Creating Earth friendly Christmas traditions

In these days of economic uncertainty and environmental trials it’s nice to know that one can still create Christmas economically.

In these days of economic uncertainty and environmental trials it’s nice to know that one can still create a heartwarming Christmas using nature’s bounty and recycled materials.

The second annual Earth Friendly Holiday Event held at Scout Island Nature Center held  Nov. 30/Dec. 1 sent happy participants home with full bellies and Earth friendly Christmas gifts and decorations.

“The turnout from the community was excellent and everyone enjoyed the creative projects, excellent food and wonderful company,” says project co-ordinator Carla Glessing.

The event was organized by the Healthy By Nature collaborative which includes the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, Scout Island Nature Centre, Williams Lake Field Naturalists, Williams Lake Environmental Society and the Food Policy Council (including Cariboo Growers).

During a Friday evening session that carried over into a Saturday session participants had the opportunity to:

• Create a holiday wreath using local boughs, cones and other greenery fastened to  re-purposed bicycle wheels.

• Create a colourful rag wreath using materials from the Salvation Army thrift store.

• Make gift wrapping using recyclable paper and decorating the paper with old fashioned stamps with designs cut from potatoes.

• Create gift tags using last year’s Christmas cards.

• Fold magazines to create a beautiful paper Christmas tree and then decorate it with strings of beads found at the local share shed, or strings of popcorn and rose hips, and topping the tree off  with a beautiful thistle.

• Paint and take home a beautiful, handmade bird feeder.

• Create bird houses from Douglas-fir and birch bark, moss and other treasures from nature.

• Create hot plate trivets by gluing rocks onto beautifully cut pieces of wood.

• Create three dimensional stars from cereal boxes.

• The event included an alternative gift ideas table, games and activities for children, an opportunity for a night walk under the stars, the exchange of baked good and preserves and more.

“Great food was available in the kitchen – healthy, hot soups, homemade breads, veggie and fruit trays, hot spiced cider and more,” Glessing says.

“Many people who attended arrived with plates of cookies, cupcakes, fruit and other donations.

“Lots of people stayed for hours as there was so much to do,”

Glessing says.

“One lady who arrived on Friday night was amazed at the quality of the event. She said she was going to give us a “rose” in the local newspaper.

She left at one point and came back with her friend who she just had to go and get so she could see what a wonderful event was happening.

“Her daughter, son-in-law and grandson were also with her and they too, as did everyone who attended, really enjoyed the event.”

She says the event would not have been possible without a lot of hard work by many volunteers who began collecting all the supplies during the summer and continued to do so right up to the event, Glessing says.

 

“Thank-you to all of you.”