Gifts, decorations, and recipes that use less and mean more are the focus of I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas that is dedicated to ways of helping to protect a healthy and thriving planet during the holiday season.
In the forward to the book, Zem Joaquin, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of EcoFabulous, writes, “this book gives us practical, tangible ways to increase the pleasure of the holiday while decreasing our environmental impact” He goes on to write that author Anna Getty, “takes the focus off thoughtless consumption.”
In writing I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas, Getty creates memorable Christmas traditions while showing the reader how to take small steps to reduce carbon footprints, minimize waste and creatively reuse items already on hand. It is her belief that by consuming less, the community and lives will be enriched.
Save on electricity by:
- Instead of using holiday lights, substitute snowflakes cut out of recycled paper cardboard, or fabric scarps that can be strung inside of windows.
- The wool in old sweaters can be cut into squares and using a wire hanger that has been twisted into shape, a wreath can be created by running the wire through the center of the squares.
- Buy a living tree that can be planted after the holidays. It can be decorated at Christmas time each year instead of buying a cut or artificial tree.
Garlands made of natural material can be created by items often found around the house or in thrift shops. These can include such things as:
- old Christmas cards
- family photographs
- decorations used in years past.
- leaves from trees
Creating New Traditions
Traditions can be started that lend themselves to a healthy and thriving planet. These can include:
- make Christmas cards out of recycled paper that can be personalized for each recipient
- use wrapping paper that is saved from year to year
- arrange a cookie swap with two or three other families to use as gifts rather than exchanging those purchased at stores
For holiday gatherings:
- use glass cups and china plates instead of plastic
- instead of plastic garbage bags, use those that can be recycled
- use cloth napkins instead of those made from paper
- seasonal fruits can be used for table decorations either in bowls or trays
- as parting gifts for guests, give a small potted plant, such as rosemary, that can be grown in their own home as a reminder of the host’s Christmas hospitality
Using All Natural Candles
Candles can add a soothing atmosphere during the holidays. These should have cotton wicks. Among them are:
- 100% beeswax
- soywax with soybean oil
- palmwax that is extracted from the palm tree
Scented candles should be made with natural essential oils instead of chemicals.
Toasting the Season Organically
Organic spirits are made with ingredients that were grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. The containers in which they are bottled are usually made with recycled glass, and natural bottle stoppers. The labels are printed using soy-based inks.
Organic wines are made with organically grown grapes. These taste no different that non-organic wines.
An added feature of I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas is the numerous recipes accompanied by photos of the foods and in some cases, how it looks after being baked or cooked. There is also an excellent index.
About the Author
Anna Getty sits on the board of Healthy Child Healthy World and the Environmental Media Association. She is the founder of Pregnancy Awareness Month which educates women about pregnancy and birth.
About the Photographer
Ron Hamad has published books featuring his still life and other work. His personal work has been exhibited in New York City and Tokyo.
Getty, Anna. I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Gifts, Decorations, and Recipes that Use Less and Mean More. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2017