Jenny Howell is the water wise instructor and the executive director of the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society. (Photo submitted)

Jenny Howell is the water wise instructor and the executive director of the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society. (Photo submitted)

DOWN TO EARTH: A different kind of Christmas

Let’s gather for the annual Earth Friendly holiday event online


Special to the Tribune

A few weeks ago I wrote an article on our upcoming COVID-friendly annual Earth Friendly holiday event. I rewrote it the following week when provincial guidelines changed, and we had adapted it to be even safer. A day before the revised article was to be published things tightened even more and we realized even our ‘drive by, pick up wreath supplies, and do it yourself’ version could be considered an outdoor event, so we gave up.

Too many people have worked incredibly hard on controlling this pandemic and everyone has given up so much already that we weren’t going to quibble about grey areas.

This was a hard thing to let go; it was to be our 10th annual event and is always such a popular way to bring community together to celebrate the non-commercial aspect of the season.

So now we are on to version four. You still want a wreath and we still want you to have one; you just have a bit more responsibility this year.

Well actually, a lot more responsibility, since you have to do the whole thing yourself.

If you have made a wreath at the Earth Friendly before, this will be quite a bit easier as you may still have a bicycle rim collecting dust somewhere from a previous year.

If you haven’t, we have a video that will help you the whole process though from start to finish.

READ MORE: Snow science at Gavin Lake

Once you have your rim sorted (Amber will help you through this), head off for a nice spot of forest bathing with some clippers, collecting your supplies as you go. Oliver’s part of the video has some suggestions and advice on how to harvest responsibly so that we keep to our ‘Earth Friendly’ part of this project.

When you return, heat up the apple cider (sorry, you have to do this bit yourself this year too), turn on the Christmas music and start creating. My part of the video will help start you off on how to thread the boughs to get that ‘full’ wreath look and then how to add some natural decorations. Like many others this year, we have our young adults home from University, so we were able to have a household bubble wreath party. If you don’t have others to do this with, how about getting some encouragement and company by hosting a Zoom wreath party instead?

Find the full wreath tutorial video on our Facebook page!

One of my favourite things at the Earth Friendly is how everyone starts with the same supplies and ends up with such different-looking crafts. Send us a picture of your finished wreath we can share online and revel in seasonal Cariboo creativity!

Waste Wise


540,000 tonnes of gift wrap and gift bags are thrown in Canadian landfills each year. Re-use gift bags and use alternatives to gift wrap (cloth scraps, newspaper, decorate boxes, etc.)

For more information on Water Wise or Waste Wise and any of our school and community programs, contact the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society at or visit the website at

Jenny Howell is a Water Wise instructor and the executive director of the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society.

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