9th December: Save money and woodland

Send e-cards instead of Christmas cards.  Obviously there are some that would appreciate a real card that can be displayed so for them you could make a card out of recycled or recyclable materials or Christmas cards from last year.

8th December: Be waste aware

A lot of food is thrown away over the Christmas period, plan a menu and freeze leftovers so nothing goes to waste.

6th December: Reuse to save energy.

Reuse to save energy. While recycling is great it takes a lot of energy to make it into something new so before you recycle consider reusing.  Christmas cards are too pretty to throw away! Save your Christmas cards and make them into gift tags for the following year. I like mine to be pretty shapes so I have bought a few large craft punches which come out ever New Year for a day of gift tag making.  Use a hole punch to make a hole in your tag and brown garden string or reuse ribbon collected from crackers and gifts you have received to make the tie.

5th December: Give with the environment in mind

Buy second hand, make things yourself, buy local, give sustainably sourced presents, use recycled gift wrap, make reusable fabric gift wrap, make reusable gift bags, the options are endless…. Christmas day is one day, how long will your giving be impacting on our Earth?

Intrigued by the idea of fabric gift wrap? It is essentially a piece of fabric (with the edges neatened with the sewing machine or pinking shears) that you use to wrap up your presents with the addition of reused ribbon or string.  This can be reused each year by either yourself or the receiver.

4th December: Save a tree

Looking for a real tree? Buy a thick needled tree grown in a pot (make sure it hasn’t just been dug up with no roots and shoved in a pot, this won’t survive).  After Christmas plant it, still in the plastic pot, in a larger pot of compost so it won’t dry out as quickly, this will effectively bonsai it.  As long as you don’t forget to water it through the warmer months you can bring it indoors each year for its Christmas splendour.  The bonus of this is if you are like me and are exceptionally picky resulting in hours and hours of searching for the right tree the searching is over, you always have the perfect tree!

3rd December: Be packaging aware

Ordering presents online? Ask for the company to group your gifts together to reduce the packaging. Try and buy presents with recycled or recyclable packaging or none at all.

2nd December: Reduce your wreath miles

Make your own wreath using local greenery. Raid your garden, local hedgerows or woodland for foliage to cover a wire and moss ring (these can be reused each year).

1st December: Reduce your Advent waste

Reduce your Advent waste, make your own Advent calendar out of odd balls of wool, scraps of fabric or old clothes. This year A and I made my Dad an Advent garland of 24 individual miniature stockings to be refilled each year.  Happy Christmas Dad!

Addicted to Advent

I love Christmas, for as long as I can remember I have loved it all… the lights, the tree, the carols and of course the suspense! Advent gives you 24 days to prepare for the big day although to me every day of December is Christmas day.  Over the last ten years my husband and I have developed a series of Christmas traditions to help us prepare.  Every year from the 1st of December we read The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder, one chapter for every day of Advent detailing the story of a little girl who joins a group of pilgrims (Wise men, sheep etc.)  travelling back in time to the birth of Jesus.  I love this story, although much of it is fiction, it reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas.  Three years ago we made 24 mini stockings and every year we hang them up filled with little goodies to reveal every day of advent.  Now my twins are here, every day a different Christmas story is read to them.  The list of Christmas traditions is endless.IMG_7066

A couple of years ago my husband and I vowed to take a greener approach to Christmas.  Now many of our Christmas presents are second hand (charity shops, antique fairs, nearly new sales etc.) or handmade either by us (A knits and I sew among other things) or a local crafts person.  Christmas wrapping is of recycled origin or is recyclable and boxes and bags are reused where possible.  Christmas for many has become consumer driven so for the next 24 days I will be posting 24 green Christmas tips to help you become more conserver than consumer.