MADAM - Every year the number of Christmas lights hung outside houses increases.

They may look festive but they are a chilling symbol of the massive over-consumption that is killing our planet.

The price of that Christmas sparkle is more carbon filling our atmosphere which, as we all know, is causing global warming and threatening a mass extinction of species – including our own.

We are all individually responsible for reducing our own carbon footprint.

Switching off the lights – or at least putting them on a timer – is probably one of the least painful steps we can take.

If you think it will spoil Christmas for children, remember the best present you can give them is a future.

Carol Small