Top tips for a Sustainable Christmas
We love Christmas time and try to enjoy the period as sustainably as we can. If you choose to celebrate Christmas, here are our top tips for sustainable gifts, recipes and activities. Our very best wishes to you!
10 book recommendations for those interested in combatting climate change
Wotton-under-Edge's bookshop, https://cotswoldbookroom.co.uk/ will order any of these books for you should you wish to buy a new copy. We've also included a link to buy them second-hand as an alternative.
The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben
Peter Wohlleben worked for the forestry commission in Germany for over 20 years. He is a brilliant naturalist story-teller, and beautifully articulates his personal relationships with the trees he has dedicated his life to. "After you have read Wohlleben's book,a walk in the woods will never be the same again".... - Julia
From what is... to what if, by Rob Hopkins founder of the Transition Network
Rob Hopkins' latest book is a powerful call to imagine a better world, and an antidote to all the anxiety and negativity that currently seems to surround us. It shows that by re-engaging our flagging imaginations, things can indeed change for the better and he writes of many communities around the world who have successfully done this. An inspiring and fascinating read. - Julia
‘Hope in Hell’ by Jonathon Porritt, a decade to confront the climate emergency
This book, published in 2020, is by the widely experienced environmentalist who writes clearly about the defining issue of our time. He has been involved with either establishing or helping to run, a string of NGO’s. Porritt gives reasons to be cheerful, writes with clarity about the emergency, the dangers to be overcome and how success will be achieved. - Tina
"Christiana was UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change between 2010 and 2016, Tom was senior Political strategist for the Paris Agreement. These two were a major part of achieving what has been a critically important agreement between countries around the world to commit to taking the action we need to avoid the perils of Climate Change. The book is a ‘Call to Arms’ and the authors are also co-founders at ‘Global Optimism’, an organisation focused on creating environmental and social change" - Nick
"This book makes the ramifications of climate change understandable in an entertaining manner." - Nick
"For anyone with a soft spot for bumblebees, this book is a brilliant read. Dave has a witty, dry sense of humour and is an excellent storyteller." - Sam
Wilding, by Isabella Tree - Recommended by Catherine
"Not sure how to reduce your carbon footprint? Not sure where to start? Subtitled "the carbon footprint of everything" this book is a very engaging and enjoyable read and helps put into perspective the relative global warming impact of many of the goods and services we consume. It is also a practical book, giving the data to enable you to lower your carbon footprint through the choices you make." - Alex
The Switch, by Chris Goodall - recommended by Alex
Extraordinary Insects, by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson "Suprisingly entertaining" - Sam
Our favourite films and documentaries
Kiss the Ground - Stream on Netflix, watch on Vimeo or on DVD
"I learned loads about soil and ‘bio-sequestration’ from watching Kiss The Ground. Those of us who watched and discussed it are excited to explore potential opportunities for regenerative agriculture in the Wotton Area - from healthier land and carbon rich soils to more nutrient dense, tastier food.” - Catherine (following the Kiss the Ground Watch Party)
David Attenborough's A life on our Planet - Netflix
"Attenborough at his finest - offering up a study of our effects on the planet and nature over his lifetime, looking at what might happen if we continue as we are now, and what we can all do to bring about the changes we need" - Sam
"Inspiring and uplifting" - Catherine
‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and ‘An Inconvenient Truth: Truth to Power’ -
"hard-hitting when released in 2006 and the sequel in 2017 updated some of the facts" - Alex
"Astonishing to think this is a documentary. A tremendous piece of work that reminds us of the importance of balance with nature" - Sam
Climate Change - The Facts with Sir David Attenborough
Shop local this Christmas
Shopping local is good for the environment and for our communities. We're particulraly keen to promote local enterprises with green credentials and suggest some lovely gift ideas for Christmas.
The following list isn't exhaustive and we plan to add to it, so please do let us know if you'd like us to include a local business with an ethical/sustainable ethos.
To start early, we love the simple idea of making your own Christmas cake from a ready made ingredients bag, which is available from Walkers the Bakers
The Collective features the work of local artists and crafts people and has a lovely welcoming feel to the shop as you walk around it's rooms.
You will find ethically sourced, recycled and Fairtrade giftware and artwork from our fantastic local artists and jewellery makers and even occasionally freshly smoked Wotton kippers at Fish Out of Water
The Cotswold Book Room has recently reopened under new management and are building up a beautiful range of titles on display. Having now changed suppliers to reduce unnecessary packaging they're forging closer links with the community such as schools and the library. When restrictions allow they plan to encourage book reading events and book groups to use their space for meetings.
The Craft Room Wotton has lots of lovely gift ideas, workshops and kits to make your own decorations, cards, crackers and gifts. They are one of our local 'Surfer's against Sewage' Plastic Free Champion award winners too!
Crafters sells beautiful locally handmade arts and crafts from our artists.
Fifi's Fancy Furniture has antiques, artefacts and upcycled hand painted furniture a plenty at the top of the High Street.
The Ark Coffee Shop sells Tradecraft goods and has a wide range of gift ideas available through their catalogue. Pop in for a browse and have a cuppa and a biscuit while you're there!
We are well served by several superb local vineyards growing grapes on the perfectly sloping Cotswold hills. Why not celebrate with a bottle of bubbly made with the grapes from Spuncombe Bottom Vineyard, and a bottle of red or white wine from the Winner Hill vineyard? Both are available from Relish Deli and Bakery where you can find their tasty home made food and lots of other locally brewed delights.
We love the Stroud Shambles Market every Saturday morning featuring a wide range of hand made goods and farm produce such as Eleon Fine Foods, who are a small family business selling locally bottled Greek olive oil from their family farm at the several local markets. The oil is also available from the Wotton Farm Shop where you will find many other local foods, beverages and gift ideas.
Christmas Tree Rental
Did you know an average cut Christmas Trees are consumed in the UK every single year! Our core team trialled rental trees for the first time last year and we're pleased to say it was a success. If you're interested in renting a tree (and you can even rent the same tree every year) there are a handful of businesses that can help in the District, including: