Green Christmas: How to have a sustainable festive season

The carpet is littered with paper and hoards of single-use plastic toys, many of which will have outlived their charm by the New Year. It seems personal efforts to reduce waste have never been greater with more of us switching to sustainable options like reusable bottles, beeswax food wraps and metal straws. But while awareness of environmental issues may be at an all-time high, the steady transformation of UK and Irish shoppers into sharing the consumer habits of the US shows no sign of slowing down. Black Friday this year saw UK shoppers spend more than ever – estimates by Barclaycard show an increase in spending of 16.5% on last year. Households in Northern Ireland last year threw away 231 tonnes of waste across the festive season, more than any other time of the year, according to Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The organisation’s Live Here Love Here manager, Jodie McAneaney, says despite the figures, she feels more people are trying to be sustainable in their everyday lives. “We started off calling it the David Attenborough effect but now even with people like Greta Thunberg – particularly this year there is more significant awareness of climate is...

If you haven’t gotten around to coordinating your dog’s Halloween costume yet, you’re in luck: Bark,

If you haven’t gotten around to coordinating your dog’s Halloween costume yet, you’re in luck: Bark, the company behind your pup’s favorite monthly Bark Box, has a truly fant-ASS-tic dog costume out now, that you can still scoop up in time before H-ween. Appropriately dubbed the Booty Suit, this backward-elephant costume uses your dog’s tail as a stand-in for an elephant’s trunk and fashions around your pup’s neck to stay in place. HOW. EFFING. CUTE. The Booty Suit comes in sizes small (16 inches x 12 inches) and large (22 inches x 25 inches) and looks like it’s able to fit a variété of dog butts. It’s kind of a genius idea TBH, as their website points out butt-sniffing is how pups introduce themselves anyway, so why not work backward? How has no one done this before?! Bark also has other costumes available for pups, although the Booty Suit is their one and only butt-facing offering. It’s got a pirate costume where the hat doubles as a toy, a unicorn costume with wings, and a shark costume with rope-toy life preserver. Those of us with tailless dogs will have to stick to more traditional dog costumes, like this Jojo Siwa situation, or this alternative elephant costume (front-fa...