Celebrate Christmas naturally

With each passing year, more people strive to celebrate the season without harming our Earth

Across the country, this will likely be a very green Christmas, for more reasons than the unusual balmy weather as with each passing year, more people strive to celebrate the season without harming our Earth.

Ever-mindful of Mother Nature, we took our wee grand-daughter outside for a treasure hunt and filled a basket with fallen evergreen boughs, cones, and mountain-ash berries, now dried on the stem.

Little Miranda brimmed with excitement as she stuffed a clear ornament ball with natural finds from our own backyard and happily declared the finished product – her first hand-made Christmas decoration – to be the “most favourite thing of all.”

Heart-melting moments like that don’t arise at a shopping mall, where all manner of plastic wares are displayed in tempting array.

After five years of ‘going green’ for the festive season, the Scott clan have survived, nay, thrived, by wrapping with re-usable, hand-sewn fabric gift bags, and stringing the tree with popcorn, cranberries, cinnamon sticks and gingerbread men.

Gone are the energy-thieving Christmas lights of old, replaced with efficient LED lights, both indoors and out.

We flick on the exterior lights for only a few hours each evening and switch them off before we turn in for the night, then reap the reward of a reduced electric bill in January.

Our Christmas Eve fire is no longer a roaring pit of carbon-spewing firewood, replaced now by sweet-smelling, smokeless beeswax candles all in a row.

Paraffin candles, a petroleum product, are harmful to both health and the environment.

Battery-operated and plastic toys are banned in favour of healthy wooden playthings finished in vegetable oil and hand-crafted gifts all around.

And finally, choosing a potted pyramidal cedar for a Christmas tree to plant outdoors after the festivities will result in a fine cedar hedge for wildlife to enjoy for years to come.

Holiday reading: Nature Campbell River and Nature Strathcona, and the Vancouver Island Backyard Bird Poster, are available at the Museum and Coho Books.

Nature Event: Campbell River Christmas Bird Count.

Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. Contact Luisa Richardson. Lu_rich@shaw.ca.

 

E-mail Christine at: wildernesswest@shaw.ca