3 Tips for a Sustainable Christmas

At Christmas it is so tempting to overindulge in the myriad of shiny and tasty things on offer everywhere. Like everyone else, we want Christmas to be special, and we have found that putting that little extra thought into our decorations, presents and food makes our festive season all the more special:

1. Grow your own or be a ‘local yokel’!

Food is a big thing at Christmas: we buy, eat and waste too much of it! So this is where we make a lot of our conscious shopping decisions.

We are fortunate to have a veggie patch with all sorts of yummy choices for our Christmas meals, as well as a supply of our own lamb, beef and fowl. But we don’t grow everything, so we head to the local farmers’ markets to stock up on seasonal fruit, vegetables and meat. We enjoy the challenge of finding the best local produce, and we’ve also made some great personal connections along the way. nce you know a particular farmer well, they sometimes even source or keep things especially for you.

2. Get in touch with your crafty side 

Ngeringa homemade Christmas cookiesInstead of buying decorations – mostly a huge ecological expense to the world – we make many of our own instead. Christmas cookies make beautiful decorations, and the house just smells divine from all the Christmas spices we like to use. However, it is sometimes a challenging task keeping little (or sometimes big) fingers off them before Christmas day! One Christmas we discovered that all of the cookies at the bottom of the tree had little bites taken out of them!

Our boys love their hand-painted pine cones to go around the tree, and we always fold some traditional Christmas paper window stars.

Christmas wreaths can be made from whatever we find on our property: it’s fun to go collecting for vine cuttings pepperberries, eucalyptus leaves and gum nuts of all sizes.

Our favourite homemade decoration is our gingerbread house, which makes a great centrepiece and Ngeringa Christmas decorationtalking point. Again, watch the kids (or in our case one year, the dog).

And of course the Christmas tree. Contrary to the hype, a real tree makes less of an environmental impact than an artificial tree. Erinn and our boys go one step further setting off in the car, handsaw packed, looking for the most perfect, wild, roadside pine tree they can find to proudly bring home.

3. Give gifts from the heart or hearth

Instead of buying all our Christmas presents we bake many of our favourite things and give them to our
loved ones –my grandmother’s Scottish Christmas
cake
is my mandatory, plus panforte a more recent discovery. We also have our NGERINGA Olive Oil and, of course, NGERINGA wines to gift.

Ngeringa Christmas presentSometimes we give gifts of time or experiences. This might be a romantic dinner, or a movie ticket or a picnic.

We do buy some gifts as well, especially for the kids. Books are essential under the tree and you can buy many great books second hand. Plus there are so many arts and crafts markets around now, finding gorgeous handmade kids toys is actually quite easy, and buying them supports small, local business. If that fails, you just can’t go past Etsy.

Whatever it is we decide to create each year, it’s fun, family time, and that is what Christmas is all about for us.

Merry Christmas from NGERINGA!