Research shows that celebrations can have a big environmental impact with three days of Christmas festivities can add up to over half a tonne of carbon dioxide emissions per person.  Other major events such as weddings, birthday parties and the like can also have a large impact.  There are a variety of campaigns which have been launched to address this.  These include lowering impact through fewer disposables and better recycling or trying to find alternatives to damaging traditions such as serving shark fin soup at weddings.

As well as lowering the impact of the actual gifts or encouraging recycling, there is increased activity around the idea of giving experiences rather than gifts, (examples in both the UK and Canada or other building on research showing that experiences tend to be more memorable.  Other related ideas include the SoKind registry which creates a gift registry for a celebration whereby people can request or offer gifts such as donations to charity instead of the typical gifts.

What else is there?  Are there policies or campaigns in your country, region or city to facilitate and encourage low-carbon giving?  Do you know about or are you involved in projects in your community, school or business that promote low-carbon gifts?

If you have examples to share, please do fill out our questionnaire.

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