Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A green Christmas

"The most wonderful time of the year" has passed & the new year is upon us. We partied three days straight, visiting friends the 24th, my parents & sister's family the 25th, then both my sisters, associated children & husbands, a few in-laws, an aunt & uncle, cousins, my parents & Sprouty's great-grandparents for Boxing Day. It was a pretty good Christmas, I have to say.

Here's my Christmas scorecard on how eco-friendly we managed to keep it. I've used green text for the more environmentally conscious aspects & red text for things we will try to do better next year.

  • We got Sprout's first photo with Santa taken, only one print, sharing it digitally.
  • We made a gingerbread house out of a kit, so lots of packaging was involved. 
  • We decorated our massive Ikea fir tree with hand-me-down ornaments mostly & LED lights. Rather than The star on the top is old bulbs, though. I also broke down & bought a package of 25 plastic baubles because I thought it looked a little bare. I still haven't decided whether it's greener to use a real cut tree or a fake one.
  • I wrapped my nieces' & nephew's gifts in paper, but I used up old paper I've had around for years & some vintage paper that we found in Oli's parents' basement.
  • I made three fabric gift bags (out of scraps I had already) for Sprout's presents, one of which is a battery-free wind-up boom box. I plan to make more gift bags each year so we have enough different sizes for anything we give him. This year I made a couple larger ones & stuffed all his presents into them.
  • We didn't buy gifts for anyone but Sprout's little friends & cousins, instead donating the money we would have spent on potentially over-packaged, unneeded gifts to the SPCA Biscuit Fund.
  • We used Co-op cars to get to two events that are difficult by transit & walked or took the bus to the rest. With Co-op cars we 'stack' visits & errands, doing multiple things that are in the same area on one trip to make our car usage more efficient.
  • We decided to be lazy, not doing laundry & using disposable diapers when we were out over Christmas. Next year I'll try to do a big load of laundry right before all the festivities start so we have lots of clean cloth diapers to go out with. It's mostly a question of planning: washing a load of diapers requires being home & running downstairs to the laundry every hour for about four hours.
  • I sent out about 40 paper Christmas cards; I'm still working through my stash of bought-on-sale-after-Xmas cards. I love the tradition of sending cards, but next year I'll try to use recycled paper & decorate them myself.


  1. The diaper washing was a bit hard to schedule in, I must admit! I am still trying to strip all my diapers each time I do laundry, so it takes many hours to finish a load. I washed xmas eve, then skipped 2 days and washed Monday morning.
    Which reminds me..it is Wednesday-time for another load of diapers! (This will be my 3rd load of the day already and it is only 10:30 am!)

  2. Yeah, I have a long day of diaper washing ahead of me soon: I think Sprout's got a yeast rash again, so I'll have to sterilize all the diapers. I could just do the ones he's come into contact with in the last couple days, but then if I miss one & he gets reinfected... grr... At least I've caught it before his rash gets too bad this time.


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