We have been promoting a lot of Green Heros across the province, students doing inspiring work to help protect our Earth. We love hearing stories about how these young minds are taking it upon themselves to make a greener world for everyone. With lots of students doing green work, there are also a lot of school staff working hard to be green! Rene Gould, an Admin Assistant with the Chignecto Central Centre for Education has been celebrating Green Christmases with her family for years, and it’s fantastic to see!
How can someone be green during the holidays one might ask? Rene has it down to a science. Her and her sisters made homemade fabric drawstring bags, that they exchange back and forth each year instead of using wrapping paper. If she needs an extra wrapping and doesn’t have enough of her fabric bags, she uses a scarf, tea towel, or other useful, second hand textile.
For her Christmas lights-she has those on timers-to make sure they’re not on all night long, or when people aren’t home-to help save energy! Timers are a great idea, for indoor and outdoor lights-to ensure we don’t consume too much energy this holiday season. Along with timers, did you know that LED lights use a lot less energy to light up your home? That’s right. LED string lights can help us have festive homes, while also helping save money on those power bills, while also reducing our carbon emissions.
What about gift tags? She makes her own, using old cereal boxes, old cards, music sheets, etc. We usually have lots of materials at home that we could reuse, instead of spending money on those tags that come wrapped in plastic at the stores.
With regards to gifts, Rene is a big believer in environmentally products, such as reusable produce bags, reusable straws, water bottles and coffee tumblers, to those that will appreciate them. But even moreso, she encourages gifts of time and experiences with her loved ones. Tickets to an art show, concert, theatre performance, allow us to make wonderful memories with our family and friends. Spending a day or weekend baking cookies together, and having a girls weekend, are some favourites too. Another gift option she uses, is making something herself! And she has a lot of amazing, useful, environmentally conscious products.
Rene makes her own reusable sandwich wrappers using fabric and old cereal bags-you can wash these in your normal laundry, and use them again and again! They last significantly longer than plastic baggies, or even plastic reusable containers. These wrappers work well for subs, wraps, sandwiches, pizza, and more! She also sells these wrappers for those who would like to make their lunches litterless. These could make some great, local gift ideas this holiday season!
Check out Rene’s Facebook Page, Rene’s Wool’n Works, where she actually sells some of her earth-friendly products. While being thrifty and recycling help to make the holidays more affordable for families, they also help to take care of our earth, by producing significantly less waste! Imagine having zero bags of gift wrap to throw out after the holiday season? Imagine having gifts with no plastic packages, no plastic bows! In the famous words of Dr. Seuss’ Grinch, “Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." We can all work to have less waste during the holiday season, and Rene knows exactly how to do this!
Thank you Rene, for being an inspiring example of how we can all be more sustainable during the holidays, and all year round!
-Northern EO Pam