Eco Tips – Christmas

24th November 2022

  • More is not always good – enough is better!
  • The financial value of a gift is not the same as the value of the gift, nor does not equate to the  amount of love you have for the recipient.
  • You might agree with friends and family to source all your presents from charity shops – the charities gain, and if anyone receives something they can’t use, it is easy to pass it on again via another charity shop!
  • You might opt to give charity gifts such as sponsoring a puffin, planting a tree, twinning a toilet or equipping a child with warm winter clothes. 
  • Reuse last year’s wrapping paper ( or make a note to keep this year’s for reuse).
  • Reuse brown paper (often comes as a space filler in delivery boxes) which you could decorate with potato prints. Equally newspaper with coloured string is effective (choose sheets with a nice picture). 
  • Use eco friendly/ non plastic sticky tape or  use string as  that can be reused.
  • Make gift tags from last year’s recycled cards or simply buy some coloured card and cut it into squares or rectangles.
  • If you make your own Christmas cards why not make them as postcards avoiding the need for envelopes. Email news letters rather than printing out round robins. Add a picture and make your email into an e-Christmas card.
  • Make your own decorations. Cut up coloured paper (pages from colour magazine, strips of reused  wrapping paper etc) to make paper chains or pleated chains. 
  • If you collected autumn leaves earlier in the season, strings these together to make a decorative chain. 
  • Tie together pine cones, decorative twigs and to make vertical hanging decorations.
  • Make pleated paper angels, origami stars, reindeer,  or Father Christmases. For a series of activities making Christmas theme decorations you can watch this YouTube Advent calendar –
  • Use champagne corks and felt to make Christmas elves –
  • Rather than buying a tree collect some decorative branches and arrange them in a large vase (add stones to ensure it is bottom heavy) and then add your tree decorations. 
  • Make a wreath from greenery from your garden or tie into a bunch with  a cheerful ribbon (door decorations don’t have to be circular).
  • We tend to generate most food waste over the Christmas season. Make a list of what you need and stick to it. If you do add in extra potatoes etc – just in case – make sure you use them before buying more. (We dread not having enough but perhaps forget that by Boxing Day plus 1 many shops will be reopening).
  • If you like a tradition roast bird, try and source one that has been compassionately reared, ideally organic. Maybe this could be the year to investigate a vegan alternative complete with all the trimmings of roast potatoes and parsnips, sprouts, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Cook enough to have left overs to enjoy on Boxing Day.
  • If you haven’t yet made mincemeat there is still time and it is very easy. Making your own mince pies will avoid a lot of waste and/ foil and plastic.
  • Christmas puddings are also easy to make. If the 7 hours of steaming puts you off, you can steam then in a slow cooker half filled with hot water. 
  • Plan for a walk on Christmas Day in  a local green space – the exercise and fresh air is a good tonic and it is a chance to reconnect with the natural world. 

 Counting on … day 345

10th October 2022

Green Christian advocates ‘Joy in Enough’. Enough is about what is sustainable for the planet ; joy is about pleasure and fun and contentment. Christmas is a couple of months away but now may be a good time to plan for a joyously sustainable Christmas. Talk to family and friends what this might look like for Christmas is a time of coming together. 

Counting On …. Day 18 

 1st December 2021

During Advent I have a YouTube series with a short story and activity designed for children but just as enjoyable for adults. Today’s episode shows you how to make a paper angel. Over the course of the whole series you will find instructions to make several Christmas decorations and a crib set.

Counting On … day 16 

29th November 2021

Things we find around us can be used to create alternative and wonderful Christmas decorations. Rather than buying a Christmas tree, a more sustainable option might be to find a decorative branch or twiggy stick  that you can take from your garden. This you can decorate with baubles and the like (often people have collections of decorations going back over many years and embed with happy memories). Or you can make new decorations and I’ll be suggesting some of the next few days.