Sustainable Festive Season? Ten commitments for this December.

Posted on November 24, 2011


I have decided this Christmas to challenge myself more than most Christmases past.  Rather than wax lyrical about how we could all be making the planet a friendlier more sustainable place to be, I’ve decided to get real.  Plaiting my own hair into useful shapes is not on the agenda and I gave up on crafts at age 5 so the options are narrowing.  Nevertheless there’s plenty I can do!

Here are my ten goals I have set myself for this festive season.  Ten ways that I can help make the planet a more sustainable place to be.  I will report my progress periodically and I’m giving myself up until New Year’s Eve to achieve my goals.


Transformative experience for a friend

Do something for or with someone you know that will make a difference to their life.

And, I am going start my meeting my commitments right here for my good friend Rosie.  Rose has just released the most lovely musical tribute to her daughter.  Her Christmas song, called ‘Before I knew you’, was written and recorded in the weeks before Rosie underwent a double mastectomy after it was discovered she had pre-cancerous lesions.  Not knowing how long  she would be around to spend time with her daughter prompted her to make this recording.  It is an amazing story and a fabulous song.  If you like it, please click the star next to Rosie’s name and also on the play list. Rosie is raising money to meet the costs of her medical care and every click counts.

Go Rosie!  You are a complete star!


Give something to someone who you do not know and who really needs it

Yes folks it’s goat time, or bamboo cycle time, or solar stove or water well or micro bank or whatever your preferred gift is – and maybe it’s something local to you…but one way or another…IT’S TIME!  (Glad I got to quote Gough Whitlam in this blog)

And if you want to find out how to do this, start with this most fantastic site which brings together so many holiday giving ideas.

And if that’s not enough, try Habitat For Humanity’s holiday gift giving program here.


Make something for someone else

(and then make something for yourself…..I once tried to give my cousin a knitted toy that I had made – it was a disaster of  bad knitting, and dreadful sewing  – something that started off as a scarf and than resembled a mangled sponge bob after I decided it should have a fresh incarnation.  The crafting nightmare was only made possible because I had moved schools and so my infamous craft record had not yet managed to catch up with me).  She wasn’t impressed at the age of five and the toy languished on the couch after she had been taken home.  I’ve lived with mangled spongie ever since and it reminds me that just making something is sometimes not quite enough!)


Do something you have never done before (that is good for you and for the planet of course!)

Tough one this but the perfect antidote for any days where boredom might approach.


Learn something new (oh why not quote an old fave….face the fear and do it anyway!)


Think about something new

A little hard I know, because if it is new to you how can you possibly think about it? – perhaps play a game of blind-man’s bluff with the newspaper/dictionary/encyclopedia and don’t stop poking at lines on a page until you come across something new to you.


Give some time to someone you don’t know

As much as the Tories’ Big Society makes me gag for all of its inherent contradictions, now more than ever the marginalized need help from the mainstream.


Spend time with friends without a care in the world

KPIs clearly involve laughing until stomach hurts, drinking until at least tipsy, eating until…well…until you feel you have kept uncle scrooge from the door…and loving your friends to bits – in a good way of course!


Celebrate with a meal sourced locally

So it’s beets n cabbage n parsnips n Brussels (by the way, did you know they haven’t had a government for a WHOLE YEAR???) for me then!


Stroll to the local park and let the world wash over you!

No book, no phone, no mental list, just you and the world around you.