A Fairtrade guide to Christmas shopping in Sidmouth marks the start of an initiative to help local residents live in a more sustainable and environment-friendly way.

The Sidmouth Fairtrade Steering Group has launched the project in the wake of the COP26 climate summit and its urgent call for action to combat global warming.

The group – supported by Sidmouth Town Council - felt that many people accepted the need to make changes in their everyday lives, but did not have the practical information they needed.

They have joined forces with the Herald to produce a series of monthly articles on different aspects of ethical eco-friendly living, with information aimed specifically at Sidmouth residents.

Their Christmas guide focuses on Fairtrade and ethical shopping, particularly for festive food and drink.

There will be Fairtrade stalls at Christmas fairs taking place on Friday, December 3 (late night Christmas shopping evening) at Sidmouth Parish Church, on Saturday 4 at the Methodist Church hall, and at the Sunday Christmas fayres at St Francis Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and Primley United Reformed Church.

Fairtrade food and drink, including wine, are available from Sidmouth’s Co-op, Lidl, Tesco and Waitrose supermarkets. These shops also sell Fairtrade chocolate. The Oxfam shop is also a supplier of Fairtrade products, including dates.

The zero waste, eco-friendly shop Fillfull sells ethical gifts and household products as well as food, and Santi Market offers fairly traded gifts and accessories from around the world.

For online shopping the group recommends a visit to www.fairtrade.org.uk and www.ethicalsuperstore.com.

In January the group will focus on New Year resolutions, offering ‘advice on concrete actions and resolutions for people and planet’.

Fairtrade Fortnight takes place in February, and there will be an associated Devon schools conference. Sidmouth College, the two primary schools and St John’s School are all expected to take part.

Throughout 2021 the Sidmouth Fairtrade group will be promoting an ethical and environment-friendly approach to lifestyle interests including gardening and fashion, and focusing on local businesses that trade in a sustainable way.

Information on Fairtrade news and events can be found on the Facebook pages for the Sidmouth Fair Trade Group, Live Sidmouth (the town council’s page) and Visit Sidmouth.