The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Friends of the Earth have joined forces to persuade shoppers to shun shopping centres and instead visit their local high street stores for Christmas gifts.
Avoiding out-of-town shopping centres would not only cut down on carbon emissions generated from longer car journeys, but would also allow shoppers to enjoy the higher levels of customer service and wider choice offered by local stores, the organisations said.
"The decline of our high streets in recent years has been all too obvious. That's why it's so important to support our independent shops if we want to ensure that they are still there next Christmas," said FSB national chairman John Wright. He added: "Local high streets offer a wealth of variety and originality. By shopping locally, shoppers can also do their bit to cut carbon emissions."
Richard Hines, real food campaigner at Friends of the Earth, urged consumers to make local shopping a new year's resolution for 2008.