Yvonne Davis was one of many happy wreath-makers at the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society’s Earth Friendly Holiday Event in 2019. (Vanessa Moberg Photo)

Yvonne Davis was one of many happy wreath-makers at the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society’s Earth Friendly Holiday Event in 2019. (Vanessa Moberg Photo)

Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society is dreaming of a ‘Green’ holiday

Some ideas and inspiration to make this your most eco-friendly holiday yet

Vanessa Moberg

Special to the Tribune

There has never been a better year to temper our consumerism. With shopping made more difficult due to flooding and the pandemic, we have an opportunity to help the planet and, indeed, help ourselves with soul-filling, joy-inducing, pine-scented experiences.

Here are some low-impact alternatives for a supply-chain-free holiday!

Use All-Natural Decor

The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society’s Facebook page has a great video on how to make your own all-natural holiday wreath including how to sustainably gather materials, how to prepare your upcycled bike rim, and how best to arrange the boughs.

In addition to wreaths, you can use gleaned materials to make centrepieces, candleholders, wall hangings, vase displays, garland, ornaments, mantelpieces, and more; you are limited only by your imagination.

Use a mixture of boughs, pinecones, twigs, rocks, grasses, dried fruit, and berries to give you an assortment of sights, textures, and lovely winter aromas. Round it out with some Christmas music and hot apple cider and you’ll have all five senses covered for a cozy Sunday afternoon of crafting.

Kids love this too! They can make mice out of pinecones with berries for eyes, almond shells for ears, and a yarn tail, then create a “home” for their mouse using birch bark, mosses, sticks, and rocks.

After the holidays, simply compost your decor.

Up Your Upcycling Game

A quick search of Google or Pinterest will uncover an endless number of festive upcycling ideas: make snowmen from old light bulbs, snow globes from old jars, reindeer from toilet paper rolls, stockings from old sweaters, and ornaments from last year’s Christmas cards.

Rethink Your Gift Wrap

Certain types of gift wrap, ribbons, and bows cannot be recycled, so opt for creative alternatives like old newspapers, upcycled tins or scarves, or reuse last year’s wrap.

Give Experiences, Not Things

Most people love receiving an “excuse” to treat themselves. Gift certificates to the movies or theatre, a spa day, a restaurant meal or a coffee gift card (along with a reusable mug!) are just a few ideas.

You can also give the gift of your time. Offer to babysit, take them out for coffee, give them an old-fashioned phone call, or bake them a cake.

If you do buy “things,” consider buying handmade items from a local artisan. Woodworking, pottery, textiles, and other locally-sourced one-of-a-kind pieces are not only low impact, they’ll be treasured by your giftee for years to come.

Embrace Sweater Weather

One of the biggest carbon impacts during the winter is heating. Turn down the thermostat by a degree or two, and use sweaters, blankets, and hot cocoa to stay warm. Mmmm cocoa.

Watch What You (Don’t) Eat

And finally, be sure to use up all those holiday leftovers! Some things can be frozen, some can be made into a creative next-day recipe, and the rest can be fed to chickens or composted. Whatever you do, keeping your organics out of the landfill will get you on the Nice List.

Happy Holidays from the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society!

Vanessa Moberg is the Digital Media Manager with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society. Follow our channels for more tips: Facebook @CCCSociety and Instagram @ccc_society

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ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com

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