Having your own polytunnel and growing your own food year round is one of the wonderful ways that you can go greener and enjoy a more eco-friendly way of life. Christmas is a time of year when we should all be thinking about other people. What better way to show others how much you care, and truly helping others in the wider world than by turning over a new leaf and enjoying a more eco-friendly Christmas? To help you get started on this better path, here are five eco-friendly Christmas ideas for polytunnel gardeners:
Grow Your Own Christmas Dinners
Growing your own food is one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable things that you can do. Giving up meat (or at least cutting down) can also help you reduce your carbon footprint. This Christmas, eco-conscious polytunnel gardeners could consider growing their own vegetarian or vegan Christmas dinner. For inspiration, check out our Christmas dinner ideas in the recipes and food section of this site.
Make Your Own Home-Grown Christmas Cards
Making your own Christmas cards is another eco-friendly Christmas idea. Many of the cards on the market are coated with plastic, and come from non-sustainable forests. Use recycled card and polytunnel produce to make your own Christmas cards this year. (For example, you could use potatoes or other root vegetables to make stamps, and natural dyes from plants or vegetables you have grown.) You could even make your own paper for cards using nettles or other plant fibres.
Make Your Own Christmas Wrapping Paper
Plant fibres can also be used to make your own Christmas wrapping paper. Again, you can decorate your recycled or DIY wrapping paper using items grown in your polytunnel. Making origami boxes with paper or card can help you avoid the need for plastic sticking tape. You can also recycle old cards or cardboard items to make gift labels, or add an extra-special touch with labels make from wood slices sawn off branches pruned from trees or shrubs in your polytunnel.
Create Home-Grown Christmas Gifts
Not only can you make your own cards and gift wrapping using items you could grow in your polytunnel, you can also use the items you grow in your polytunnel to make a wide range of home-made Christmas gifts. Check out other articles on this site for a range of cool DIY Christmas gift ideas.
Compost at Christmas
Finally, a sustainable, eco-friendly Christmas also involves thinking about the waste you create over the festive season. Make sure that you compost all the vegetable scraps and other organic waste that you generate over the Christmas period.
How eco-friendly will your Christmas be this year? Has your polytunnel helped you go greener and improve your way of life? Let us know and share your stories in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.