How to host an eco-conscious Christmas

My girlfriends and I started a dinner club this year, an excuse to get together monthly and have a great girly chat over a good meal which we all take turn to host. I put my hands up for the first Christmas dinner.

With (oddly enough) half of my guests coming from the northern hemisphere (Canada, North America, the UK & even a Perth-ian living in Denmark but home for a visit) one the biggest requests was for a ‘traditional Christmas dinner’. These northern hemisphere girls miss a big hot Christmas dinner, over the top decorations, Christmas carols and most of all SNOW – and Australia just can’t give them that.

So, I offered to make their dreams come true (kind of). I also wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to have an eco-conscious Christmas – so this is how I did it. Cue Bing Crosby’s “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”.

Christmas Decorations

The girls wanted snow, so I cut out snowflakes using recycled office paper (i.e. paper that has been printed on and discarded). I threaded them with cotton thread and hung them. I used these instructions for the patterns.

What goes perfect with snow? A log fire, only as we’re in the middle of summer in Australia I decided to play a DVD of a log fire instead!

I also made bunting to add some colour, though I wouldn’t say this was particularly eco-conscious as the fabric was new, they will be reused every year and I did end up using all the scraps for other things.

I also used recycled jars as candle holders and wrapped material scraps around them.

Gifts & Treats

Initially we were going to play Secret Santa, but to reduce the unnecessary stress of buying a present, I decided to do something else.

Whilst I could have used the reusable bonbons I have already made ready for Christmas day (DIY tutorial is here)  I decided that I was going to do something different – at each girl’s seat I placed a Gingerbread letter (their first name initial) and a handmade gift.

The gift was a unique handmade brooch for each girl using the leftover scraps from the bunting and some thrifted buttons. On some of the brooches I even used the plastic netting used to hold a bag of oranges I bought (looks just like tulle!).

Christmas Dinner

As half of the girls (including myself) are vegetarian I opted for vegetarian Christmas meal. I ended up making a “Tofurkey” which is a big tofu log stuffed with delicious cornbread stuffing (which I initially found on the Kind Life website called Tofu Not-A-Turkey), hasselback potatoes, maple glazed pumpkin and green beans with almonds. For dessert I made sticky date pudding, not quite traditional but an easier option for those who don’t like Christmas pudding!

We all had lots of fun and lots of laughs. It was so easy to make it an eco-conscious Christmas that nobody would have even guessed it was. It goes to show that the spirit of Christmas is about spending quality time with friends and family, that’s all you really need.

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