Its that time of year when we look at the festive season and come up with some creative thoughts on how to make the festive season a really nature friendly one!

Christmas is the season of wastefulness and last year the total waste created from food and drink, wrapping paper, cards, trees and packaging totalled about 5 million tonnes in the UK. 300,000 tonnes of which are thrown away Christmas cards-that's about the weight of TWO MILLION reindeer….trust me I’m a scientist. So here are the top tips from readers and friends:

1) Make your own Christmas crackers.

Most crackers are manufactured in China and then shipped two thirds of the way around the planet; to be pulled apart and then immediately thrown away. About 70% of the novelties inside are never used or played with……. There are instructions online as to how you can make you own-and its far easier than you might think. Try for some really useful hints and tips.

2) Boycott plastic!

In short if your Christmas present for mum is going to be covered in several layers of plastic before you get to the gift inside…..firstly don’t buy it and secondly phone customer services and let them know why you are not buying their product. If everyone worked together to shame the suppliers-they would have to work very quickly to change the way they do packaging.

3) Re-use your Christmas wrapping paper

If you carefully remove wrapping paper-especially if you use removable gummy/glue dots you can re-use your paper at least once. The biggest cause of ripped paper is Sellotape-which can't be removed without easily ripping. Instead removable glue dots can help to keep the paper in pristine condition!

4) Don’t forget your wildlife this Christmas

Why not buy a bird feeder this Christmas? Our 45 million birds are often very short of food at this time of year and are increasingly reliant on what ever we supply them. But remember to buy from a reputable source and keep the bird feeders clean as dirty feeders spread disease.

5) Buy an experience rather than a physical gift

One way of saving on waste is to buy an experience as opposed to a gift……. may be an eco-friendly spa day; or orienteering the Brecon Beacons! Or go one better and sponsor a toilet…see That way you are making a real-life changing difference to a whole community this Christmas.

May I wish all the readers of Romsey Advertiser a peaceful and environmentally friendly Christmas season!