Wednesday, 2 December 2009

I'm dreaming of a green Christmas...

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


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures, your stuff is lovely, am sure it will sell well :)

Ches said...

I'm just going to the bush!

All solar, plus plenty Xmas trees to choose from :)

Don't Believe a Word I Write said...

Lovely, particularly like the earrings.

Being Brazen said...

great tips :)

I like the chunky gold bracelet best (though i would prefer it in silver).

Have a fab Wednesday

Flying Lessons said...

We are also trying to go greener, and everyone (except 1 sister) in my family has agreed not to use wrapping paper. I'm looking forward to see everyone's ideas. I'm wrapping everything in cloth napkins I'm busy making. Its reusable as well as pretty. My mom is wrapping everything in cheap dishcloths.

Hayley said...

Love the jewellery!

So glad to hear you going green for Christmas, me too, and also taking little steps as well. I suppose everything counts!

boldly benny said...

Sounds great, I love your green ideas :)

Meriel said...

they are gorgeous - i am ready to shop.

Helen said...

Your beadwork is stunning! I hope Saturday goes really well! And ten points on the greener Christmas ideas, you've made me think of a few things I can do differently now too!

Shayne said...

Such pretty goodies - youare a multi-talented lady!

Love the keychain tho.

Good on you for going greener. Hhhm, today i did the majority of my Christmas shopping and i have to admit i bought crackers, a new tablecloth, wrapping paper - the list goes on.

We are having it on the farm tho so there will be much outdoor activity - does that count.

You've made me feel bad now!

tattytiara said...

Beautiful stuff! I particularly like the choker and the keychain. All very nicely photographed too, I should add.

I'm so not a blogger said...

Your jewelery is gorgeous, in fact I feel rather partial towards your the last pic of the delicate green choker!

Wenchy said...

The jewels are gorgeous

po said...

WAH! I don't even wear much jewellery, but some of those pieces are so awesome. The choker and the butterfly necklace. I want. You do postal orders?

cat said...

Oh I love that last one! Great on going green for Christmas - another great way is to do salads for Christmas lunch and meat in the weber.

Tamara said...

Anon: Pleasure! Thanks - I hope so.

Ches: I wish I had that option.

DBAWIW: Thanks ;-)

Brazen: Ja, I like the bracelets too. I have a whole heap in silver, but the pics didn't come out nicely.

Flying Lessons: Bravo! Well done to all of you. Great idea with the dishcloths - they are handy things to use afterwards.

Hayley: Yup. If everyone made a little difference, it wouldn't be a little anymore.

Benny: Thanks! I must admit I've had fun with them.

Meriel: Thank you! Maybe one day i'll open a shop on etsy.

Helen: Thanks. I am so hoping sat goes well too!

Shayne: Thanks! But I did not mean to make you feel bad! I'm sure that living on a farm, you're greener than most of us anyway.

tattytiara: Aw... flattery will get you everywhere ;-)

Not a blogger: Good to know. I'm always interested at the different reactions to different pieces ;-)

Wenchy: Why thank you, dahling.

Po: For you, dear Po, I would do anything. Almost ;-)

Cat: Yep - green and sensible in SA weather!

Kittynail said...

Pretty jewelery!!

Anyways check out my blog too if you want! :)

Jeanette said...

Very cool idea with jam jars! I really like that jewellery of yours!