Sunday, 4 December 2011

Trees For Life (not just for Christmas)

Trees For Life is an environmental charity that's not only fighting deforestation but is actively engaged in reforestation in the Scottish Highlands. Britain used to be densely wooded and Trees For Life is trying to repair some of the centuries of damage done by humans clearing land for farming and unsustainably felling trees for fuel and building. Boyfriend and I like to have their diary every year in place of a calendar, but in trying to find a link to put here I've just discovered that there is no Trees For Life diary for 2012, and that the calendars have sold out already. Eheu! I hope they'll resume diary publication for 2013; as well as having a beautiful photograph for every week of the year, their diary is a consciousness-spreading tool, thanks to the inclusion of environmental anniversaries along with all the usual bank holidays and the like. On 4 December 2004 logging was suspended in the Philippines after 1,000 people were killed by flooding (deforestation causes floods), while on the same day in 2006 Brazil officially protected 15 million hectares of rainforest.
Old Trees For Life diaries are a protected species under my afore-mentioned policy of Not Throwing Anything Away, so I had a decent stash of green tree pictures to raid to make a festive wreath. (If you re-purpose 75% recycled paper, does that make it 175% recycled?) I don't go overboard on Christmas decorating but this wreath from The Red Thread looked like a quick and easy project that wouldn't involve driving myself mad or trashing the flat. I then drove myself mad and trashed the flat searching for the stapler (didn't find it - had to borrow one from my parents).

It's our first winter in this home and the front door of our flat is on an indoor corridor, so I'm guessing that a paper wreath ought to survive the season (if it's hung out of the reach of the neighbours' stampeding wildebeest children) to be brought out again next year.

Mixed in with the Trees For Life leaves are a few from a National Geographic 2008 diary (they are much stingier with the pictures and that diary came with an utterly unnecessary plastic cover). The cardboard for the base of the wreath was from the packaging of an old Stargazer's Almanac (another annual fixture in these parts - and that very bright thing in the night sky at the moment isn't an unusually slow aeroplane, it's Jupiter).
I stuck a second cardboard doughnut over the back of the first one to hide the staples and make the wreath sturdier. I also trimmed the inside edge of the cardboard ring a bit after I'd finished attaching the leaves, because it was showing through in one or two places. I glued the last two leaves on (centre top) so that no staples would be visible. The little piece of red and silver Nepalese paper string was saved from a gift. I prefer to re-use materials when I make something that's purely decorative, because turning new resources into a completely non-functional object seems a bit wrong. But there are nearly always a few non-re-used elements (in sewing projects it's the thread, if nothing else). New materials used this time: staples, glue, a tiny twist of craft wire and a little hook to hold it to the door (the plastic hook is re-usable but will require a new sticky pad each time).
Could you find ways to make your seasonal decorating more green?