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Educating our children is a key ingredient in the recipe to save our earth.
 
Ten tips for a more environmentally friendly Christmas
1. Avoid lights or use LED in your decorations to reduce your energy use for the season.
2. Send E-cards instead of traditional cards to save paper.
3. Use recycled wrapping paper, make your own or try Furoshiki.
4. Make your own eco friendly decorations inspired by nature using branches, fallen leaves, burlap etc.
5. Don’t put unwanted gifts in the bin! Donate them or re-gift them. 
6. Compost your leftovers or make a worm farm.
7. Buy eco friendly gifts, give experiences, or donate instead of buying.
8. Choose local for all purchases and local and organic when it comes to food.
9. Put out a separate bin for recyclables when you are entertaining.
10. Get a live potted tree you can keep year round!

Low impact resources at the making table really does matter

At the simplest level, this translates to resources at the making table being either fully compostable, reusable, or recyclable when no longer useful or wanted by the child or service. If we value ‘caring for country’ then we need to reflect on the resources provided to children as part of the making experience.

How much of what is provided ends up in the landfill bin daily, monthly, and yearly? It is much easier to manage resources /waste when they are carefully considered at the outset, and are either fully compostable, recyclable, or reusable. Through discussion with children, educators, and families it can be communicated that resources provided at the making table are carefully considered as part of a ‘less to landfill’ mindset of the service.
 Jillian King

Two Christmas projects
and, when the time is right, they can be recycled.

Tin Can Lantern
Fill a tin can with water to a level just below the top edge. Put the can into the freezer until the water is frozen. The ice provides strength for the next step.

Draw a simple line design on paper, then wrap it around the can. Next, use a hammer and a nail to punch holes along the lines of your design. When finished, remove the paper. When the ice has melted, towel dry the can and put a short candle inside it. The light shines through the holes, outlining your pattern and making it a delightful little lantern. (Punching out random holes instead may also work well with children. You may wish to create two holes in either side of the top for threading a ribbon so the lantern can swing. This perfect craft idea is fun for children wanting to ring in the New Year.

Compostable glue for all paper making like these Festive Masks
Wheat Paste -  quick, easy and fully compostable craft glue
Use this wheat paste to glue strips for paper-mâché, create collages, festive cardboard masks and more.
Materials
1 cup water
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Instructions
Add the water to the pot. Over medium-high heat, while slowly adding the flour, whisk the mixture aggressively and continuously. The paste will begin to bubble. Keep whisking. Within a couple of minutes it will thicken. Turn off the heat.
You may like the paste thick or you can make it thinner … experiment.
Remove from heat when the paste has reached the consistency you like.
Store leftover wheat paste in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator.

Ideas from Liesl 
 ‘Make it. Bake it. Sew it. Grow it.’  Perfect for a low waste Christmas
Like many people, we haven’t done a huge gift giving thing in our family for years now and I encourage everyone to follow these gift guidelines. 
Gift wrapping
My daughters are huge sewing, creating, fabric dying enthusiasts and for years now have been wrapping gifts in pieces of fabric & ribbon. When my (inherited) rolls of really old-fashioned Christmas paper runs out I am going to buy meters of Christmas fabric that I will use year after year for wrapping presents. There is a Japanese tradition called, Furoshiki,  which uses material to wrap gifts. When this become more common practice among family and friends then everyone will be re-using. Remember to use recycled jars  for home made preserves, jams and treats. 
Glitter
Being a lover of all things sparkly I was devastated when I learnt that glitter was in effect a micro plastic nightmare! I now have numerous tubs of Sizzix biodegradable glitter that I use sparingly as its around $7 for a 12g pot.
Five tips for low waste decorations:
1. What’s it made out of?
If it’s plastic, polystyrene or easily broken glass – it’s best to refuse and go for natural, organic materials. Sticking to recyclable or compostable materials means if you don’t want to keep decorations year after year, you won’t be making a big eco foot print each Christmas.
2. How long will it last?
If your material is compostable this is a great way to use new decorations each year – things like dried orange garlands, leaves, and organic materials are all great choices. If you do see something you love in durable glass, porcelain or ceramic make sure you’ll want to keep it year after year to save on waste. Refuse-plastic and polystyrene – the less of these we can use the better!
3. Up-cycle old decorations into new ones?
Old Christmas baubles probably just need a coat of paint or a clever approach to make the old new again! Have a good look at last years things to see if they are a DIY afternoon away from an amazing Christmas decorating idea.
4. Think LED
Use LED lighting in your Christmas lights to reduce your eco footprint and save your power bill! Make sure to only turn on the lights when in use and switch off at other times. Outdoor lights can be a big drain on energy so try not to keep them running all night long! Make a cut off hour and only keep them on for an hour or two each night to save power and reduce your carbon footprint.
5. Recycle
Make sure when Christmas comes to an end that you recycle your decorations made from paper, glass or recyclable plastic and double check with your council to see when they’re doing their Christmas tree recycling drive!
Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world,
we cant expect them to help protect and care for it.
David Suzuki
The world is not ours, the earth is not ours. It's a treasure we hold in trust for future generations.
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Early Education for Sustainability SA Inc
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SEAFORD, SA 5169
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