Be prepared for Christmas

You can’t forget that Christmas is almost upon us, as the countdown started in October. Many readers will remember that there seemed to be a rule many decades ago, when Christmas displays and goods did not start appearing until after Bonfire night.

It is easy to put the other things out of your mind, whilst focusing on buying presents and sending cards, and ordering the turkey or nut roast!

The Footprint Trust has come up with ‘12 Top Christmas Tips’ for the festive period. You can of course add you own or turn it into a Yuletide Carol…

  1. Check you have a stash of emergency food that can be eaten without cooking it, in case of power failure, tinned food being the obvious choice.
  2. Keep emergency numbers and important contacts in an easy-to-see place, such as on the fridge door. These might be a nearby neighbour and your doctor.
  3. Senior citizens, disabled people and those with young children can go on the free Priority Services Register, held by your energy and water company. They can then contact you during a power cut, or mains water interruption, and get you assistance.
  4. For those with pre-payment Key/Card meters – check you have enough credit on them for the bank holidays. Contact your energy company and ask for emergency credit, if you have no money.
  5. If you are struggling with energy bills, then try just to keep your living room warm, and bedroom rather than the whole house. Do not let the temperature drop below 18 degrees.
  6. When cooking the Christmas meal try and use the oven for cooking the vegetables too, this cuts energy wastage. If you have a microwave oven this can be the most efficient way of cooking various meals, follow manufacture’s instructions. Put lids on saucepans.
  7. Avoid candles, they are more expensive than light bulbs to run, give off soot and cause hundreds of house fires every year.
  8. When cooking or showering always ventilate, and keep internal doors closed to prevent steam and damp traveling around the house. Extractor fans only cost pennies to run, or open window to get rid of moisture.
  9. Turn stuff off! If you are not watching the TV, turn it off and put the radio on or listen to music via your Tablet or Smartphone – they are much cheaper to run.
  10. Try and keep good quality wrapping paper to re-use next year, and recycle packaging you can’t re-use.
  11. After Christmas donate all those unwanted and old quality gifts to charity shops or sell on Ebay.
  12. ‘Bubble & Squeak’ is a good way of using up leftovers, and of course a turkey curry is always a treat!