We have always been a company that is conscious of how we use resources, because we know that big companies can contribute more to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, simply because of sheer size and greater energy consumption.

In the past, we have introduced simple, but effective measures to minimise the effect our buildings have on the environment: the shutdown of non-critical building systems like elevators and air-conditioning units after-hours and the introduction of recycling policies, for instance. This season, we thought we’d share some useful energy saving tips, so that you can do more than dream of a green Christmas – you can actually have one!

1. Give more; spend less. You know the saying, “It’s the thought that counts”? People are generally much more appreciative of a thoughtful gift than of an expensive, store-bought one. Pick sustainable gifts (services as opposed to things; homemade edibles; vintage items) and don’t feel bad about shortening – and simplifying – your Christmas list. You can also buy green by selecting presents made from natural materials, or those that are battery-free.

2. Turn the lights down low. An overwhelming amount of Christmas lights not only ups your electricity bill, it also drains natural resources. It’s a good idea to keep the Christmas lighting conservative and use LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs, which use as much as 95% less energy. Bonus for anyone who has ever struggled with Christmas lights: if one bulb on an LED strand dies, the rest will stay lit.

3. Wrap it up. Consider tagging gifts with homemade cards and wrapping them with alternatives to store bought paper. Brown paper, newsprint, old calendars or even fabric are all fun and festive green options. Top it off with natural finishing touches like leaves, sticks, flowers or the small, local pine cones.

4. Bond with nature. Christmas is a special time of year and even nature knows it. So why not help heaven and nature sing by participating in something cool like the Asa Wright Annual Christmas bird count? Nature enthusiasts from all over the world go there to help spot, identify and count the many different bird species – and there’s usually a surprising discovery or two.