates a real debate; real or artificial? Research and carbon calculations show that a natural tree is best. It can be replanted or it bio degrades. An artificial tree uses toxic materials and petro-chemical in its plastics, takes a lot of energy to produce, has often travelled from the Far East, and it doesn't even last forever! Not so green after all!
Choose a real Christmas tree with roots so it can be replanted. If replanting isn't an option most local councils run Christmas tree recycling schemes www.letsrecycle.com
6. Let there be light
Use low energy LED fairy lights which use a fraction of the energy of standard tree lights. Turn lights off if not at home - 15% of household electricity is wasted by leaving TVs, Hi-fi's and other appliances on standby – costing each of us an average of £37 per year!
7. Be battery wise
You can get through a lot of batteries, particularly at Christmas. Batteries contain toxic chemicals, don't biodegrade and are difficult to recycle. Instead use rechargeable ones or buy wind up gadgets.
8. Shop local, buy organic
Shopping at farmers markets or buying direct from the farmer is far cheaper than buying organic in the supermarket. Think of the benefits – the taste of chemical-free food, the reduction in food miles and CO2 emissions, and reduced dependence on oil. Buying locally produced food also boosts rural jobs. Buy from trusted Environmental Quality Mark award holders in the Peak District.
9. Waste not want not
Use your left overs creatively. Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for brilliant recipes and cooking tips for left overs such as turkey and ham pie. If you don’t have hens or greedy Labradors like ours turn your peelings & scraps into compost for a blooming marvelous garden next summer!
10. Get Swishing!
Recycle unwanted presents by hosting a swishing party. Everyone brings along unwanted items and then bids for items they would like to buy. It’s amazing how much money you can raise for local charities this way, and it’s great fun.
We will create 3 million tonnes of rubbish this Christmas in Britain - the equivalent of 400,000 double-decker buses. Over half of this could be recycled. Where is it going to go otherwise?
With a little thought and preparation we can all make this year a green, green Christmas. But most of all have fun!
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