Updated: Jan 17



I meant to post this earlier this month but homeschooling and cooking nonstop (or so it feels with 5 people at home including a very hungry12 years old boy!!!).

So here we go, here some of our favourite creative ways to put our Christmas tree to good use:



Before you send your tree for recycling (if you haven’t, check local authorities for collecting points near you) keep a small branch or a cup full of needles.

You can 'steal' a branch from an abandoned kerbside Xmas tree or forage needles from one of London's many evergreen conifers.

1- Make pine infused cleaning vinegar. Perfect to use as all purpose cleaner! Place 2 small branches of pine in a large jar cover with white vinegar and let infuse for a week or two. Then fill a spray bottle half way with water, fill the rest with the pine vinegar and use to clean all around the house. It's totally worth it! The smell is really lovely! It kind of smells like pineapple ?!?


2- Infuse in oil to use in a diffuser or essential oil burner (see previous post to create an upcycled essential oil burner!)



3- Make a tea with the pine needle and use to fragrance your liquid soap solution.


4- If you are sure that your pine tree has not been sprayed with chemicals you can make a immune booster tincture full of vitamin C. Place needles in a small jar and cover with vodka and let them sit in a sunny spot for a couple of weeks. Shake every now and then to release oil from the needles. Strain the liquid and replace in the small jar. Take 5-15 drops a day for a month. Alternatively you can make a pine needle tea by infusing 1Tsp crushed needles for 3 min in boiling water.


5- If you are into candle making you can add the infused oil and some pine needles to your wax for a beautiful winter forest scented candle.



6- Make a decongesting pine and salt steam (again only in you know your pine is chemicals free)


7- Add Pine needles to salt for an invigorating foot bath salt!


8- Use as mulch on your garden or in planters. Acidic plants will particularly benefit, this might event deter cats and foxes!!!


If you are using pine needles in your cosmetics or natural remedies make sure you know what you are doing and where the pine is coming from. Never forage unless you are sure of what you are picking.


We love this article from Herbal Academy, great read if you want to learn more about Pine needles' benefits and uses.


If you want to learn more about Green Cleaning join our FREE online workshop on Thursday 28th January 2021- 8pm-9pm- Register HERE.


What do you do with your Christmas tree after the celebrations? Have you tried one of these DIYs?


x


Hello and happy new year! We are back from our digital break! Maybe not as optimistic and as energised as we might have wanted but still excited to share some low waste and sustainable tips and inspirations with you this year!

For our first DIY of 2021 we wanted to show you how to make this upcycled essential oils burner.

It symbolises the light at the end of the tunnel and the importance of self care rituals during these hard times.

Burning essential oils can be a lovely way to relax and to naturally deodorise your home.

No need to buy a ceramic oil burner or a diffuser, you can upcycled a tin and use tea lights and a saucer.

You need:


-empty, clean tin (tomato or beans...)


-thin marker (to draw the opening before you cut, I didn’t... hence the wonky shape )


-metal cutter (I use my garden shears which I don’t recommend as it may damage them, but it did the job)


-small ceramic bowl or saucer (should fit nicely onto the tin)


-tea lights (I put one on top of the other to bring the flame closer to the plate.

Optional:


-sanding paper to sand the sharp edges


-spray paint if you wanted to change the tin’s colour.

If you have a tin opener remove the bottom of the tin. You don’t have to but the oil will burn better.

Draw and cut the opening, you may want to wear gardening gloves to prevent cuts, the tin’s raw edges are sharp.

Sand the sharp edges and spray paint if you want to.

Then place a tea light on top of a used one so it is isolated from the surface and a bit closer to the bottom of your saucer.

Add a few drops of essential oils of your choice to 1 tbsp of water in the saucer or small bowl.

Light the candle and enjoy the beautiful sent.

There is an essential oil to fit every mood, from energising lemon to comforting lavender. At the moment I really enjoy a mix of eucalyptus essential oil (now for sell in our shop) and our homemade pine needle infused oil (will share the recipe soon )

Who is also enjoying aromatherapy? Do you have other feel good rituals?

x




  • Sunny Jar

Christmas gift giving can be stressful for some, but it really should be joyful! When you have a big family like I do, the gift giving list seems to get longer by the year, with new nephews and nieces joining the fray (the current tally is 8). My siblings and their spouses are also on the list, not to mention my partner's family! Thankfully, most of my family are on a similar low waste journey to my own and we have adopted a 'Secret Santa' style approach. We are given one adult and one child to purchase for- meaning we can spend a bit more thought and time to get them the right gift. In recent years, we have also adopted a Second Hand or Home made Christmas. Last year, my sister gifted me a set of essential oils that she had blended herself, whilst I scoured eBay for a used Fireman Sam toy for one of my nephew's. It was really lovely seeing all the thoughtful gifts that everyone had found or made for each other.


Here are our eco gift tips for a more sustainable and thoughtful Christmas:

1. Buy second hand. Try charity shops or online sites such as Ebay, Gumtree or Facebook marketplace. One of our favourite gifts to give is nearly new books.


2. Think about the longevity of the gift and what will happen when it's no longer used. Does it last a generation or more? Is it made from natural materials? Can it be recycled?


3. Support local businesses and the local economy. Markets and online marketplaces such as Etsy are a great place to get unique gifts from local makers and creators.


4. Gift time and experiences instead of things. Take your loved one out to lunch or for a walk, or enjoy a special activity together.


5. Homemade gifts are thoughtful and personal. Cook or craft something that you'll know the receiver will enjoy. If you're not a maker, what about propagating plants to gift?


6. Save money by making your own gift cards and gift tags. Upcycle old cards, use natural materials such as leaves for a biodegradable gift tag and be creative with materials around the house.


7. Finally, don't forget the wrapping! Try your hand at furoshiki, the japanese art of wrapping in fabric, for a reusable option. Or try saving colourful magazine or newspaper pages to wrap gifts. Collect brown paper packaging and decorate to make your own or simply save gifted wrapping paper and reuse. Use paper tape or a natural string such as cotton

or jute to secure.


Happy Holidays everyone! We'd love to hear your sustainable Christmas ideas and traditions, tag us on social media or comment below.

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