Merry Green Christmas
Christmas is a time spent gathering with friends and family, parties, decorations, gift giving and eating.
Christmas can also be a frenetic time: last minute shopping; buying more food than you need; many rolls of wrapping paper; mountains of glitter dusted Christmas cards; and lots of plastic going to landfill.
If you are ready for a change this year, take some inspiration from the resources available via the library, including books in the Greener Together collections, plus those on the cookery and craft shelves. Don’t forget our eBooks and eMagazines, where there are some Christmas specific titles and many Christmas magazine issues already available.
What changes could you make?
Green Christmas : little changes that bring joy & help the planet, Eilidh Gallagher
This book is packed full of ideas and practical suggestions for reconsidering your Christmas, including even small changes that can make a difference. A book to dip into that covers everything from how to plan and reduce waste at Christmas, to rethinking gifting, decorations and festive food.
Gifts and decorations
Making your own gifts and decorations not only provides a stress-reducing activity for adults and families (if not left to the last minute!), but also offers the opportunity to ditch the plastic.
There are a wide variety of craft related resources available via the library, ranging from artistic, decorative and gift making projects, to knitting, crochet and sewing ideas and patterns.
The following are a selection of recent publications, taken mainly from the library’s Greener Together collection, with a particular focus on using eco-friendly and recyclable materials. However, please check library shelves, the catalogue, and eMagazines for a much wider selection of options.
Christmas: crafty ideas for a sustainable Christmas, Emma Friedlander-Collins and Christine Leech
Zero-waste craft ideas for everything from decorations to Christmas plastic free crackers, gift ideas and wrapping paper.
The eco-Christmas craft book: 30 stylish festive projects that won't hurt the planet, Marrianne Miall
Lots of ideas to create your own eco-friendly Christmas crafts, using recyclable or foraged materials. Make as gifts or for yourself. All items can be recycled after Christmas if you want the fun of remaking next year.
Make your own Christmas jumper: 20 fun & easy projects to make in a day (even if you can't knit!), Nicolette Lafonseca
Save money and be original, by re-purposing any plain jumper in your wardrobe into a Christmas jumper. This book provides inspiration with 20 easy designs that could be used or adapted. Have some fun with a few simple materials and see what you can make.
Gift wrap green, Camille Wilkinson
Gift wrapping so stylish that nobody will want to unwrap their presents. A variety of simple and intricate designs, all made with materials that are recyclable and reusable. Turn that bottle of wine, box of chocolates or bunch of flowers into something really special by selecting a wrapping or decorative style and following the step by step instructions.
Cooking and baking
A lot of cooking and baking takes place over the Christmas period, and the following titles provide ideas for food planning, baking for gifting, cooking meals and snacks for the whole festive period, and making full use of any leftovers.
These titles include newer books available on library shelves, and available via eMagazines and eBooks. However, please check the catalogue for a wider selection of options.
Christmas at River Cottage, Lucy Brazier
This book in the River Cottage series provides a variety of delicious recipes, catering for advent through to the New Year, including Christmas cake and turkey with all the trimmings. There are also ideas for edible gifts, and instructions for making eco-friendly decorations, such as wreaths, garlands and tree ornaments.
BBC Good Food
The November issue of the BBC Good Food eMagazine provides both inspiration and planning advice for the Christmas period. This issue includes a festive to do list and a Christmas morning planner, as well as many different ways to cook those roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts. In addition to recipes such as a meringue tree and gingerbread mince pies, there are also practical options such as make ahead sauces, budget friendly starters, slow cooker turkey and no-cook desserts.
The December issue promises to include more festive ideas. And if you want even more ideas, the Christmas 2021 edition is still available to download.
Easycook is the practical sister publication to the BBC Good Food magazine, offering easy and speedy weekday recipes for busy people, with more adventurous ideas for the weekends. The Christmas issue includes recipes for slow cooker turkey breasts, turkey alternatives and vegetarian options. There are also ideas for a variety of side dishes and puddings, and making best use of any leftovers.
The December issue promises a focus on energy saving meals.
Vegan Christmas by Gaz Oakley
Menus and planning for the whole festive season, including over 70 recipes for party food, Christmas day, and boxing day leftovers. Alternative dishes and vegan versions of traditional festive foods, suitable for vegan, vegetarian and diary free diets.
How to eat your Christmas tree: delicious, innovative recipes for cooking with trees, Julia Georgallis
Christmas trees are very popular until New Year is over, then anyone who purchased real trees have the annual task of disposal or recycling.
'How to Eat Your Christmas Tree' is a cookbook which explores the unsung edible heroes of our forests - the humble Christmas trees and their evergreen friends.
However, if you don’t fancy Eating your Christmas tree, then just ask the Waste Wizard how to recycle your real or fake Christmas trees. The Waste Wizard can also help with ideas for recycling, reusing, or repairing your Christmas cards, wrapping paper and fairly lights etc.