Looking for ways to green up your Christmas? Here are 5 ways that you can use hemp and create less waste, use less energy, and celebrate the festive season in a way that doesn't contribute to the degradation of our planet.
Christmas is a time associated with over-indulgence and lots of non recyclable waste but with a little bit of imagination and advanced planning it doesn't have to be this way.
According to Dr Dionne Payn of Hemp Lifestyle Magazine, industrial hemp is one of the most ecologically sustainable crops available. It sequesters large amounts of carbon dioxide as it is growing, grows quickly and can be harvested within 90 days, uses less water than most crops, doesn't need herbicides or pesticides to grow, and can grow anywhere, from the subtropics of Australia to the cool climes of Russia.
Hemp also produces the most bio-material that has a large variety of uses. In 1938, Popular Mechanics magazine called hemp the "new billion-dollar crop," saying it had 25,000 uses.
For all of these reasons, it makes sense to use hemp wherever possible.
Here are 5 tips on how to celebrate Christmas in a way that promotes the joy of the festive season without contributing to the degradation of our planet.
Tip 1 - Decorations
We don't have to use lots of plastic decorations to put a splash of festive cheer into our homes.
How about making your own Christmas ornaments using colourful hemp fabrics. There are many websites that share simple projects to make and step-by-step instructions. There are also plenty of online outlets for hemp fabrics too.
It's a great way to get the family involved in making special decorations that will last a lifetime.
Tip 2 - Wrapping and cards
Did you know that 300,000 trees are cut down to make the 1 billion Christmas cards that are thrown away in the UK each year? Then there is the energy used in cutting down the trees and turning them into paper plus the plastic waste from the wrapping as well.
There are companies that retail hemp Christmas cards online, such as Greenfield Paper and Threads of Conscience, or again you can make your own. You can find stock that is either 100% hemp or a mix of hemp and recycled paper.
When it comes to wrapping, you don't have to use paper and sticky tape at all. A great way to wrap presents is simply using hemp fabric and hemp twine. The benefit of these is they are both recyclable which means less paper gets sent to landfill.
Tip 3 - Food and drink
It's tradition to have lots of sweet treats available over the festive season. You can purchase hemp goodies, such as hemp chocolate, hemp ice-cream and hemp candies - or you can make your own. Some ideas for sweet things to make include brownies, cookies and cakes.
There are lots of savory foods that can be made using hemp too - perfect for your Christmas meal. Hemp is a great addition to dips, salads and main dishes as well. There are lots of recipes online that you can choose from.
You can even find hemp beers, wines and spirits in specialist stores as well to complete the festivities.
Tip 4 - Lighting
Rather than using fairy lights with energy hungry incandescent bulbs, invest in some hemp candles for inside your home. Hemp candles give a warm glow and are better for your health than traditional candles made using petrochemicals.
Tip 5 - Gifts
We all want to give a thoughtful gift that shows the recipient that we care. The beauty of hemp is that it is so versatile - so many products can be made from it. Here are some gift ideas that show you care, but don't cost the earth.
• Reusable hemp lunch bags
• Hemp shopping bags
• Educational books and DVD's about hemp
• A digital subscription to Hemp Lifestyle Magazine
• Hemp socks
• Hemp soaps and bodycare products
This is just a small set of ideas to help you plan a hemp-filled Christmas. By following just some of these tips, we can all play our part in preserving our planet for future generations.
To get some great gift ideas and the chance to win a hemp gift for yourself, register for the 12 Days of (Hemp) Christmas Giveaway at www.hemplifestylemagazine.com/12days
Hemp Wholesale Australia www.hempwa.com
Hemp Gallery www.hempgallery.com.au
Hemp Traders www.hemptraders.com
Hemp Fabric UK www.hempfabric.co.uk
Way out Wax www.wayoutwax.com
The Hemp Shop www.thehempshop.co.uk/
Greenspace Candles www.greenspacecandles.com
Cards & wrapping paper
Greenfield paper www.greenfieldpaper.com
Threads of Conscience
Food & Drink
Hemp & Chocolat www.hempandchocolat.com
Tempt Ice-cream www.livingharvest.com
The Nutiva Kitchen www.kitchen.nutiva.com
Mary Jane's Magical Hemp Wine www.maryjanes.ca
Hemp, Hop & Rye Beer www.hemphoprye.com
Stoked Vodka www.liquidchicks.com
Willow Store www.willowpads.com
Hempsters The Movie www.hempstersthemovie.com
Hemp The Novel www.hempthenovel.com
Hemp Lifestyle Magazine www.HempLifestyleMagazine.com
Margaret River Hemp Company www.hempco.net.au