Going green for the holidays

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Feeling guilty at the excesses of yet another office party or Secret Santa exchange? Envirowise in the UK has come up with a company guide to a green Christmas. Most suggestions are pretty undemanding, but hopefully the impact adds up given the sharp spike in waste generated by the typical holiday season.

In reinforcing the call for climate-friendly celebrations, Lloyds of London notes that over 8 million Christmas trees are bought in the UK alone, generating an estimated 160,000 tonnes of additional rubbish. This is apparently equivalent to the weight of 21 Eiffel Towers.

There are also business opportunities around environmental concerns. In the retail sector, firms are seeing the growing trend for green giving. Deloitte's holiday survey finds that 18% of consumers will buy more eco-friendly gifts and many are willing to pay more for them.

On the receiving end, 58% of Americans want to get a green gift this year according to the 2007 Cone Holiday Environmental Survey. So don't be surprised to find your stocking stuffed with products proudly proclaiming their green credentials from organic to carbon-neutral to biodegradable. If you don't like what you find, perhaps you need have no guilt over recycling gifts.  You would simply be doing your part for the environment.


Michael Jarvis

Executive Director, Transparency and Accountability Initiative

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