Britain demands green Christmas, planet-friendly times ahead

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London, Dec 23 (UNI) Britain is embarking on its greenest Christmas ever with a majority of people making resolutions for living greener lives in the future, a set of studies reveals.

People are promising to make celebrations during Christmas time, which is traditionally the most polluting week of the year, more environment friendly.

According to findings, if the rubbish generated during the festival time was recycled, greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 352,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide could be saved or ''enough energy to fly Santa in a plane around the world 64,500 times on Christmas Eve could be generated''.

Three-quarters said they were trying to reduce the amount of waste generated over the holiday, four in five planned to dispose of their Christmas tree in an environmentally responsible way, and nine out of 10 would recycle their Christmas cards and wrapping paper, The Independent reported.

Earlier studies had revealed that the days from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day could generate a carbon footprint as great as almost three weeks of normal life.

The Stockholm Environment Institute study stated the total consumption and spending on food, travel, lighting and gifts over the three days of festivities could result in as much as 650 kg of emissions of carbon dioxide per person.

Britons sent around 750 million Christmas cards a year, spent an average of 435 pounds each on Christmas presents and gift wrap them in brightly coloured papers enough to encase the entire island of Guernsey.

Eight million real trees were temporarily installed in people's homes and 10 million turkeys were consumed, along with 20 million parsnips, 30 million carrots, 105 million potatoes, 175 million mince pies and 240 million Brussels sprouts.

All this produced an extra 750,000 tonnes of waste equivalent of emitting an extra 1.4 million tons of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming.

A poll of 1,000 people carried out by online market researcher Lightspeed Research found last week that 91 per cent of them intended to recycle their cards and wrapping paper and that 31 per cent were sending some electronic cards as well as paper ones.

Nearly two-fifths of respondents were reducing their use of Christmas lights compared to last year.

Nearly two-thirds intended to buy locally produced Christmas food, with 44 per cent opting for free-range meat and 35 per cent insisting on Fairtrade products.

As many as half of shoppers were trying to cut down on their use of plastic bags and take reusable ones with them, other findings suggested.

Executive director Friends of the Earth, Tony Juniper, said, ''The surveys suggest that people are up for change, and ready to do their bit. It is a seasonal reminder to the Government that it needs to do far more itself.'' UNI XC SYU PM1144

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