For a fun and guilt-free (or almost guilt-free!) Christmas, Sassy Mama Claire Sancelot of Hong Kong Green Home shares her three top tips for reducing waste, saving money and respecting the planet this holiday!
Going Zero Waste is all about having fun and being stress-free at this time of joy, happiness, family and great food! It’s easier than you think; just remember the 5 R’s… Refuse-Reduce-Reuse-Recycle and Rot!
Christmas wrapping can be an expensive waste of natural resources as often the paper is used then not recycled, plus there’s the trip to the shop and the carrying it back home, which just adds unnecessary labour to an already busy time of year! Our family solution for super-personalised Christmas gift-wrapping is to use our kids’ artwork. At home, we have notebooks full of painted, crayoned, and sticker-adorned drawings that grandparents LOVE and we find that family members really appreciate the personal touch too!
Alternatively, if you feel that not everyone would appreciate your child’s ‘art’, then a cheap pashmina or beautiful piece of fabric from Spotlight or Far East Plaza in Orchard makes for a beautiful, and reusable, giftwrap. Call this the Singapore version of Japanese Furoshiki!
This link shows you how to wrap presents the Furoshiki way… sadly our end result is not so sophisticated!
We like to give ornaments made from salt dough as a little pre-Christmas gift – mainly to grandparents, who use them to decorate the tree. These are great fun to make with your kids for a rainy afternoon activity, they’re cheap to make, and are a lovely personal touch to share with family members (plus it’s also ultimately biodegradable!).
Last year, each of our 3 children made a handprint in salt dough and then painted them in festive colours. We wrote each child’s name on their ornament and both sets of grandparents loved them and gave them pride of place on their Christmas trees! We made an extra set for ourselves, I cannot wait to get them out this year to compare how the handprints have grown!
Here is a great link for inspiration for your salt dough ornaments.
Some people think that it’s tacky to have a plastic Christmas tree in their home. But as a sustainable solution, a plastic tree is the only real solution here in Singapore, and it can be as beautiful as you make it!
Natural Christmas trees sold in the Little Red Dot are usually shipped from the US and are usually cut, without roots and pots, and thus cannot be replanted, just adding to our already bursting-at-the-seams landfill sites.
Although plastic as a ‘green’ option may seem like an oxymoron, after some thought, we bought a second hand plastic tree five years ago and have been using it every year since. Our tree is still in perfect shape and I am sure that it will last us another 10-15 years!