I am having a flashback as I am writing this. Christmas has come round a lot quicker than expected. Luckily nearly everything is wrapped up but there are still a few presents to get and a shopping list to be made.
I was hoping to make all my presents this year (the usual wishful thinking) but didn't get all that far. I did manage to decorate the house with natural and recycled materials. There are the recycled wreaths from the last few years and natural things collected by the little monkeys.
My friend Juliette Hamilton makes fabulous willow items and I bought this lovely willow heart from her at Christmas Craft Cafe. She does great workshops at Arley Hall for those wanting to try their hand at willow weaving.
I made this basket when she did a demonstration in Paupers Wood for Easter and had put eggs, chicks & feathers in it. It is now re-styled for Christmas with apples & pine cones collected by the monkeys and it looks just as pretty.
This year we have gone mad on trees in the house and they are totaling four!! This sounds more lush than it is. We've got a lovely smelling natural tree in the lounge, decorated with lovely bright baubles by the monkeys. Then there is the little fake one in the kitchen (like everywhere else in the house with red decorations) and both monkeys have got one in their rooms. Boy monkey a black tree with red and silver decorations (to fit in with the Manchester United and Flamengo team colours) and girl monkey has got a pink one with turquoise baubles. I'd never thought I'd give in to a pink plastic tree but I am trying to make her pre-Christmas time as special as I can as she will not be here with me at Christmas. Oh the joys of time sharing kids; she's not best pleased to have to go on a plane when all her friends are here. Anyway, for now she's enjoying the Christmas spirit at home.
As always at Christmas I am keen to bring to the fore the ways we can make this a greener time. There are many ways to reduce, reuse and recycle and I would love to hear from anyone how you'd make this a greener Christmas and any views on whether a real or a fake tree is better for the environment. Opinions seem to be divided but would love to hear your thoughts.
As a token of good will the lovely people at Ecover have got a Christmas Clean Aid kit to give away for one lucky reader. So please send us your tips either on the blog or 'Like' us on the Busy Betsy Facebook group and send us your tips there. Meanwhile enjoy the following tips from the Ecover team:
- Wear and Care this Christmas and add some eco to your festive wardrobe. Why not rock the office Christmas party eco-style this festive season? Visit www.estethica.co.uk for a list of eco fashion labels or check out our favourite Ada Zanditon’s Autumn Winter collection
- Buying a real tree? Visit the Forest Stewardship Council website to make sure your precious pine has been farmed sustainably – www.fsc-uk.org
- Use last year’s Christmas cards to make this year’s gift tags – cut out the pictures and thread through some cotton – hey presto, recycling at its best. Don’t forget to save this year’s cards to use in 2012!
- e-Christmas cards – why not try Facebook, Twitter or email rather than snail mail to send your seasons greetings?
- Recycled wrapping paper is a really easy way to score ‘green’ points at Christmas and doesn’t cost the earth. Try the selection at www.ethicalsuperstore.com
- Turn off the fairy lights at times when you are out of the house or in bed – it’s both safe and energy efficient!
- All of Ecover’s range is now made from Plant-astic – a sustainable plastic made from sugar cane. This means that if you choose Ecover this Christmas to deal with your dirty plates, wash your best table linen, and keep your home clean, not only will your home be free from chemical nasties but also the packaging you’re choosing is better for the world around you too! And it just got easier – Ecover’s online shop means that you don’t have to worry about heavy shopping bags either –www.EcoverDirect.com
- Travel together – try car sharing with friends and family or taking the bus to the shops to do your Christmas shopping
- Once you’ve filled up on turkey, yorkshire puddings and brussel sprouts, wash the dishes with Ecover Washing Up Liquid (Busy Betsy thinks this really smells the very best, honestly I have tried them all!)– you can even use your grey water to feed the Christmas tree!