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Merry Christmas from everyone at PECT!

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 24.12.2015

Time: 11:30

We've had a very exciting year, with some fantastic achievements, including presenting a Green Festival that engaged with over 10,000 participants and 38 partner organisations across the city. We also launched our new Peterborough Eco Framework - embedding knowledge of sustainability issues into classes to inspire the next generation of forward-thinking students. Plus we've now planted over 84,000 trees as part of the Forest for Peterborough project.

A huge thank you to everyone that has contributed to the successes of the past year. We look forward to working with people across the city and beyond throughout 2016 to continue to achieve a positive impact together!



Creating handmade gifts

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 15.12.2015

Time: 14:23

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. Sadly for many though, the cost of buying gifts for loved ones can put a dampener on the festivities, but there are cheaper alternatives – you can make your own gifts!

Yes, I know, who on earth has time to make gifts these days and what if you can’t knit, build or have absolutely no creativity? Well, it’s easier than you think (especially with help from projects such as Greeniversity) and it’s always nice when you know some thought has gone into a gift.  As a child, I remember getting quite random gifts off my relatives that left me wondering, is this really for me? Having a gift made especially for you shows a lot of thought has gone into it and it doesn’t need to be expensive.

One year, I got my friend a shoe box full of purple things, her favourite colour. Ok, so this ranged from chocolate to cat food but it was all purple, and the thought was most definitely there! Funnily enough, the same year, my friend gave me a shoe box of things that reminded her of me. I can’t remember everything in the box, but there was a wind up mouth that jumped around chattering ….I think she was trying to tell me I talk too much!

There are so many websites now where you can get ideas for handmade gifts and decorations that there really is no excuse to resort to soap or handkerchiefs for relatives or Secret Santas.

Admittedly, it can take time to make a gift, but just think how the recipient will feel knowing you’re investing something way more precious than money in their gift… your time and thought! If hand-made gifts really aren’t an option, then take a moment to source ethical stores or shop locally at one of the many Xmas craft fairs that pop up at this time of year.

Happy ethical Xmas to you all!

This blog was written by Kari-ann Whitbread, Peterborough Environment City Trust's Fundraising Manager.



Aiming for a green Christmas

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 14.12.2015

Time: 10:22

With the latest forecasts suggesting that rain and gales are more likely than a white Christmas for most of the UK, why not aim for a green Christmas instead?

Research from WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) suggests that households in England will create nearly three quarters of a million tonnes of extra waste at Christmas – an average of five extra black bags per household. Even just removing all of the recyclables in this extra rubbish would save 352,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide – equivalent to flying Santa around the world (by plane, not reindeer!) 64,500 times on Christmas Eve.

If you want to ‘green’ your celebrations, the Christmas tree is an apt place to start. If you opt for a real tree, if possible planted in a large pot, then a tree can be reused for several years or even longer if it’s replanted outdoors. If you don’t have the space to replant, recycling is offered by many local authorities and garden centres - Recycle Now has a list of tree recycling points. Sending a tree to landfill costs more than £2.30 per tree, as well as being a missed opportunity to provide nutrients for the soil or create mulch to use as a low-cost landscaping material.

When it comes to decorations, simply switching to LED bulbs can reduce energy consumption by up to 95%. LED decorations use around 0.04 watts each, 10 times less than standard mini tree bulbs and 100 times less than outdoor bulbs. Even better, if one LED burns out, the rest of the string will stay lit – so no more fumbling to find the broken bulb!

Sending and receiving cards offers lots of opportunities for green savings – have a go at making your own, pick designs made from recycled materials or save on paper, energy and fuel by sending e-cards. After Christmas, there are loads of ways to recycle your old cards. The M&S Christmas Card Recycling Scheme has committed to working with the Woodland Trust to plant a tree for every 1,000 cards recycled in store during January. Over the last five years, the scheme has funded 32,000 trees, with this year’s target set at 6 million cards and another 6,000 trees.

A green Christmas needn’t mean missing out on turkey with all the trimmings. The Soil Association estimates that the ingredients for a typical Christmas dinner can contribute 49,000 food miles – the equivalent of two journeys around the world. However, some simple switches can make a massive difference. Opt for an organic turkey if possible, or go for a veggie option. Focus on in-season sprouts and cabbage to reduce food miles. Look into options for local suppliers – the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association lists lots of markets and farm shops. For other ideas, read The Guardian’s guide to a green Christmas dinner or check out BBC Good Food’s ideas for using up Christmas leftovers.

Finally, even if your green Christmas doesn’t go to plan, there’s always the chance to make an eco New Year’s resolution

This blog was written by Emma Taylor, Healthy Homes Project Support Officer at Peterborough Environment City Trust.