So with less than one month to go till the big day, it’s time to start (if you haven’t already) thinking of those Christmas presents you’re going to inevitably buy! Should you go for something safe, like a DVD? A book? A scarf? A bubble bath set?
Marine themed gifts
How about something totally different! Why not go down the increasingly popular route of giving a gift that not only benefits the recipient, but also gives something to conservation?
The Sea Watch Foundation has an excellent range of gifts on offer that would make perfect presents for any Marine Enthusiast! A dolphin adoption through the ‘Adopt a Dolphin’ scheme is a great way to make a difference to the safety and protection of UK dolphins, and starting at just £3.50 a month it won’t be too hard on those purse strings at this important time! As well as the warm fuzzy feeling that Christmas and doing something good for conservation brings, the adopter will also receive a special adoption certificate for their adopted dolphin, along with a cute cuddly dolphin toy! They’ll also get an ‘ID a whale and dolphin’ CD ROM so they can brush on their ID skills, together with a huge poster and loads of stickers and dolphin facts in a special booklet. Lastly, together with exciting monthly ‘Dolphin Diary’ emails packed full of UK dolphin news, the adopter will also get a unique VIP login to the Adopters Area of the Sea Watch website where they can find all sorts of information and resources, such as where their exact dolphin has been swimming using a dolphin tracking map, along with the opportunity to download a dolphin or (if you’re feeling brave!) a killer whale screensaver!
This gift can be purchased from the Adopt a dolphin website here.
Just select the dolphin you’d like to adopt, and the rest is easy! There’s even an option to keep the gift a secret from the recipient until the special day!
If you’re looking for something for a younger dolphin lover who also enjoys reading, then ‘The Magic Dolphin’ is the perfect book to give to them. With Sea Watch’s own director Peter Evans acting as Scientific Advisor, it goes without saying that everything in the book is scientifically accurate and so parents can rest assured their child will be learning something as well as enjoying a great story!
For this new release and more head over to Adopt a Dolphin shop to see the full range of gifts available, but be quick as stocks are limited!
For the wildlife devotee who already has everything they need, consider giving the gift of knowledge and sign them up to Sea Watch’s annual cetacean training course in New Quay. With lectures from Dr. Peter Evans and other experienced Sea Watch staff members these courses have been popular with members of the public and staff from national conservation agencies, so they will be in good company when they head out for their boat based dolphin survey to observe the resident population of bottlenose dolphins! Book their place now on the Sea Watch website!
Even if none of these gifts take your fancy, you can still help the Sea Watch Foundation whilst doing your Christmas shopping online, and without costing you an extra penny! All it needs is a minute of your time to go to http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk where you can sign up and select Sea Watch Foundation as your cause, and then you can carry on shopping as normal. The retailer will give a small portion of the cost of your goods back to you to donate to your chosen charity!
Keeping it green
While Christmas is known as the season to be jolly, sadly it can also be known as the season of excess owing to the amount of waste generated through too much food/wrapping paper/packaging etc. While some of this can’t be avoided, a lot of it can by making a few simple changes. One of the easiest ways is when out shopping to bring your own reusable bags! In 2013 alone, supermarkets gave out over 8 billion single-use carrier bags across the UK, equally nearly 130 bags per person. This equates to about 57,000 tonnes of single-use carrier bags in total over the year. With a charge of 5p on all single-use plastic carrier bags in England due to come in in October 2015, and with similar charges already applying in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there has never been a better time to invest in good, strong, stylish reusable bags. Many supermarkets sell their own reusable bags at a reasonable price, as do many various charities. If you’re feeling really creative, why not make your own!
Wrapping paper is another area where sadly, a LOT of waste is generated. While we’re not suggesting you don’t wrap your presents this year, try considering buying eco-friendly recycled wrapping paper from retailers such as Paperchase and NotOnTheHighStreet. Check out this ‘cool’ Polar Bear paper from the latter.
Christmas cards are another area where eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to comprise on quality or style. A lot of shops and charities sell trendy cards made from recycled materials. A lot of high street shops also sell cards where when you buy them, a small portion of the profits go to charity. However, if you purchase Christmas cards directly from charities such as the RSPB, 100% of the profits go to charity, so consider this as an option. Always remember at the end of the festive season to recycle your cards! Or if you’re feeling crafty, use them to make decorations and tags for next year!
Lastly, perhaps the biggest area where waste is generated, and where this waste can be put to good use, is in the food we buy! Obviously we all like a good slap up Christmas meal on the big day, but how much of it goes in the bin afterwards? Visit http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ for some great tips on how to reduce waste before, during and after cooking. Also consider buying food from local suppliers such as farm shops to reduce the energy used in transporting your food from farmer to shop.
I hope we’ve inspired you with a few ideas on how to keep Christmas green!
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Written by Emilie Pearson