Posts tagged Christmas
Posts tagged Christmas
Early December 2012 Messzelátó started a series of 3 workshops, with the focus on creating gifts, decorations and other fun stuff for Christmas from recycled, upcycled materials. We’ve been brainstorming on this project and collecting ideas since the beginning of November. I really enjoyed coordinating this little project, it was a lot of fun and I also learned a lot of new things and was able to use my creativity.
The first one was held on the 4th of December with the main focus on Advent preparations. The main superstars of the workshop were notebooks and Advent calendars. Participants were learning bookbinding techniques and learned how to make Advent calendar from toiletpaper rolls and from origami boxes made of old newspapers.
Bookbinding - notebook
The second workshop, 10th of December, participants learned how to make jewelries and toys from waste materials. Some people became great in creating jewelries from plastic materials, others became experts in the creation of boardgames or making small teddybears from gloves.
At the last Gift Factory workshop, on 17th of December, we created Christmas trees and Christmas decorations made of paper (mainly old magazines and newspapers)
Christmas decorations from magazines
Christmas tree with the decorations
This Christmas GiftFactory was hopefully not the last one @ Messzelátó and hope the new volunteers will also have the chance to organize such a thing :)
So another holiday season has passed by - gifts given and unwrapped, food eaten and your tree has probably been taken down by now.
Hopefully you’ve had a reasonably green Xmas by crafting, upcycling or regifting your presents and then following our tips on alternative present wrapping. But what to do with your leftover greetings cards, wrapping paper and, if you had a real one, Christmas tree?
Don’t just throw them out! As long as you have somewhere to store them, there are loads of ways to re-use them throughout the year and during the next holiday season. Why not spend the dark and dreary January and February evenings making them into postcards, gifts tags, gift bags and decorations for next year?
Easiest of all - cut off the front part of the card (the part with the pretty picture on it) and use the other side as a postcard to write your holiday message on next year.
Gift tags are also super easy, all you need is an old card with a nice design and some ribbon, thread or string. Cutting the edges with shearing scissors or into interesting shapes also looks great. Then punch a hole and put the ribbon through. Voila!
Anything else left over can normally be recycled like normal paper, or even put into your compost bin. And don’t forget to keep the envelopes to re-use throughout the year or as scrap paper.
Wrapping paper is harder to recycle in your normal recycling bin as it’s often shiny, glittery or made of plastic, so check before you throw it out.
The best thing to do, if it’s still in one or two pieces is keep it and use it to wrap a present for someone else next year. However, if it’s completely fallen to pieces shredding it and using it as stuffing for packages or furniture bags. Or why not use scraps to make paper beads or bowls.
Ideally you had an articifcial, recycled or potted Christmas tree which is now safely stored back up in the loft or replanted in your garden. But if not, what should you do with the, now probably pretty dead-looking, fir tree that’s been in your house for the last couple of weeks?
Most cities have a facility where you can take your tree to be recycled which is then normally turned into mulch for local parks and woodland, or sometimes you can even take it home for your own garden. Ask your local authorities about the services in your area.
If you compost at home, fir trees can be chopped up or shredded and added to your compost bin - just make sure you take all of the decorations and lights off first.
Or if you have a garden, why not use your tree as a new habitat for birds? You’ll need to support the tree with stakes or a stand, or stand it against a garage or shed. Adding a pine cone bird feeder will really attract those song birds.
If you’re unlucky enough to not have any local recycling facilities or a garden for your tree, you could always donate it to a farm or chop it up to use as firewood.
Whatever you do with it, chucking it out onto the street with the rest of your trash is the worst option imagineable.
One of the biggest sources of waste each Christmas is wrapping paper. So is it really necessary to buy for it new paper when there are more alternatives?
You can create attractive gift wrap yourself by reusing paper, magazines, old calendars, maps, posters or fabric. You can also reused old wrapping paper. If you prefer buying gift wrap, look for recycled content gift wrap paper.
Here is tip for fabric gift bags: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDPZikZoXys
More info about green packing: http://eartheasy.com/gift_wrapping.htm
From Recycle Now, a little tip on how to recycle your way to a holiday decorated home!
Pretty, don’t you think? Do you have any tips for recycled Christmas decorations?
(even better than our jar lanterns, we promise!)
These lanterns are so easy to make! All you need is water!
You will need:
The first thing you have to do is to fill a bucket with water. If you boil the water before you do this, there will be fever bubbles in the ice lantern when it’s done. You then put the bucket out in the freezing cold… After one or more nights (depending on how cold it is) you can take the bucket inside. You then let it melt a little bit along the edges so that you can remove the ice.
It’s very important not to let the bucket freeze in the bottom. The whole point of the ice lantern is that the water that hasn’t yet frozen will leave room for you to place your candle.
The candle might melt the lantern just a little, but unless the temperature creeps above 0 your lantern will keep shining beautifully for a long time! Let’s just hope the weather will be cold enough to do this!
Have you ever tried to make an ice lantern?
Following up on yesterday’s Christmas gift-wrapping post, here’s a few videos showing how to wrap your presents - the eco-friendly way.
This is what you need to do! (Image)
Did you know gift-wrapping paper is bad for the environment?
Most gift-wrapping paper that will be used this Christmas is nasty. It contains colourants and clay that you can’t remove in a recycling process, and this toxicity combined with a low level of fiber means it’s not good for recycling. This obviously means that you are not allowed to burn it OR throw it in paper recycling bins! All you achieve from burning the gift wrap is ashes, local pollution and not a lot of heat.You sadly have to throw the glossy Christmas wrapping in the light green ‘cannot be recycled’ garbage bins.
If want to be an environmentally friendly gift giver and receiver, here’s what you need to do:
Did you know that wrapping paper is dangerous? How will you wrap your presents this year?
We want you to think about the environment this Christmas!
It’s finally Christmas time! Even though chocolate santa clauses, glitter ornaments and gift giving recommendations have been around in shops for at least a month now, it is today it actually starts for most of us: December is here.
And we happen to think that Christmas is awesome. We love it, it’s brilliant. Food! Snow! Candles! Music! Lights! Sweets! Hot wine! And let’s not forget presents! It’s a wonderful time of year, really, with plenty of occasions to have a good time with the people you like
or are stuck with because you’re related and stuff yourselves with so much food and sweets that it’s hard to walk properly afterwards. Christmas is a super time of year.
Even though Christmas is nice, it is important to know that the materialistic side of it all has some nasty side effects. You see, the gift giving is not only making our wallets bleed, it’s also very bad for the environment. Just take a moment to consider the environmental impact your purchases have on the state of our planet. Presents make your friends and family happy, but they also create massive amounts of waste through production, transportation, packaging, gift wrapping and also through gifts ending up in the garbage because people sometimes give each other boring, hideous and useless things.
We would like for you to try and turn this materialistic and harmful trend into something that’s both more environmentally friendly and more thoughtful at the same time. We’d like for you to make more of your presents yourself. We’re going to get to how making presents is awesome in a minute, but first - some more environmentally friendly alternatives to just going to a shop and buying something random.
Firstly, you can choose to give a non-material present. Aren’t experiences more fun anyway? In stead of giving something material, you can take people to a movie or a concert. You can also give them vouchers for your time, like offering to clean their house or walk their dog or cook them dinner. Offering your time to someone, either to have a fun experience with them or do something for them sends just as much (or more) a message of love to the person you’re giving it to.
You can also give someone a symbolic gift. An example of such a gift can be to give a donation to a charitable organisation in the gift recipient’s name. In Norway, many organisations offer you the opportunity to purchase a goat, the training of a mine searching dog, a nurse’s education etc. in someone’s name as a Christmas present. These gifts give something to the people in the world who are in actual need as well as showing someone close to you how much you appreciate them without giving them unnecessary things.
The Norwegian People’s Aid lets you train a mine searching dog as a present!
If you do choose to buy material presents for Christmas, you should consider buying local. Messzelátó had a campaign earlier this autumn for local food, simply because you do so much to reduce pollution from food transport if you buy food that hasn’t travelled far. The same thing goes for presents. In addition, buying local gives you a better opportunity to assure the quality of what you buy, which makes for better presents anyway. Local is awesome!
Lately though, we’ve become really excited about the concept of homemade Christmas presents. The environmental argument for homemade presents is the most important one in our opinion. But more than that, it’s so much more fun to make something for someone than it is to trudge the stores in a shopping mall looking for something you can give to your mother/best friend/girlfriend/cousin. When you make presents yourself, you have complete control over what materials you choose, making homemade presents very economical. And we are willing to bet a gazillion forints that they’ll be happier receiving a present that you put thought and effort into, compared with something you picked up in a store. Nothing says love like doing it yourself!
Finding ideas for presents is no challenge! Below are some things that we have done that you can do too. Most of it is from recycled or green materials - very good for the environment!
The internet is also full of web pages and blogs containing tips for presents you can easily make yourself. If you have an idea of what sort of materials you want to use, what you want to make or the technique you want to use/learn, Google is awesome for finding the right instructions. Besides just doing internet searches, there are a few web pages we often go to for inspiration: Instructables and Cut Out + Keep. Instructables is a massive webpage with instructions for absolutely everything (you could probably build a whole house on your own using articles from there), including loads of crafty things. Cut Out + Keep has mostly arts & crafts, and so much of it! With these pages you will surely be inspired!
So go ahead! Browse a few internet pages and have a think - what could you make for people this Christmas? Wouldn’t it make them (and you) happy if you gave them something that was custom made, that you spent time on? We think the answers to these questions are ‘awesome things’ and ‘yes’! And that the conclusion is that homemade presents are brilliant?
Are you planning to make any presents yourself?
We have earlier demonstrated that there’s no reason whatsoever to throw away old magazines when you’re done reading them. The pages are colourful and bendable - perfect craft material! Another thing you can make: awesome necklaces!
You will need:
And voilà! You have a necklace! And it’s pretty! Do you have the heart to part with it and make it a Christmas present?