'Tis the Season

TO BE ECO
CELEBRATE 
The holiday season in Sustainable Style without costing the earth

Welcome!

You’ve found your way to the Sustainability in Style ‘Tis the Season’ section of our ‘Take Action’ collection. This page is loaded with ideas on how you can take action this holiday season to reduce your negative impact on people and planet.

From reducing your food waste, to shopping for gifts in mindful ways, these tips should help inspire you to live life in Sustainable Style during the festive season (minus the overwhelm).

Some of the resources on this page date back to the beginnings of Sustainability in Style’s online journey as a personal blog. We acknowledge that ‘Christmas’ is commonly used in older posts due to our geographical locations (Australia) recognition of this holiday time. However, the term ‘holiday’ is now used as the season of celebration expands to be inclusive of other cultural and religious beliefs.

You’ve found your way to the action-based section of Sustainability in Style. The place and space that shares previous action adventures conducted in Sustainable Style.

Whatever it is that you value, we invite you to explore, connect, and tread a little lighter on our planet holiday season.

Celebrate this season with big love.

Katie

 

WRAPPING UPCYCLE

If you have visited a trendy store at any time over the past year and have a paper shopping bag, then this quick DIY might be the last-minute gifting solution for you! This crafty little bon bon uses nothing more than a fancy paper bag, some scissors and glue (and masking or washi tape if you like) to turn recycling fodder into an upcycled gift.

THE GOODS YOU NEED

For this bon bon you will need:

  • Paper shopping bag with a pretty print that you think deserves a second life.
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Masking or washi
  • Twine (if your bag doesn’t have pretty handles like mine does)
  • Printer to print the template (or you can trace it off your computer screen 

WHAT TO DO

This really is a simple DIY. What you have to do first is download and print (A4 sized), or trace the bon bon template which is here. This is the template for your bon bon. Yes, printing a template is a bit of a waste of paper but if you file it somewhere you can reuse it year after year to DIY your own bon bons each Christmas. You can also print on the back of some scrap office paper to up your recycling game. 

Once you have your template you will need to: 

  • Untie the handles on your bag.
  • Pull the cardboard bottom out of the bag and place it aside (it will be the roll in your bon bon).
  • Break the bag down (by hand or with scissors) to maximise the amount of pretty paper bag you have to work with.

TAKE THE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE

BE ECO
If you find taking action over the holiday season a bit overwhelming, why not use our Values Motivators based approach to reduce the ‘where do I start’ stress. It will help you work out if getting a Tofu Turkey, spending Christmas day planting trees, ordering all your presents online from an eco-friendly shopping service, or volunteering at the soup kitchen should get shuffled to the top of your To-Do list.

THE NEXT BIT

Cut around the bon bon template and lay it down on the paper you will be making your bon bon out of (place this paper print side down so you don’t end up with pencil markings on the print). Using a pencil trace around the bon bon template to create as many crackers as possible from the piece of paper you are working on. Cut around each of the bon bon template tracings being sure to cut as per the instructions on the template. This means folding in half (as per the image above) and cutting out all the triangles (when you unfold you will have diamond shaped cut outs). Be sure to cut open the tab slots so you can inset the tabs, you should be able to do this with scissors but a retractable Stanley knife is even easier.

CREATING THE CORE

Using the cardboard bit, you have ripped out of the bottom bit of your shopping bag create a tube. To get the right size for the tube measure it up against the template (as shown above) and cut accordingly. Roll the card into a cylindrical shape and fix it with glue or making tape. Spread some glue over the cylinder and glue the bon bon paper to it

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

Slot your tabs together and use some glue or masking tape to affix them if needed. Close one side of the bon bon using the shopping bag handles or some twine. As the shopping bag used in the example had thick handles I cut them down to make the ‘ribbon’ smaller and more suited to the bon bon. This also meant that I could make multiple bon bon’s from the same bag as there was enough ribbon to do three. Leave one end open to add your goodies.

FILLING YOUR BON BON

These bon bons were stuffed with some natural bliss balls, made from dates, cacao, almond meal, and desiccated coconut put in the blender and rolled into balls. These balls were then rolled in extra coconut for a more festive look and stored in the fridge to firm. They were wrapped in (recycled) biodegradable cellophane before inserting into the tube of the bon bon.  You could make some edible goodies like this for your bon bon gifts or you could go for something a little more tangible. Some suggestions based on the values motivators are:

ANIMAL WELFARE AND COMPASSION
  • Homemade pet treats 
  • A pet collar or name tag
  • A voucher to participate in an ethical animal interaction. 
  • A hand drawn image of the recipients favourite animal. 
  • A homemade toy (or ethical or recycled toy) for pets. 
SOCIAL EQUALITY
  • Fairtrade chocolates
  • A beauty product made by local artisans that support social causes
  • Handmade socially conscious jewellery 
  • Fairtrade soap nuts
  • An essential oil that supports ethical harvesting
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
  • Stainless steel straws 
  • Organic cotton underwear 
  • Reusable produce bags 
  • Stainless steel clothes pins (pegs)
  • Beeswax wraps 
SIMPLICITY AND STREAMLINED LIFESTYLE
  • Wireless ear buds and a subscription to an audiobook provider
  • A voucher for a food box delivery service.
  • Subscription to a media streaming service
  • A homemade yearly planner and a refillable pen
  • A all-in-one balm or salve that fits in a handbag with ease.  

WHAT IDEAS DO YOU HAVE FOR BON BON FILLING? HAVE YOU USED SHOPPING BAGS AS A DIFFERENT UPCYCLE? SHARE ANY REFLECTIONS, COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS BELOW.

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