Diary of an eco-worrier on the run up to Christmas

Mike Jenn, outside in the Think & Do shop last year. Picture: Stephen Evans

Mike Jenn, outside in the Think & Do shop last year. Picture: Stephen Evans - Credit: Stephen Evans

Whilst I dream of being an eco-warrior, the month before Christmas sees me in more eco-worrier mode than ever.

Debbie Bourne will be giving away trees on Saturday.

Debbie Bourne will be giving away trees on Saturday. - Credit: Debbie Bourne

Like many, I find it hard to balance that age-old dilemma of reconciling the desire for indulgence and treats – this year, needed more than ever - with concerns about over-consumption, and caring for the planet.

The eco-grinch amongst us would be aware that we throw away enough packaging each Christmas to cover Big Ben 260,000 times. So, this Christmas, I’m going packaging free. I’m going to replace online shopping at Amazon with amazing local shops and replace late night click bait with local whitebait.

Talking festivity and all things fishy, Bourne’s fishmonger in Belsize/Swains Lane is a great local place to shop. I dream of their home-cured beet gravlax, and can’t resist the organically grown flowers from The Electric Daisy Flower Farm next door. The Fields Beneath in Kentish Town is also a find. I can’t wait to try their natural wines and new range of houseplants - great gifts.

I balance my occasional eco-trangression by shopping at The Source Bulk Foods in NW6. It’s a zero-waste, refill store helping Camdener’s shop plastic free.

The shops in Lower Stable St, Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, are a great new local destination. I love the coffee at Redemption Roasters who help young offenders reintegrate into society.

Like many, I am trying to eat less meat and more plant-based food, but cheese is my weakness. Who can resist the mozzarella at Giacobazzi in NW3, Limone in N6, or the French cheese at Authentique, NW5. For a really local cheese made in Tottenham, do check out Wildes Cheese.

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St Mary’s Brewery brews beer in the crypt of a church in Primrose Hill. All proceeds from their festive gift boxes go towards local youth workers. All together now: “Land of hop and glory...”

And here’s a free local Christmas gift idea. I’m involved in giving away trees for the Think & Do Camden Forest project. Come and get A free bare-rooted tree whip on Saturday at 19 Highgate Road.

My Eco-Worrier Christmas conscience has been further assuaged by agreeing to help deliver trees, by bike, to folk who are isolating. I didn’t like to admit to the project team that I hadn’t written a bike since I was...er...well, lets just say it was a good few years ago!