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The nationwide study found that almost four in 10 Brits is planning an ethical Christmas this year, with a fifth (19%) claiming Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on important global issues.

According to the data, 33% of Brits plan to source the ingredients for their Christmas lunch from local shops to reduce our carbon footprint, and 20% would be eating less meat.

The results showed that 27% intend to buy the majority of their gifts on the high street. 30% intend to use recycled wrapping paper this year, and 15% won’t be using wrapping paper at all, using substitutes such as newspaper.

Giving hand-made presents (17 percent) and not sending Christmas cards (28 percent) were also small steps Brits plan to make to be more environmentally sound this yuletide, along with hand making Christmas decorations (17 percent), minimising family travel plans (21 percent) and taking public transport as much as possible (16 percent).

Almost a quarter (24 percent) of the 1,500 adults polled said they are more inclined to shop on the high street at Christmas, more than any other time of the year.

And while 23 percent said by shopping locally you are more likely to discover unique gifts, 35 percent said the main reason they venture to the high street is to support their community.

The study, by Visa as part of its campaign to support independent retailers this Christmas, found that over a third (34 percent) of the nation has become more conscious about their impact on the environment in recent years, to the point where 13 percent would be dismayed to receive an unsustainable gift this year.

35 percent of Brits claim they’d rather have one carefully chosen, locally bought gift than a mountain of plastic wrapped, generic items. And four in 10 said they feel disappointed when they see waste at Christmas.

Jeni Mundy, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Visa commented, “It is heartening to see more people are choosing to shop locally this Christmas, particularly as this is a great way to be more sustainable during the festive season. This is great news for independent retailers across the UK, who we are supporting with our #WhereYouShopMatters campaign.

“Whether it’s for locally sourced produce, a bespoke gift or simply to enjoy and support the local community, People across the UK are thinking more and more about what they are buying and where they are buying it from. In fact, 68% of those surveyed agreed that where they shop is as important as what they are buying, proving where you shop really does matter.”

The study found that more than eight in ten (84 percent) feel 2019 has been a pivotal year for environmental issues and - with the younger generation taking up the reins on campaigning - 8 percent of Brits have been persuaded by their kids to have an ethical Christmas.

And the younger generation seems to be leading the way for a more sustainable festive season, with 85 percent of 16-29 year olds planning to have an ethical Christmas this year.

According to the study, one in ten Brits said they think having a sustainable Christmas will end up costing them LESS.

Yet the average Brit would be prepared to spend an additional £281 to ensure their Christmas was more sustainable.

And it’s not just cash, people are also taking time, spending on average an extra nine hours on their ethical efforts.

(source: Visa, image: pexels)