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Harpenden residents pledge to make Christmas eco-friendly this year

PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 November 2018

Speakers at the Low Impact Christmas event in Harpenden. Left to Right: Lesley Flowers (Our Planet Our Future organising group), Heather Foster (The Green Kitchen), Celina Mendoza (The Refill Pantry), Caroline Moran (Our Planet Our Future), Susheel Rao (Our Planet Our Future), Amanda Yorwerth, (Plastic Free St Albans) Tania Trovatello (The Refill Pantry)

Speakers at the Low Impact Christmas event in Harpenden. Left to Right: Lesley Flowers (Our Planet Our Future organising group), Heather Foster (The Green Kitchen), Celina Mendoza (The Refill Pantry), Caroline Moran (Our Planet Our Future), Susheel Rao (Our Planet Our Future), Amanda Yorwerth, (Plastic Free St Albans) Tania Trovatello (The Refill Pantry)

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Eco-friendly locals have pledged to enjoy Christmas more sustainably this year.

The Low Impact Christmas event in Harpenden.The Low Impact Christmas event in Harpenden.

At a Low Impact Christmas event organised by Our Plant Our Future, 45 Harpenden residents agreed to make as little impact on the environment as possible through their celebrations this festive season.

This includes buying upcycled and charity shop presents and trying to avoid excess food waste.

Guests listened to four speakers and watched a clip from The Martin Lewis Money Show called It’s Time to Ban Unnecessary Christmas Presents.

Harpenden mum Nicola Wyeth said: “I came away with so many ideas for decoration and gift giving which will be better for the planet and for my pocket - using pine cones and other natural decorations, giving home-made vouchers for my time as a babysitter or gardener - loads of inspiration.

“More than anything I felt reminded about the simple joys of Christmas and how it’s time I jumped off the consumerism bandwagon.”

Tania Trovatello and Celina Mendoza from package-free whole foods shop on London Road, The Refill Pantry, spoke about creating DIY presents using spices, including homemade flavoured gins and mulled wine.

A presentation on reducing single-use plastics was given by Amanda Yorwerth from Plastic Free St Albans.

She discouraged listeners from using plastic-lined ‘paper’ cups and plates at parties.

Owner of a vegan café on Hatfield Road called The Green Kitchen, Heather Foster, explained how to cook festive dairy and meat free meals.

Sustainable St Albans volunteer Susheel Rao gave a talk about sustainable gifts such as Toilet Twinning, charity donations, or days out.

One of the organisers, Dan Fletcher, said: “We were delighted with so many people turning up and it was a great evening with so many interesting suggestions for fun, meaningful gifts for their friends and family. I just hope that people who came will share the tips and spread the low impact idea far and wide.”

Our Planet Our Future is a project linked with Sustainable St Albans.

The next Our Planet Our Future event is at The Harpenden Arms at 7.30pm on January 14, with Carolina Karlstrom speaking about a Low Carbon Lifestyle.

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