No coal in the stocking on Christmas Day.

With Christmas Day fast approaching, there's a chance to give family and friends a welcome present that says you care about the future of all, according to the WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc.

With Christmas Day fast approaching, there's a chance to give family and friends a welcome present that says you care about the future of all, according to the WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA), the business chamber for sustainable energy industries in WA.

"There are many things that will show it is more than the thought that counts - the gift too can can be one that doesn't cost the Earth," says Dr Ray Wills, Chief Executive of WA SEA.

Based on a 21 November 2008 US study, average per capita spending for Christmas will be around $A1000 per person, showing little difference from last year despite earlier predictions that spending might drop by as much as 50% this year. For Australia, this will translate into an expenditure of $20 billion - about the same amount the nation needs to spend on renewable energy over the next ten years to reduce Australia's emissions.

Every dollar you spend shopping equates to about 1.6 kg of carbon emissions - so Christmas spending could result in 300 000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Each year Australians throw away about 3.4 million Tonnes of packaging. That is 165 Kgs for every man, woman and child - less than half of this is recycled.

It is also an amount that is more than the total expenditure all of Australia has committed to renewable energy over the 100 year history of the Commonwealth.

And more than is committed over the next 10 years to combat climate change.

So, lets get away from the socks, jocks and ties and get sustainable - here are some thought starters:

• Smart Rider cards, charged with credit, to catch the bus or train,
• a voucher for an energy audit to find out how to reduce energy consumption at home,
• a new energy efficient fridge,
• a packet of energy efficient light globes as a stocking filler,
• walk off the Christmas lunch in some new walking shoes,
• solar lights for the garden or a solar pump for the fish pond,
• gifts of renewable energy such as green power from Synergy, and
• a high tech toy - a solar panel for the roof of his shed (again - maybe the house, too)
• still high tech - perhaps a solar charger for the new hi-tech devices;
• a gift certificate to go carbon neutral;
• spend some time getting fit - on a new bike (it uses renewable energy);
• At the end of a good day, a relaxing shower from a new solar hot water system.

Buy quality not quantity. Well-made goods last longer and will not have to be replaced in the New Year

And don't just throw away your unwanted gifts - give them to charity or to local hospitals or hospices

"WA SEA is the only business peak body actively supporting substantive action on sustainable energy in Western Australia, so a membership to WA SEA might be our final suggestion" says Dr Wills.

WA SEA wishes all Western Australians a renewable Christmas and a very sustainable New Year - and century.

WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) Media Release - 13 December 2008

Media Contact:
Dr Ray Wills 0430 365 607

Editors notes:
1. The Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) is a chamber of businesses variously promoting, developing and/or adopting sustainable energy technologies and services that minimise the use of energy through sustainable energy practices and maximise the use of energy from sustainable sources. WA SEA is supported by a growing membership of 200 industry members from a diversity of businesses including many of the key energy players in Western Australia

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