Green Guide for Christmas

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English Eccentrics

This is our selection of festive food and gifts from the fabulous eco and sustainable stuff we have seen over the past year - plus a few of our old favourites which are making repeat appearances.

Everything we have chosen is ethical or eco in nature and manufacture - or will help us lead a more planet-friendly lifestyle.

Christmas is traditionally a time of excess - a tradition that doesn't sit well with trying to be sustainable. Actually from a purely consumerist point of view, we probably need less stuff anyway. And right now our planet could really do with us using less and making better use of what we have already.

So frankly, if you want to give the planet a gift this Christmas, the best thing you could do is give nothing. Save energy, save resources, save waste and save your money. That's probably far too austere for most people, so try giving proxy presents. These are gifts to others or to charities and NGOs made in the name of your friends and relatives.

More and more people are doing this, and finding that such gifts are welcomed by all involved. And helping a family build their own toilet or purchase a cow for a daily milk supply is much more worthwhile than another pair of socks or a fancy gadget that will never get used.

Whatever you decide to do, when choosing gifts and festive stuff make sure they are wanted, useful, long-lived (except the food and drink, of course), ethically made, eco-minded, recyclable and generally just plain planet-friendly.

Please follow the links below - and note that we are still adding ideas. When we're done there will be around 20 links for all kinds of gifts from lingerie and perfume to charity giving and sponsorship.

We welcome readers suggestions so please email editor@greenguide.co.uk with your ideas!

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