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Guest dixiebelle

Make the Change - October Challenge

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Guest dixiebelle

October Eco-challenge

 

"I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas"

 

It may seem like it's still a long way away, but it's less than 3 months, and if you want to make your own presents, and food, might be time to get started! Share your plans here!

 

Countdown to a Green Christmas and get ready to make your own presents, decorations and fun! Plan eco-food and drinks. Be aware of excess energy usage during the "Silly Season". Work on reducing expenditure and avoiding overindulging. (Please feel free to add more ideas to the following threads, so we can easily share our ideas with others, even after this Oct thread is over! :D )

 

Eco-friendly Christmas

 

Green Christmas Present Ideas

 

Share your skills and advocate for a better future by networking: meet up with like minded souls and swap ideas, plants, patterns, recipes. It's all about mentoring. You commit to reaching out and connecting at least twice in the month of October. For those who are isolated perhaps consider connecting via msn or similar.

 

• Now is a great time to take on our ongoing challenge to produce your own food (grow vegetables, fruit and herbs, or keep some chickens etc.) even in a rental or small property. It might help reduce your grocery bill in the next few months, when the budget can get stretched! Try these websites, Gardenate or Global Garden or Organic Guide. Or these directories might help, The Green Directory or ecodirectory. There are several threads about gardening & keeping chickens in this section too!

 

Previous challenges & links

 

September Challenge

Spring Clean your Cleaning Products

De-clutter your house

Spring Fashion and Beauty

Spring Clean Your Body

 

August Challenge

Eco eating

Avoid excess packaging

Feminine Hygiene

 

July Challenge

Waste

Energy usage

Garden

 

Getting the October Challenge sig!

 

Please feel free to adapt this signature for the next month, to spread the word to other areas of the board and show you support that making little changes can make a big difference! (See last months challenge if you are not sure how to adapt the sig. and make it a clickable link.)

Edited by dixiebelle

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~plg~

Sorry, only new to this, but so far I have thought of this.....

 

Native plants - You could buy or sow your own native plants for gifts, species endemic to the area of the recipient. There are lots of community nurseries around dedicated to native plants.

 

Gift vouchers for eco-stores. It will prompt the recipient to go to a store and expose them to many new products they many never have known about.

 

Any type of gift voucher is better than a present that someone will never use. At least they will buy something that they actually want. Not exactly "green", but prevents a wasted present and money. And they don't really need gift wrapping. Especially good for interstate or overseas gifts as postage is less.

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Guest dixiebelle

Hi and thanks for that.... be great to see you add that to the thread (see link above)... the Native Plants as gift is a great idea!!! :D

 

Edit: There are only 2 challenges this month, but if anyone has one to add, let me know! I think this time of year, people are busier, and getting ready for a Green Christmas might take alot of time for some (those crafty/ creative types who are going to make their presents!) Also, Lara's challenge is one that should take time and effort, and deserves focus... advocacy and mentoring are important parts of making the difference. You could easily try to dismiss it & think "Too hard for me", so I want everyone to really make the effort to do it twice in October... whether it be in person, through email or 'snail mail' or at your Mothers Group... maybe your neighbour (or like me), your own family...

Edited by dixiebelle

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MichP

Thanks DB you are doing a stirling job on the challenges.

Will have to give the Green Christmas a bit of thought but I think that I have got the advocacy bit covered with Reusable Nappy Week. I have lined up sewing workshops, an info session, a library display, and am manning 2 stalls (a week apart, plus the stall I did at Envirofest a few weeks ago). I have also networked and done a brochure swap with earth carers, networked and given info to Environment House and also have flyers to include on the nappy stall for the Aussies Living Simply forum. I dont think that I could fit much more in!

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Guest TheCrone

I am happy to help anyone if they have any questions. I may not be checking in here much though but you can always find me via my blog.

 

Blessings,

 

Lara

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snuffles

Hiya!

 

I'll be joining you this month. I'm working on the idea of some hampers with Op shop stuff and enviro friendly stuff for our adult rellies. (As per some ideas given me here.)

 

I'm not sure about eco food as you put it. I'm not able to plant vegies here so perhaps should be looking for an organic grocer (?).

 

I put a link to this in my sig, I did it differently to yours, hope you dont mind. :)

 

I'll be feeling my way on this - I'm new to it all!

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Guest dixiebelle

Eco-eating/ food ideas for Christmas... along the same lines as here... http://members.essentialbaby.com.au/index....howtopic=594337

 

And Eco-eating here (post 10):

http://members.essentialbaby.com.au/index....howtopic=580754

 

* Use In Season produce to make relishes/ chutneys/ jams and cordiols

* Use organic, local and/or home grown, where you can

* Buy Organic Fairtrade chocolate and coffee, if you can afford it

* Buy or use Native Australian spice and herb mixes

* Make up hampers with bought eco-goodies

* Maybe even some Aussie grown legumes and Eat Less Meat/ Vegetarian recipes attached! :grin:

 

What is In Season now and coming up to December? Check this list and see what your local Farmers Markets are stocking...

 

http://eatatdixiebelles.blogspot.com/2008/...produce_10.html

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snuffles

Thanks so much dixiebelle - it'll take me a while to get through all that info!

 

Will report back when I get a better idea of what I'll be doing Chrissy food wise.

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Paragon~Of~Virtue

We've already put a ban on the commercial side of things.

 

I'm in one Secret Santa and I chose a gift from Oxfam Unwrapped. I have requested that anything given to my children be handmade or an Oxfam Unwrapped donation.

 

I always thought I was pretty limited with spending $100 per child. But this year I am only buying them one dvd to share and am using my sewing skills to make them gifts.

 

I'll write what I am making in case it gives someone else some inspiration. :D

 

For DS1 (he will be 7 at Xmas) I am making him a blanket for his bed and appliqueing Super Mario on it (his current obsession). I am also making him a Mario costume. :lol:

 

For DD (aged 2) I will make a doll organiser to hang over the foot of her bed. Am also making her some summer skirts and dresses.

 

For DS (he'll be almost 1) I am making a tactile stuffed toy and some soft maraccas!

 

Since I want a lazy day, I'll be planning ahead with cooking which is enough of a challenge without dairy and gluten! As we're pagan too, I don't see the point of doing traditional foods, so we might just have "party food". :)

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Guest TheCrone

Same here POV (blessed be btw ;) )

 

I have just found the original Holly Hobbie doll pattern (simplicity 6006 1973!) and have bought it, it is uncut and only cost me $4.00. I am going ot have such fun making Holly Hobbie dolls this year!

 

Oh and last year for our pagan feast I made an artichoke strudel. Very easy and looks amazing. It also only takes 45 minutes to make and bake so the kitchen doesn't get overheated.

 

MAKE AN ANIMALS XMAS - GO VEGETARIAN THIS YEAR!

Edited by TheCrone

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Paragon~Of~Virtue

Oooh. That sounds yummy Lara.

 

But I think it'll only be me and the kids so...I might attempt a GF gingerbread house. :happy:

(Bearing in mind the last two I have made were structurally unsound).

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Guest dixiebelle

I have been trying to find that strudel recipe... I will look on your blog!

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Guest TheCrone

DB I had all of my posts 6500 deleted back in Dec last year ;)

 

Will put the recipe on blog now.

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Guest dixiebelle

Thanks! DH can't have filo (that is what it was, right?) but I can!!

 

Christmas presents this year... we don't really do alot of present giving at Christmas, but DH wants a Solar powered DC converter! I think a Solar powered battery charger or portable device charger might have to do it! Kids might get a 'quality' present each... something that will last alot of years (trampoline, inflatable splash pool) but perhaps something might come up on Freecycle? I have my eye on a Solar powered radio/ flashlight appliance... in fact, it might have a phone charger in it too?

 

Or the Concise Book of Self Sufficiency by John Seymour... again, second hand would be great!

 

Christmas is actually fairly low key for us, so haven't thought about it too much. If I had time for doing more sewing/ crafty stuff, I would be doing that now though!

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snuffles

Thanks for the kid-related ideas POV. I'm still working on that one.

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Guest dixiebelle

Oh, I should add, I realise that a 'splash pool' might not sound very eco-friendly, esp. in dry ACT, but it beats staying inside with the air con blasting to keep 2 kids (and me) cool this Summer. We only use a small amount of water, and it will get used on our potted vege's when it needs ot be changed. :grin:

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Paragon~Of~Virtue

Dixiebelle. Have you tried Maggie Beer's GF Pastry recipe? It's bloody awesome (we had sausage rolls with it today - pastry wrapped around GF sausages).

 

Perhaps you could convert strudel to a pie?

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sunshinedays

another one here who is aiming to make all the chrissy pressies. I'm a huge fan of christmas (maybe coz i'm the youngest and i got spoilt? mum still gives me lots of little things to unwrap :) ) but i am trying to declutter my house and that is motivation to make better pressie choices.

 

i am planning on making aprons for nearly everyone this year - parents, sister, a couple of little people who like to help in the kitchen. DH is making DS blocks for christmas, he'll make a walker for them to go in for his birthday in Feb.

 

i'm only a new sewer but i'm loving the satisfaction that it brings.

 

and for wrapping pressies - a friend gave me a present 'wrapped' in a material drawstring bag. i thought that was a great idea. you can either pass it on with another gift or use it as a bag for any number of pressies.

 

another thing we've done to 'green up' our christmas is to let everyone know that DS does not want plastic toys. we've requested homemade, second-hand or bought-from-the-person-who-made-it presents. we've had to shout this pretty loudly to grandparents who are keen to lavish all sorts of gifts, but i think they've taken it onboard (finally!).

 

i'm a bit unsure of the mentoring challenge... has anyone started on this? what are you doing? I am a shy person by nature, not good at initiating conversations so this will be a hard one for me i think.

 

sorry for the disjointed post, i'm typing quicckly before bed(early night needed).

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Guest dixiebelle

I must say, I do love Christmasy stuff, I just have In law's who have made it more of a headache than an enjoyment... and don't see my family much, so Christmas is limited for us, in some ways. I have always preferred to make my own presents and cards (for everything) but have lost my spirit, between unappreciative friends and family, less time since having kids... and being on a budget, meant we actually asked for people to stop giving us (DH and I)presents, as we were not going to buy for them (only for their kids)... they basically didn't put any thought into buying for us, plus we ended up buying gift vouchers for them in the end... so they got to get what they want, and what we got went into a cupboard and eventually to an op shop. I know it is about the thought, but there wasn't any, so figured we are all adults, we can do without the pointless consumerism... we'd rather spend time together (or not!!)

 

I dream of a time when we have people who are on the same wavelength as us, and can appreciate home made and eco-friendly gifts... and that having a 'green' holiday season together is what is most important! That brings me to the advocacy part, I guess... I think my most immediate challenge is actually my own family (who live near me). I have been bringing around to farmers markets and organic! Small steps...

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Tree

You lot are great inspiration, both for going green and for getting organised before #2 arrives and we move across the country LOL!! I actually achieved a big clean out and tidy up for the September one and it feels great, just can't wait to get to that garden (and install my greywater etc etc LOL)

 

Our families have finally decided to do the gifts for children only which is fantastic as the adult gifts were pretty much as DB described for her family, not much heart. I'm not hugely crafty and my sewing skills are pretty dismal but as we have lots of youngies in our family at the moment I'm going to try to make "felt slippers/booties" for them (they all live in colder regions). It looks doable...

http://www.heatherbailey.typepad.com/heath...ty_booties.html

 

I would have loved to make nappies but the rest of the family are hard core non-green so have all chosen disposables.... :(

 

POV I'm definitely going to look up the gingerbread recipe and give it a shot... all the recipes of MB's I've tried I have actually been able to make, and they still taste good LOL!! :rolleyes:

 

DB you've given me an idea, I'm going to check out the Renew classifieds and see if I can find some techno gagetry stuff or ideas for stuff that DH can use to green our house... that'll keep him happy for AGES!! :lol:

 

Sunshinedays: I agree, I'm not sure about the mentoring, I'm not good at initiating chats either but am willing to give it a go.... Crone has been helping me with the IT side of things...

A couple of Chrissies ago I gave everyone an "assortment" of fairtrade products in handmade oxfam shopping bags. They were really nice ones too and they seemed to go down well even with my ILs :rolleyes:

 

ETA link

E (again) TA that i don't know the link/person/business, its just a random one I found

Edited by tree

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Guest TheCrone

Hey, anyone who wants to chat about stuff just send me a pm and I will add you to my msn. You can nudge me if I can help you in any way.

 

Also you can ask questions in my chat box on my blog and lots of the eco bods who visit may also be able to help you.

 

There are many many of us around who can help; just hassle us :)

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~plg~

Tree - That bootie pattern is the cutest! I think I am going to have to make some for a friend who just had a baby.

 

Thanks

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Guest dixiebelle

POV, I will have to give that GF pastry recipe a try. I think I have used xantham gum before...

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Paragon~Of~Virtue

You won't regret it.

I heart Maggie Beer. :wub:

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Guest dixiebelle

DH now wants a crank radio... anyone seen a good quality brand?

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