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12 Days of Wild: Festive Ways to Help the Planet This December

As we embrace the festive season, Madelaine Stannard gives three quick, easy ways you can celebrate the holidays whilst minimising your impact on the planet!

December is the time of year where spirits are often at their highest. For most of us, we can take time away from work and education, and spend the festive period with those we love most. You may even be lucky enough to receive a gift or two under the tree, if you’ve been on your best behaviour. But where we are able to relax, put our feet up and work our way through the never-ending pile of Christmas chocolates, it is these dark, cold weeks where the planet faces the aftermath of the enormous pressures we put it under as we prepare for the big day.

Here at Wild, we have compiled a list of quick, simple things you can do this month, so you can celebrate the 25th with ease, fortune, and sustainable spirit.

Feed the Birds

Supplementary bird-feeding is a multi-million pound industry in the UK alone - many of us hang feeders from garden and park trees year round, helping feathered friends when times get tough. And for the bird species we know and love, times are rarely rougher than the peak of winter, where cold temperatures, icy conditions and scarce food supply can make it difficult for robins, blackbirds, blue tits and more. When you’re dishing out Christmas dinner this year, take a look out your window and see, where possible, our beloved bird species doing the same.

There are numerous guides on the best types of both bird-feeders and seeds for the species you hope to help, including this handy page by the BTO. If you do decide to give garden birds a helping hand this year, as always, ensure you maintain good hygiene for both yourself and the birds, to avoid the spread of avian influenza in your area.

Feeding the birds is an easy and quick way to support the wildlife in your local area, particularly during the cold winter months. Image Credit: Oldiefan on Pixabay.

Switch Your Browser

When the last minute panic-buying begins, you may spend hours browsing the Internet for the perfect gift for a loved one. Whether you’re buying for a Dad who has everything, or your office Secret Santa, Google usually has the answers. But, switching your browser in just a few easy steps to something like Ecosia, can help you put fires out everywhere. Ecosia uses ad-generated revenue from each search to fund tree-planting in places it is most needed. In fact, University College London reports that just one search using Ecosia removes approximately one kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, through carbon sequestration.

A tree sapling emerges from the ground, under bright sunshine - could this tree have been planted by Ecosia, all from one simple browser search? Image Credit: Nature_Design on Pixabay.

Second-Hand Is Not Second Best

If you have invites to an exciting holiday party, or feel like a new outfit is just what you need for this festive season, it could be worth thinking about how and where you make your purchases. Oxfam recently hosted their annual Secondhand September campaign, and at Wild, we covered a range of sustainability topics on all things circular, secondhand and sharing!

Investing in Quality: Why Second-Hand Doesn’t Mean Second Best was published by Wild back in September, investigating the stigma of secondhand shopping but also the incredible, far-reaching benefits for both people and the planet. Sites like Vinted and Depop often have some classy, pre-loved finds, as well as your local charity shops and vintage stores, that can make your season of celebration that bit more sustainable!

A woman shopping for second-hand clothes in a charity shop. Image credit: Cottonbro Studio on Pexels.

About the Author: Madelaine Stannard is based in Sheffield, studying a Bsc in Zoology with a keen interest in animal behaviour, endangered species recovery and science communication. You can find her on Instagram @madelainestannardwild for wildlife photography and sci-comms, or on her website Maddie Stannard Wild.

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