Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas

Now it’s a good time for us to remember that Christmas is not just about buying too much, eating too much and drinking too much. Quite the contrary, now it’s the right time to reflect about what impact our consuming has on the world and all the billions of creatures sharing this little planet. So before parting with more money, stop think about how those pounds will contribute to life on Earth.

Green Gifts
For your last minute gifts, buy something that will not cost the Earth. At Lush, you can find some lovely products, full of natural and fresh ingredients. For the shops that are in the South up till Birmingham, products are delivered in lorries running on bio-diesel from waste oil. You can also buy a virtual gift, a charity donation, a tree, write someone a poem, buy art, buy services (massage, for example), etc.

Gift Wrapping
Make your own! Smoothie tetrabricks make fantastic gift-boxes. Re-use wrapping from other gifts your received, put them in a re-usable bag, wrap with magazines, unwanted posters or wrap them in a scarp or a piece of fabric. If you want to avoid the hassle of wrapping your own gifts, Lush wraps our gifts in 100% recycled paper, printed with vegetable inks. Choose the ones with a paper ribbon and buy a It’s a Wrap instead. There’s also Supersized Lush Pud - the box is a giant bath ballistic and the wrapping is compostable.

Christmas Cards
I’d say, send everyone an e-card. But because in the UK, there’s such a huge tradition of card giving, make sure someone benefited from your purchase (charity cards, recycled cards) and in January, recycle them through the Woodland Trust scheme. Also, this has nothing to do with being green, but it’s lovely to actually express your feelings for someone and write something meaningful from the heart instead of just “Merry Christmas”!

Fairy Lights
Gotta be LEDs. Also, always turn them off when you go to bed. Use a timer if needed. In these times of Climate Change, with renewable energy in the UK not being able to meet demand, wasting electricity on fairy lights almost feels criminal.

Christmas Tree
Natural trees from certified sources (FSC) are always better. If you’ve bought a natural tree, then make sure it gets composted after Christmas. Check with your local authority for special post-Christmas collection schemes. If you’ve bought an artificial tree, pack it safely, protected from moisture, label it and store it somewhere you will remember, so you can use it again next year!

Green Decorations
Do it like Lush, make your Christmas decorations out of waste. We even have a lovely Christmas Tree called the The Joy Tree, made out of plastic bottles (see picture above - stolen from the artist's blog). They were made by Inga Hamilton, a fabulous artists that can turn any spent material into beautiful art. Check her website and learn how to make the tree. Go into a Lush shop, just to check our decorations out, they're great.
Use the popcorn from a Lush Gift, cinnamon sticks, dried oranges, natural holly, etc. Make a pomander!

Peaceful Food
Buy local and organic! Christmas is a time to celebrate life, so have lots of living and natural food on your table. There’s still time to get an organic box! Choose Fairtrade items that will ensure someone on the other side of the world can also have a bountiful Christmas. Choose spare a turkey this Christmas and make some lovely nut roast, if you must, get a free range and organic one, even if that means spending a little bit less on presents.

So that’s it… (excuse me, I’ll be bit hippy here, if you can’t take it, please stop reading now).

Have a lovely Christmas, full of happiness and compassion. Celebrate the Solstice, nature and life. I wish we all take the time this Christmas to develop a sense of community, of peace and of urgency in tackling the problems that are causing pain and distress to our fellow beings. May we be wise to recognise that happiness cannot exist here while there’s suffering elsewhere and that our planet’s resources may be limited, but they are enough if we only take our fair share.

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