I do consider myself a Keener Greener. I really want to create green changes in my life, and have done quite a bit over the years to live in a greener way that lessons my footprint on this fine fragile Earth. I try to teach my children, and model good environmental habits. But there are times that it is hard to adopt change, even when you know it is the right thing to do. This is way Christmas has been for me over the last few years.
I had great aspirations of celebrating this Christmas as green as possible. This was going to be it! Every year I think about how I want to change my Christmas habits and celebrate with less waste, less consumption, less stress in the pre-holiday days, less food, less financial debt and more time with the people I love, more time actually relaxing and visiting...I never really address the amount of alcohol that may be involved ( baby steps right?).
So, now Christmas is over...let's assess.
This year I did actually wrap my presents in newspaper, and I got my children to wrap theirs in newspaper too.
Looking at the pile of presents under the tree and thinking about all of the virgin forest we saved by using fully recyclable newspaper made me feel great. Wiping black finger prints from every surface in the house that the children touched during their wrapping process didn't really make my heart sing, thankfully our newspaper prints with vegetable inks. The other issue I didn't really consider is the amount of tape needed when using smaller pieces of newspaper. Our home may indeed be responsible for a tape shortage in the early months of 2009, sorry.
What did my in-laws think of their eco-wrapped presents? They all thought it was great, but I don't know why they all kept asking if things were okay with work?
Less consumption! I did pretty well. I bought less gifts, but more meaningful ones. It was so sweet...the kids were moved to tears over this green shift!
Less stress in the preparation for Christmas. I did pretty good in this department too. I baked less sweets and bought less junk food, no egg nog, and stayed completely away from the numerous boxes of chocolate we usually have all over the house. Again, the family was really supportive with this idea, and spent a lot of time explaining the concept to the neighbors, friends and family, anyone who would listen really.
Less financial stress. Did great with this concept, didn't put anything on the old credit card. Nope, not a thing. The Credit Card company had actually even acknowledged in November that the trip to Mexico for February would be the last thing put on the card.
One of the things that was most touching this Christmas was that my children made their gifts for me this year. They had asked what I wanted for Christmas, and I said that whatever it was I wanted them to have made it. Trying to model to them that Christmas is not about spending money, and buying things but rather about taking time to show the people in life that you love how important they are to you. The kids embraced this green choice wholeheartedly and set off to create!
That Christmas morning, while other Mothers may have been opening boxes of perfume or pretty little sets of necklaces with matching earrings...I was thumbing through a book of "Memorises" created by my daughter, and trying on the slippers my son made for me out of two 3/4" plywood circles with pillow stuffing stapled to it with a strap of material across the top.
This Christmas morning I knew I had taken one step closer to achieving some of my goals as a Keener Greener!!
Unfortunately I then had to sit down and remove the splinter it got from my slipper.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and I wish you all a Happy New Year.