We all know Christmas is a time of giving, but too often it’s also a wasteful time, not at all friendly to the earth. Why not start a family tradition of celebrating a GREEN Christmas. Here are some ideas to get you started…
CHEAP AND EASY!  Most  gardens  have  plenty  of  greenery  that  needs  pruning  back at this time of year.    Use it to:  EDecorate doorways  Make centrepieces for tables  Decorate stairways  Make garlands or wreaths  Decorate candle holders  Decorate presents  Easy to dispose of afterwards,  too…just  put  in  the  compost,  or use as mulch!  To  add  some  colour  use  shiny  red  apples,  sweets  in  red  wrappers,  and  nuts  ‐  something  to  eat  as  your  reward  for  clearing  away  afterwards!    Or…cones,  berries,  bows  made  from  old  CHRISTMAS TREES
Artificial trees are convenient, but need to be stored (and anyway, they just don’t smell right!) Start a new tradition that will last for years, and also give pleasure all year ‘round. Go to the nursery and choose a young evergreen tree in a pot. Decorate the pot. After Christmas find a place outside where your tree can stay until next Christmas…and the next… You might need to change pots occasionally, but it will be fun to watch your tree grow! Or…use some of the prunings from your garden as your tree. Tie several branches together and push into a pot or bucket of soil If you buy a traditional pine tree, don’t burn it in your fireplace afterwards as it can cause a build-up of creosote – a highly inflammable compound. Use the needles in your compost or try to find someone with a shredder so the chips can be used as mulch…

Make your own baubles from eggs. Make a pin-hole each end of the eggs and blow the contents out. Paint your eggs a bright Christmassy colour and decorate with sequins, beads, lace or trims. Tie a bead onto some strong cotton and, with a long needle, thread it through the holes in your egg. Add another bead, then tie a loop in the cotton to hang by With a bit of practise, old drink cans can be cut into 3D stars, icicles and even streamers… Challenge yourself to create something new! Use recycled or scrap paper to make origami stars. Paint them gold or silver and decorate them with beads, sequins or foil Make and decorate some real gingerbread shapes to hang on the tree

Most cards are used only once…so

many trees!

Instead of buying more this year, try: Carefully cutting up old cards, punching a hole, adding a ribbon, and using as gift tags Creating your own cards on the computer and using up some of those sheets of paper with only a few lines of printing on. Simply trim away and you should still have enough for a card Make your own hand-made cards on recycled paper using pictures from old cards, beads, sequins, material, foil, magazine pictures… After Christmas, keep the parts of cards you can re-use, and give the rest to Planet Ark

Most wrapping paper is used only once too… more trees! Challenge yourself to not buy any new wrap this year. Instead: Re-use brown paper and decorate with stamps or potato prints, in red, green or gold Wrap items in a tea-towel or scarf Use special pages from the newspaper to suit the person (comics, sport, fashion, cars) and decorate with Christmas messages in green and red Wrap in material from your scrap box Iron, trim and re-use last year’s paper Make gift bags or envelopes from old wrap, material, or magazine pages When wrapping gifts don't use lots of sticky-tape so the paper is easier for someone else to re-use Use raffia or strips of bright material to tie; decorate with small pine cones or dried flowers


With a little thought you can give to help  the earth 

   Plants, especially natives     Home‐made pomanders or   pourri air fresheners  National Parks pass  Rechargeable or solar torch  Home‐made  food.    Try  your  hand  at  jams,   sauces,  sweets,  shortbread,  gingerbread.    Try  cooking  a  cake  or  bread  in  a  terra‐cotta  pot,  then gift‐wrap in a tea‐towel!  Worm farm or compost bin  Watering system with timer  Hand  painted  pot  with  seeds  you’ve  gathered  Stickers for re‐using envelopes  Basket of alternative cleaning products  Herb garden starter pack  Bird feeder or nesting box made from old  scrap (unpainted) timber  Coffee  mug  for  people  to  take  to  work  (they won’t then use throw‐away cups)  Home‐made  vouchers  that  promise  that  you  will  wash  the  car,  vacuum,  clean  the  windows…  Home‐made lemonade or ginger beer  Solar battery recharger 

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