Dreaming of a greener Christmas? Small changes can bring joy as well as help the planet – Cammy Day

More of us than ever before are looking to make sustainable changes in our daily lives to help protect our planet.

Cammy Day is the deputy leader of Edinburgh City Council
Cammy Day is the deputy leader of Edinburgh City Council

And, with four out of five people in Edinburgh agreeing that we have a responsibility to cut down on waste this Christmas, the Council’s new Green Christmas campaign highlights some of the steps we can all take to buy more responsibly and avoid waste where possible over the festive season.

There’s lots we can all do to make a difference while still making bringing joy to the ones we care about most.

From choosing local suppliers and products, to asking for pre-loved or homemade gifts or cutting down on food waste, making small changes add up. And, as well as being good for the environment, they can often save time and money too. For example, planning meals ahead, so you only buy the food you need can help save you up to £437 a year.

It’s easy to start small too. Before hitting the shops ask yourself: How sustainable is this item? Can I find it second hand? How long will it be loved for? And do I really need it?

Or by checking out guides such as the Edinburgh Reuse Map, developed by the Council in partnership with Changeworks, or the Zero Waste Edinburgh guide. Both of which are great ways of discovering where possible gifts can be sourced second hand, or for free, fixed, donated or even upcycled – helping to cut down on waste.

The COP26 climate conference in Glasgow last month helped to highlight just how much of an impact the climate crisis will have on our everyday lives – from the food we eat and the buildings we use, to the plants and wildlife that surrounds us.

It also helped to show that taking climate action can have a hugely positive impact on society – from helping improve people’s physical and mental health, to creating new jobs and tacking poverty and inequalities.

We also know that, for many, it’s hugely important that Edinburgh does all it can to play its part in tackling the climate emergency. That’s why we were the first city in Scotland to declare a climate emergency in 2019; set the ambitious goal to become net zero by 2030 and have become the only city in Scotland to receive the highest global rating for climate action. Because we all have a part to play in helping create a cleaner, green Edinburgh for future generations.

So please look out for the billboards, the bus shelter ads, the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Nextdoor content about this – there will be lots to see in the next few weeks. There’s also lots of helpful information and tips available on our website including details on recycling and Christmas tree uplifts, plastic free and second-hand shops across the city and inspiration on how to buy less, choose well and make things last.

And to all of you who do choose to make these positive changes and cut down on your waste over the Christmas period, thank you. All of our changes do add up as we make a difference.

Cammy Day is Depute Leader of City of Edinburgh Council