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Twycross Zoo calls for a sustainable Christmas

As one of the UK’s leading conservation charities, Twycross Zoo takes sustainability very seriously and has issued this helpful guide for those wanting to celebrate a more sustainable Christmas

1. Palm Oil

Palm oil is hot on the news agenda – but what is it, why is it so important and where can you find it?
Palm oil is a widely used vegetable oil in many household products throughout the world such as make-up products, pizza dough, instant noodles, shampoo, ice cream, detergent, margarine, chocolate, cookies, biodiesel, soak, packaged bread – and the demand for it is increasing every year.
It is a critical part of the economy, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia with millions of people earning their living from farming it.
However, big rainforests have been destroyed for palm oil plantations, which means habitat loss for numerous endangered and critically-endangered species such as orang-utans, tigers, rhinos, elephants and many more. To cope with the worlds’ demands for vegetable oils and to minimise negative effects for the environment and its people, palm oil must be produced in a sustainable way.

How can you shop sustainably this Christmas?

Check your products for their palm oil content and favour products with sustainably sourced palm oil over not sustainably sourced.
If your favourite product or brand does not state if the item contains sustainable palm oil, you should contact them to find out. Facebook and Twitter are great for communicating with companies, but email and letters also work great for this!

Look for these labels on products:

RSPO Label
Ensures products are made with certified palm oil. Palm oil has been produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

Green Palm Label
Indicates products in support of the transition to certified palm oil.

Did you know approximately 19% of worldwide global palm oil is RSPO certified – consumers choosing products/brands which use sustainable palm oil will force other companies and suppliers to switch to sustainable palm oil. 

2. Plastic

Did you know that 95% of our plastic waste is not recycled and ends up in our oceans? Plastic waste is littering our oceans and threatening the lives of millions of marine animals including seals, whales, fish, crabs and many other sea animals.
There are however lots of more sustainable alternatives to plastic that can be used when buying any Christmas products or household decorations.

Recyclable Wrapping Paper

A lot of the wrapping paper used to wrap your Christmas gifts is either made from plastic or contains foil that cannot be recycled. Why not decorate your own paper instead? Brown parcel paper can be bought from your local post office and drawn on to give it a festive feel. You can also use string instead of ribbons to wrap around the gift.

Plastic Free Christmas Crackers

The majority of Christmas crackers contain a small plastic gift that is single use and often thrown away. A select range of stores are now selling plastic free Christmas crackers containing recyclable items. Alternatively, you could make your own using recycled / recyclable materials such as toilet rolls, crepe paper and fill them with homemade cookies!

Plastic Free Gifts

Wooden toys are increasingly becoming more popular with manufacturers producing more and more every year. If your little ones have asked for a specific theme of presents, why not search around and purchase any wooden alternatives they would be just as happy with? Be sure to check the wood used is also sustainable – look for the Forest Stewardship Council Logo!

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