Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Have yourself a merry eco Christmas

At the risk of getting all Christmassy and entering the end-of-year pressure-cooker (do this, buy that, before the world ends on 25 December!), I've been inspired by my travel writer mate Briar Jensen, who just wrote about gifts that give twice (handicrafts she buys when she travels), to write a little post on green gifts. Ho ho ho...

If you celebrate Christmas and you’re going to climb aboard the gift-giving train, you might as well give something that helps the planet - and the people and animals living on it. We're all connected after all. You could give an Oxfam Unwrapped goat, or 10 wool blankets where they're needed most (via Unicef). Or adopt an endangered tiger (through WWF). Or donate to, say, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. So many options...

I'm going to keep it simple. Here are three new "green" gifts I've stumbled on lately (disclosure: two of them have been created by friends of mine).

1. Green Games: Taking out the Trash
This is the first in a series of clever and beautifully designed ecological card games designed to teach kids about issues that are going to affect their future, including pollution, green energy and genetically modified food. This one's called Taking Out the Trash and is all about composting and garbage. The cards are made in Australia using soy-based inks and chlorine-free post-consumer recycled paper. See greengames.com.au 

Don’t judge this book by its textbook-like cover. It's beautiful on the inside, with photographs taken around the world (compiled by Sydney-based photog Natasha Milne) and insights from people of all ages, some famous, some not, who were asked three questions: What issue gets you out of bed, what are you doing about it, and how can we all help? It would have been nice to see the content organised into chapters relating to, say, animal issues, climate change or humanitarian work, but the way it is makes every page a surprise. Inspirational reading. Available in print and as an ebook. See 101reasonstogetoutofbed.com

Pic: Operation Crayweed
You might not have heard of Operation Crayweed, but it's a project run by UNSW and Sydney Institute of Marine Science to reforest 70km of Sydney coastline to restore its biodiversity - by planting crayweed, a type of seaweed wiped out some 30 years ago by poorly treated sewage pumped into the sea. There's a cool video explaining what it's all about. It's the first scheme of its kind in Australia, and you can help by "buying" an underwater Christmas tree (or a forest!) on their Pozible crowdfunding page or through their website: operationcrayweed.com

That's it. Told you it was going to be simple. No mess, no fuss. Wishing you all peace, love and plenty of nature time this Christmas. 


  1. Great post Louise. Wish I had known about the Green Games before I had bought kids' presents. And I love the idea of Operation Crayweed. Thanks also for the link - happy to have inspired you! Merry Christmas and safe travels from www.briarstravelbeat.com.au

    1. Thanks, Briar! I loved yours too. Reminded me to pick up some handicrafts as presents when I'm in Tuvalu later this week. Merry Christmas!

  2. Wonderful ideas Lou. Thanks for the inspiration. Big hug to you.
    Katherine xo