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I'm dreaming of a green Christmas

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THE weather outside may be frightful in more of a hot-and-wet way, but Christmas is definitely in the air as plastic firs get pulled out of storerooms and "live" tree fans throng nurseries to fill their home with a fleeting smell of fresh pine. In Friday's issue of Weekend magazine, dream of a green rather than white Christmas, as three eco personalities talk about how being green doesn't mean having to sacrifice the good things in life. Bjorn Low talks about Christmas plants that can get new life after the season and buying only ethically-raised meat for Christmas dinner. Tan Szue Hann of upcycling firm Miniwiz wraps gifts in old office printouts or gifts e-books and online shopping vouchers which don't have to be wrapped, while Stephanie Dixon of eco firm Green is the New Black plans personal experiences as gifts and shops only from sustainable brands. Going by how organic turkeys and vegan leather can cost a fair bit, sustainability may well be the new luxury.

If you're planning for a sustainable Christmas dinner, there's no need to get all obsessed about it, says Eelke Plasmeijer of the eco-conscious Locavore restaurant in Bali. It's fine to put turkey and ham on the table once a year - it's what you do the rest of the year that matters. Start by eating more vegetables, as he teaches you how to cook carrots like you would a fancy steak.

Then again, if it's the full dining experience you're after, you won't want to miss the hidden dining gems we found in Japan, where under-the-radar restaurants shine in this instalment of our Journey to Japan series with Singapore Airlines. Elsewhere, we speak to Matt Jones, one of the first pilots to take a restored British fighter plane on a round-the-world expedition with watch brand IWC; and find out how a pair of sibling entrepreneurs have dressed up their home for Christmas.

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