“Children, remember that nature stand before us as a symbol of our renunciation. Like mountains, rivers and trees, every single object in nature is teaching us lessons in renunciation. Look at a tree – it gives fruit, it gives shade, and it imparts cool air. Even as it is being felled it offers shade to the person cutting it down. Similarly, if we consider any object in nature, we will see that they practise renunciation in some way or the other.”
Amma’s Message, Matruvani September 2011
Om Namah Shivaya
Recycling at Christmas
Christmas comes in for a lot of stick these days as the season where consumerism goes even more insane than usual. This is undoubtedly true and there are plenty of statistics to show this. The following link has some of these.
But there are ways to reduce your impact on the environment at Christmas. Here are some examples below.
Wrapping paper can be reused again and again if the present is very carefully opened. Magazine pages also make an attractive alternative to gift wrap paper.
Many people no longer send Christmas cards because of the huge amount of paper and cardboard they use, as the vast majority of them are not made from recycled materials. An alternative is to buy only cards made from recycled paper.
Another alternative is to reuse the cards sent to you. Simply cut the picture off the greeting card, paste onto a folded piece of paper, and write your new message inside. There are also special labels you can buy to reuse envelopes. See the photo below for some examples.
The Christmas cards that you receive can be recycled in various other ways. They can be put into the normal cardboard recycling container, or, as I am sure many of you already know, there are collections of old Christmas cards for charity. For example the Woodland Trust this year will be collecting Christmas cards for recycling at various places nationwide. For more information on this scheme see this link
Christmas trees can also often be recycled. Many local councils provide collection points to drop off your tree so that it can be turned into woodchip and used in municipal gardens.
Another way is to use a reusable tree, either artificial, or, as in the example below, a living plant or small tree. A small conifer in a pot makes an ideal Christmas tree. The photo below is of a house plant that is annually decorated at this time.
It is very quiet now at the allotment. The only harvesting taking place is from a few winter crops like leek and salsify (a type of very hardy root vegetable). There has been some snow on the ground for a week now, and 1 inch of ice on all the water butts. The main activity seems to be the small birds on the feeders. We will hopefully be writing about some of the winter maintenance jobs next year in these articles, such as putting edging on some beds, expanding the size of beds, cleaning the greenhouse, and cutting back the hedges.
Until then we would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year
Richard and Kaivalya
Om Amriteswaryai Namaha