Earth-friendly festive season

by | 9:36 am

I look forward to this time of year – Christmas and New Year bring so much hope and anticipation, happiness and love! However, the dark side is the mountain of non recyclable and non biodegradable rubbish that ends up in our tips. It’s easy to plan an earth-friendly festive season, so here are some ideas.

How can I decorate more sustainably?

Let’s take a page out of the book of  Switzerland and be the best at recycling; look at buying or reusing paper to wrap presents and tie them with durable string or ribbon and a sprig from the garden. Do away with plastic ribbons and sticky tape.  Metallic paper leaches toxic elements into the soil once it is discarded and creases easily so it’s also difficult to reuse.

Xmas tree wall hangingSome ideas for an earth-friendly tree

Everyone loves a real tree and this could be a simple modern arrangement of leafless branches tied together or a live tree in a pot. Even a cut tree can be composted by your local council after the season has been ended.

Decorate differently

Rather than toxic tinsel to decorate, try making paper chains in different colours stuck with kids paste. This could be a game with friends or get the kids into action ! Friends with pine trees used to complain about all the pine cones that fell in their gardens, so I used to collect some every year. I painted them with non toxic spray and now I pop them around the base of the tree.

I used to gaze at all the different figurines and decorations on my aunt’s Christmas tree. They were keepsakes from her friends or picked up in travels around the world   Each one held a memory. Turn some of your favourite souvenirs into decos, instead of using metallic balls.

Get your family and friends to cut out some fun shapes and colour them, push a ribbon thru a hole at the top and tie to your tree.

Pressies, pressies

What to buy? I suppose that rule number one is to talk with your family and friends and see if a Kris Kringle (KK) can be organised. This means the number of presents (and your budget) is greatly reduced and everyone has a bit of fun! **  When choosing a present, look for the option with a minimum of packaging and hopefully doesn’t use non-recyclable batteries!

We are all being encouraged to buy local and help small business, so you could try local markets, local shops and the internet for artisan and artistic products. There are also heaps of swap meets around the suburbs now, so maybe you can swap something of yours for some jams or pickles, a cool scarf or earrings or even an art work.

You could have a look at some of our gift options in the Shop, like our Balcony Gardener with 2 jute plant holders, organic seeds and 3 coir growing pellets to kick off the seeds,  or a gorgeous environmentally friendly harvest shopping bag or canvas tote bag!

If your family already has loads of stuff, look to helping someone else here or overseas as your gift. You can have a game with your kids to find all the toys (still in good condition) they have grown out of and don’t play with anymore and go together to donate them to a refugee centre or other charity collecting for kids.

What’s on your table?

Food, food, food … that’s my house at Christmas. Choose loose veges at the market, and fresh meat from the butcher, wrapped in paper, not packed in plastic or packaged. If you are planning an outdoor feast try to pick up biodegradable plates, cutlery and serviettes. Deck your table with branches and flowers, but check there aren’t any bugs too! Try making some paper hats like in the old days.

Check your guest list and confirm they are coming; estimate how much you really need to eat per person. So many times we have food over that gets thrown out, so a bit of planning goes a long way! Don’t forget your animals, so make sure they have plenty of water and are happily fed too.

Have a wonderful green festive season and we’ll see you in 2019!

The OB get gardening girls xx

Fun KK

  1. Agree with your guests how much they want to spend for a present (this could be $20 or $50 for example.
  2. Ask each guest to buy the best present they can find for that budget and wrap it up, with no gift card. This gift is not for any particular guest, but could appeal to a lot of the guests.
  3. Pile up the wrapped KK presents in the middle of the table, under the tree or near wherever you are all sitting.
  4. Number bits of paper for the number of guests participating in the Kris Kringle, fold them so you can’t see the number and pop them into a small container.
  5. Each guest chooses a number until everyone has one. (eg: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 etc)
  6. Whoever got #1 goes first, chooses a present from the pile and unwraps it.
  7. Whoever got #2 is next. This is the key to the fun…..they can choose what #1 has got or another present from the pile.
  8. If #2 chooses #1’s present, then #1 will need to choose another present and open it.
  9. Then it is #3’s turn. Again they can choose from the two presents already opened or a new one from the pile. …. and keep going!

This causes great hilarity,  everyone has good fun and usually ends with something they are happy with; although sometimes there are private re-negotiations after it is all over !!