5 Ideas for a more fun and sustainable Festive Season!

Christmas - It's a wonderful time of year, but it can be expensive and wasteful! Here are some ideas to add some free and eco-friendly spice to your Festive Season...
 

 

When hosting, I love an easy way to get a drink into people as soon as they arrive that also looks FUN! A festive punch is always a winner, especially at an Aussie Christmas when the weather is usually hot and a cold fruity drink is most refreshing… This recipe from JamieOliver.com is one I will definitely be making in bulk!



MAKES 750ML, SERVES 4


Ingredients

  • 75 ml clementine juice
  • 150 ml Benedictine liqueur
  • 225 ml Dewar’s white label scotch whiskey , or cognac
  • 300 ml cranberry juice
  • 1 vanilla pod , seeds of
  • 1 clementine , thinly sliced
  • 3 sour cherries , (optional)


Method

  1. Recipe by Charlie Clapp
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a jug and store in the fridge for 2–3 hours before using – no longer as the sour elements will start to affect the overall flavour of the punch. Serve in a large jug or bowl half-filled with ice. Mix well and allow to dilute for 5 minutes before serving.

 One of the greatest joys of the holiday season is giving gifts to your loved ones. And thought doesn't just go into what to get—there's also the question of how to wrap that perfect present. While classic wrapping paper might be easy to come by, truly thoughtful and environmentally friendly presentation requires thinking outside of the traditionally wrapped box. 

 Australians buy enough Christmas wrapping paper each year to circle the earth 3-4x - YUCK!

My fiancé introduced me to "Furoshiki" the japanese art of wrapping gifts in fabric almost 10 years ago and we have made this our signature wrapping for all gifts ever since! We use second hand scarves, nice (new) tea towels or pieces of leftover fabric from my sewing days. In Japan, apparently the giver usually keeps the fabric for next time, but I like to pass it on so the trend spreads!


I love the look of these soft linen wrappings, I have an old linen bedding set that has seen better days that will be perfect for re-use in this way. The gift recipients could use the linens to either wrap their own gifts next time, or as a face washer, or to store a loaf of bread, as a tea towel... the options are endless and you can feel great about avoiding that huge pile of wrapping paper rubbish, which personally always leaves me feeling a bit guilty and shameful, rather than basking in the lovely feeling of giving and receiving thoughtful tokens of love and appreciation. 

Most Christmas decorations are made from plastic and are not something we should be buying, in my opinion! There are so many ways to decorate in an environmentally friendly and totally classy way using the beautiful decorations provided by Mother Nature every day....


I suggest taking a nice relaxing walk and keep your eyes peeled for leaves, gumnuts, flowers, pinecones and twigs you can use to decorate instead of pulling out that old tinsel. 


Table Decor


A huge trend in weddings lately is dressing the table with simple linen and Eucalyptus foliage. 

I love this idea for the Christmas table, it's easy to find (in my area, anyway) and you get the added bonus of that amazing eucalyptus smell. Of course you could substitute this for any easily found local foliage. All nature is beautiful, whether it's "trendy" or not! 

Make your own tree decorations using cinnamon, pine cones and dried fruit


I do have a nostalgic attachment to baubles and have been given some beautiful ones with sentimental meaning over my life, but we also love to mix our tree up with inspiration from nature. 


Try grouping a few cinnamon sticks together, horizontally, and tie with a ribbon that also forms a loop, to hook onto the tree. Or get some florist wire and attach to the base of a pine cone, then wrap the wire to a branch, so your pine cone is sitting happily on top. You can also use dried orange and apple slices as baubles! These are super simple to make, inexpensive, all natural, and compostable! Guilt-free holiday decorating at its finest.


Click here for a tutorial on oven-drying fruit, which also make excellent cocktail / punch garnishes!





3. DIY Candle Decoration


This is an easy one, pretty self explanatory! Just grab some string and some little bits of greenery and tie around your candle holders. 

Just beware of the fire danger, of course... keep that foliage well away from the flame!

I love the fun of a Bon Bon cracker, but hate the plastic junk you inevitably get inside. 


Good news, it's pretty easy to make your own!


You just need : 

  • Recycled or Tissue Paper for the outside
  • Cardboard Toilet Paper roll or similar
  • A s0-bad-it's-good joke, and a small gift (something useful like metal straws, beautiful  tea bags, vouchers for family movie nights etc)
  • A bon-bon snap to get that really good CRACK sound - you can get these from places like Spotlight in a pack of 12 for about $5
  • String to tie and a bit of fabric or foliage to decorate

Place the gift, joke and snap inside the toilet roll and place in the centre of the tissue paper.

Roll and cover in tissue paper; twist and secure ends with string and any little decorations you've come up with! 


A 2019 international survey of consumers across a broad spectrum of ages by Momentum Worldwide, an advertising agency, found that an overwhelming majority -- 76 percent -- would rather experiences instead of products.


This rings true for my family & friends, we have steadily moved away from giving "stuff" to each other and into giving vouchers for experiences that we can enjoy together.


There is so much to love about this. Firstly you're not purchasing objects that most likely will end up in landfill some day sooner or later.

I really love that giving an experience means that you are giving that person a story to tell, a memory, something to look forward to, possibly learning something new, something that will enrich their life somehow. Shared experiences bond people, and our relationships are our  greatest source of happiness in life.


Experience gift ideas :

  • degustation at a top notch restaurant
  • a massage, facial, or similar
  • an accommodation or travel voucher
  • tickets to a concert, ballet, play etc.
  • a local adventure experience e.g. diving, cave exploring, zip lining etc.
  • whiskey or wine tasting flight
  • chocolate making or cooking school
  • make your own perfume, pottery, jewellery, hats, etc. workshops from local artisans


You know what else I love about this? It really suits last minute purchasing which is my specialty!!!

Happy Holidays! - Beck @ Impulse x
 
 

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