Christmas can be a magical time of year, but for many of us it has become a frenzy of shopping, unnecessary consumption and stress. Replacing shop-bought with home-made is not only more environmentally-friendly, but it also gives us more of a chance to relish the scents and smells of the festive season. It also gives us a wonderful opportunity to spend precious time together with our loved ones.
Here are some suggestions for things you can make and do with your family and friends:
Make your own wreath
Make your own wreath using natural ingredients from your garden or the surrounding countryside. Follow this link for instructions. By using natural ingredients, you can strip it down after the holidays and put the waste into the compost. Alternatively, you can hang the wreath outside and leave it for the birds to pick apart - they can take moss, sticks and feathers for their nests.
Bake your own biscuits and mince pies
Fill your house with the heavenly scents of cinnamon, orange and mincemeat.
Make edible gifts
Biscuits, truffles, jams, preserves, flavoured sugar and festive tipples to give to your loved ones. Mason jars and beautiful glass bottles look stunning filled with festive treats.
Make your own tree decorations
Slices of dried orange or lime look beautiful and smell divine.
Pine cones look very pretty with a pretty ribbon attached to their base.
Make a cinnamon roll. Wrap together 3 sticks of cinnamon with some raffia.
There are many other ways to be green at Christmas;
Buy green gifts or experiences.
Make your tree an eco tree - either buy local or rent a living tree (Ecosapin in Switzerland or Tree Hugger UK )
Buy your food from local producers and choose organic where possible.
Turn the heating down.
Take the bus/train, car pool or walk where possible.
choose toys and gifts with minimal packaging.
use recyclable wrapping paper.
compost all the fruit and veg peelings.
make the most of leftovers.
use re-useable food coverings like beeswax wraps.
use re-useable bags for shopping.
use a soda stream for sparkling water and drinks.
I'd love to hear any more ideas you might have for making Christmas even greener.