This year, I'm making a little effort to have a greener Christmas. And it really is that - a little effort. But it still makes a difference. Here's a few small tips I'm trying out to make less of an impact on the environment this festive season:
- Switching my fairy lights for LED ones. They use less energy and, IMO, they are prettier.
- Not buying wrapping paper. I am re-using wrapping paper, gift bags and ribbons from previous occasions, and wrapping some presents in newspaper with pretty bows tied on and others (the small ones) are being packaged in cute re-useable drawstring fabric bags. I'm also re-using old jam jars, which I've discovered make beautiful jewellery gift boxes once decorated. Maybe I'll be brave and try my hand at the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki (wrapping presents in fabric).
- Not buying a tree. TSC and I cut some long branches from our laurel tree and made them into a cone-shape to act as a tree. I'm putting it up this afternoon, so I'll post pics soon.
- Rethinking my Christmas cards. Close family and friends get handmade cards crafted out of scraps of paper, fabric and last year's Christmas cards. Everyone else gets an email card (I still go to a little effort making something pretty and personal to send out).
- Maximising the romance of candlelight at meal times. Switching off the lights and lighting the candles not only soothes the soul, it saves loads of electricity!
- Enjoying South Africa's summer Christmas weather. Sipping a cocktail on my veranda or having a game of tennis while we're on holiday means I'm not wasting electricity watching TV or wasting money at the mall ;-)
- Not doing disposable. Instead of using paper napkins, I use fabric ones when we entertain. They're not only more classy (so long as they're not stained!), they're also greener. I'm also trying to resist the temptation to use paper plates and cups when we have large groups over, although sometimes we just don't have enough crockery to go around!
- Recycling. Making sure all those extra bags of paper, glass and plastic from the festive excesses get sorted and recycled. And the table scraps go in the compost heap.
Any tips you'd like to add?
Also, here are the long promised photos of my jewellery. Sorry they're not great quality - my little snapshot camera's flash is evil, so I was trying to shoot these at night without using it. Also, this is a very small and randomly picked selection (every piece is a once-off, so if I have to shoot and post every piece I've made it will take six years). Right, now that the excuses are out of the way...
red heart earrings
purple and silver choker
chunky red keychain
gold butterfly and blue sequin chain
chunky gold bracelet with fresh water pearls
Green and silver delicate choker