An eco group has launched a Christmas countdown to encourage people to have a more sustainable and stress-free festive season.
Transition Matlock hope Dales residents will be dreaming of a green Christmas this year and have put together a list of ideas on how to have an environmentally-friendly festive season, without compromising on the cheer.
So far the countdown has looked at waste and encouraged people to plan early for their Christmas menu – by ordering their turkeys from local butchers or farms.
Helen Cunningham of the group, said: “I think a lot of people are struggling with money this year and we just want to give people ideas on how they can be sustainable, ethical and save money.
“People want to celebrate Christmas and spend time with family without feeling guilty.”
The countdown is also looking at Christmas presents and urging shoppers to avoid excess commercialism, spending and waste and instead look at alternative ways of giving.
Ideas have been submitted to the group from businesses including The Loaf, which has a shop in Crich and Matlock and is offering bread-baking vouchers – a perfect gift for a foody friend or relation.
Wirksworth Brewery is offering £9 real ale gift vouchers for a four pint jug of beer and The Pink Cake Box based at Green Way Cafe in Matlock has Christmas cakes, hampers filled with festive treats and cake toppers.
The countdown will also be looking at environmentally friendly decorations and encouraging people to use real foliage such as holly, ivy and mistletoe and avoid packaging and wrapped presents. Ideas include cinema tickets, animal sponsorship and offering your time or skills, such as baby-sitting, painting or decorating and cooking.
Week four of the festive plan will focus on cooking and give advice to people who love food but hate waste.
For more go to www.transitionmatlock.org.uk or follow the group on Facebook.
n See next week’s Mercury as a green Santa tours the Dales to reward businesses for their eco friendly deeds.