How to prepare an ecological and supportive Christmas?

This year, the magazine Okapi Offer your teenagers ideas for gifts, decorations, recipes… so as not to equate New Year’s Eve with pollution or excessive consumption… And we promise that the party will be just as beautiful. Follow the leader !

Eco-Friendly Christmas Decorations to Add Ambience to Your Home

A 100% recycled Christmas wreath

Christmas decorations are often fragile, and every year some become damaged or broken. Instead of throwing them away, you can reuse them to make a crown! After all, it is one of the oldest Christmas traditions.
The base of the crown : A piece of cardboard cut into a donut shape and covered with aluminum foil. Small fir branches cut close to you and attached to the base with hot glue. Ribbon to hang the wreath on the door.
The decorations : Beautiful broken balls on one side + Customized burnt out lamps with spray paint and small decorations + A piece of garland + A cinnamon stick that smells good.

Ecological and scented garlands

Bright lights are pretty… but they use a lot of electricity. For a change, we offer you a scented version: save the largest possible pieces ofclementine peels. Let them dry for a few days under a book (to smooth them out), then cut out stars and string them on a thread… That’s it!

A shared Advent calendar

We have all become accustomed to the Advent calendars sold in the supermarket. It’s time to go back to basics! An Advent calendar is designed to gradually bring the magic of Christmas into your home. That’s why, good times with family are much better than some sweets.

Use kraft paper or newspapers to make house-shaped envelopes (see diagram on downloadable sheet). Decorate them, number them, hang them on a stick and slide them inside one activity a day to do as a family. Some ideas ? Watch a Christmas movie, dance to a song, separate and donate the clothes you no longer wear… It’s up to you to create: you need 24!

Shared Advent Calendar for you to make yourself.  Okapi n°1189, December 1, 2023.

Deflected balls

If you’re lacking decoration, here’s an idea: you probably have a lot of objects that you can transform. You can do paper balls with an old book or magazines. Cut out six discs of the same size, fold them in half and glue half of one disc to the other. When three discs are assembled, add a wire, then the next three discs and that’s it!

Snowy windows

Would you like to change your windows to winter mode? We have a less polluting option than artificial snow. Mix two tablespoons of White Meudon (found in most supermarkets) with a tablespoon of water, until you obtain a pasty liquid sufficient to be applied with a brush to the windows. After vacation, rinse with a sponge.

An alternative tree

Whether natural or artificial, trees necessarily have an impact on the environment. If your family isn’t very attached to it, there are ways to make it exist differently. You can decorate, why not, the most beautiful green plant in the house, or make a tree on the wall or customize a palette with painting and some decorations.

A Christmas party, if possible, local and vegetarian

A local Christmas : In France, food represents 22% of our greenhouse gas emissions. It would be possible to improve this score by favoring seasonal foods produced within a 200 km radius of your home. The party menu therefore depends on… where you live. If your family likes to enjoy a meat dish at Christmas, birds can be found in all regions of France, for example. Our tempting banquet starter can also be prepared with local ingredients.

A vegetarian Christmas : To avoid waste and multiple variations in meals, it is possible to create a vegetarian menu that will please all guests. You can even try vegan recipes, like chocolate mousse with whipped chickpea juice! And if someone tells you that without meat the meal is not festive, you can enjoy our succulent roast stuffed with butter recipe.

A waste-free Christmas : A festive meal doesn’t have to feel like a Roman banquet with lots of leftovers. On the other hand, this could be an opportunity to empty the fridge. For example, if you had chicken or turkey, why not prepare a Wellington stuffed with shredded chicken and leftover vegetables? It’s delicious and it works! And for dessert, our cheesecake recipe is ideal and waste-free.

Starter: boiled egg with porcini cream

• an onion
• 20 g of butter
• 400 g of porcini mushrooms
• a clove of garlic
• 10 cl of liquid crème fraîche
• a carton of eggs
• a few pieces of bacon cut into thin slices (except for vegetarians, of course)

Realization of the recipe
1. Bring it back In a frying pan with the butter and onion, add the chopped garlic and the washed porcini mushrooms. Let it come back for a few minutes while stirring.
2. Out of the Fireadd the cream, a little salt and pepper and mix.
3. Meanwhilebrown a few pieces of bacon in the pan.
4. Boil too water, immerse the eggs in it for 6 minutes. When they are ready, place the eggs in cold water to stop the cooking and roll them on the work surface to break the shell and remove it.
5. Simply assemble your entrance : three spoons of porcini cream, a boiled egg and a few shavings of bacon.

Dish: Stuffed Butter Roast

• 1 pumpkin
• 2 shallots
• 1 clove of garlic
• 400 g of cooked chestnuts
• 50 g of dried apricots
• 40 g of raisins
• 40 g of hazelnuts
• a little nutmeg
• a little olive oil
• a little salt and pepper

Realization stuffed butter roast
1. Preheat the oven at 200°C.
2. Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, remove the seeds with a tablespoon and remove the rest, without discarding the pulp, so that the entire length has a uniform thickness.
3. Cut your shallots and the garlic in strips and brown them in the pan with a little olive oil.
4. Cut the chestnuts, hazelnuts and apricots in pieces, throw them into the pan along with the raisins. Let it boil for five minutes. Add the nutmeg, butter pulp, salt, pepper and cook for 20 min.
5. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, place half a walnut on top, decorate with the filling, packing well. Do the same for the other half and then join the two parts tightly with kitchen twine. Finally, brush the butter with olive oil before baking for 1 hour. Your roast will be ready as soon as you stick the tip of a knife into it.

Dessert: leftover cheesecake

• 500 g of yogurt, cottage cheese or cheese spread
• 150 g of various biscuits
• 3 eggs
• 30 g of flour
• 150 g of sugar
• 100 g of butter

Realization cheese cake
1. Crush your cookies, add the melted butter, use the dough obtained to line the mold. Bake for 10 minutes at 180°C.
2. Meanwhile, mix the sugar, yogurt, flour and eggs, then pour everything over the biscuit and bake for 50 minutes at 180°C, placing a container with water next to the plate. Thanks to him, your cheesecake will be soft!

Christmas gifts like no other

Offer a future memory!

Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean everyone has to leave with items. You can offer your time and the opportunity to have a good time with your loved ones, to create new memories. “Good for a family photo shoot”, “good for a private guitar lesson”, “good for breakfast in bed”… You can even offer “all your gratitude”! If it’s presented on pretty paper, it should work!

Sustainable Christmas: offer a future souvenir!  Okapi n°1189, December 1, 2023.

Think about second-hand gifts

You won’t look like a cheapskate by buying a gift at a second-hand store or on a second-hand items platform. You can even get rid of something you have at home… as long as, of course, you don’t give it to whoever gave it to you before (that doesn’t happen!).

To give more value to a second-hand gift, don’t hesitate to give it add a little text on a card where you tell their story. “This vinyl is the one my grandmother listened to when she made Christmas cookies”, or “it was on this skateboard that I did my first ollie”, or even “when I saw this lamp at the flea market, I immediately imagined it”. in her living room, between the piano and the sofa”…

Nothing compares to a handmade gift

Sustainable Christmas: nothing better than a handmade gift - Ocapi n°1189, December 1, 2023.

A drawing, a piece of jewelry, a song, a poem… You certainly have talents to use offer truly personalized gifts for your loved ones. Are you running out of ideas? Don’t hesitate to browse through your collection ofOkapi looking for our DIY crafts or browsing the magazine’s website.

Why not an ecological surprise?

When buying a gift for a loved one, think about what would make them happy, but also the usefulness of the item you are giving. A smart gift can be an opportunity to create a good habit all year long! Some ideas ? A stainless steel bottle made in France (Zeste, €36), solid cosmetics (Not bottled, from €9.90), a kit to save water for tap and shower (Oopla, €22), a reusable cutlery kit for lunch break (Bini, €5.90), etc.

Don’t forget the packaging!

Sustainable Christmas: nothing better than a handmade gift Ecological gift: don't forget the packaging!  Okapi n°1189, December 1, 2023.

After putting in the effort to decorate, cook and give gifts, it would be a shame to wrap your gifts in glitter paper that will only have a limited lifespan! For variety, you can draw on kraft paper, use packaging that has already been used, switch to the Japanese furoshiki technique using beautiful reusable fabrics, or even decorating a laundry basket to turn it into a gift basket where everyone will come and get their gift!

“Organize a green and united Christmas”, article taken from Okapi magazine n°1189, December 1, 2023. Text: Claire Le Nestour. Photos and diagrams: Patrice Eglin.

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