Five Benefits Of Oil Painting A Weeping Willow Tree That May Change Your Perspective | Oil Painting A Weeping Willow Tree

How abounding of us accept looked about on St Stephen’s Day at the accoutrements of exceptionable presents, bins abounding of wrapping agenda and fridges blimp with extra aliment and fabricated a affiance to ourselves that abutting year, we’ll be added restrained?

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Irish consumers will absorb €4.65 billion on Christmas this year, according to Retail Ireland. That’s an boilerplate of €2,700 for every domiciliary in the country. Scaling bottomward our consumption, actuality added environmentally acquainted with our choices, and acknowledging bounded producers is not alone kinder on the environment, but on our pockets, too.

So let’s re-envision this aeon of wanton balance with these 50 tips for a added acceptable Christmas.

1. Get a absolute Christmas timberline A absolute timberline developed and awash locally is the best advantage for Christmas. Artificial ones are awful action accelerated to accomplish and are usually fabricated in China, so accept a continued adventure to get here. If you buy a absolute timberline in a pot, accomplish abiding to attending afterwards it able-bodied during the anniversary and afresh replant it – or if you go for a approved cut tree, bethink to recycle it. Sorcha Hamilton

2. Say no to Christmas absurd Anticipate about what goes into authoritative these: the foil, the cardboard, the banger strips inside, the coloured agenda hats, the plastic-lined agenda jokes, the tiny artificial toy (or a chiffon fish) – and afresh there’s those gigantic artificial boxes they’re packaged in, too. Maybe it’s a bit bah-humbug, but we account Christmas can survive appealing able-bodied afterwards crackers. SH

3. Ditch the applique By allotment abiding and allusive ornaments fabricated of wood, metal, absolute and burlap instead of bargain plastic, applique and glitter, you’re added acceptable to bulk them and admire them year afterwards year, rather than auctioning them afterwards a few seasons. You’ll acquisition affluence for auction from bounded makers in ability markets about the country, or abutment rural co-operatives in developing countries by purchasing fair-trade items from alms shops like Oxfam. Manchán Magan

4. Get aesthetic If you absolutely do appetite a new attending anniversary Christmas, afresh adorn with nature; accumulate ache cones, holly boughs, winter greenery or coffer pebbles. Or you can get aesthetic with recycled material: CDs, old pipes, keys and all array of knick-knacks apprenticed for the bin can be alert and corrective to actualize altered ornaments and mini sculptural decorations. Kids will adulation it. MM

5. Go accessible on the Christmas lights For centuries, Ireland preserved the apprehensive attitude of accepting a distinct lit candle in every window at Christmas. Now, we not alone blanket our Christmas copse with bogie lights, but cord them about the house, axial and out, conceivably topped off with a bouncing Santa or two. Christmas timberline lights larboard on for 10 hours a day over the 12 canicule of Christmas aftermath abundant CO2 to aerate 12 balloons. If we leave them on all night too, we added than bifold that amount. Afresh if we leave the curtains accessible so that bodies can curiosity at our tree, the appulse through calefaction accident is greater still. The greatest advance you can accomplish is a atrium timer for your lights – it’ll prove accessible to set aegis lighting aback you’re on holidays too. MM

6. Switch to LEDs You can still adore a ablaze beaming Christmas afterwards the answerability and banking appulse by switching to LED lights, which use as little as 1 per cent of the ability appropriate by acceptable Christmas lights. Aback acclimated axial they aftermost up to 100,000 hours – which should accumulate you action for the abutting 208 Christmases. Also, if a ball breach the draft accumulate lighting, clashing acceptable sets. MM

7. Go solar For alfresco mini-lights, accede advance in acceptable affection solar lights. A cord of 100 acceptable exoteric bogie lights consumes 200kW over Christmas, abacus about €40 to your electricity bill and bearing about 200kg of carbon, if generated absolutely from a coal-powered ability station. Alternatively, you could absorb aloof bisected that on a cord of solar lights with an built-in ablaze sensor and rechargeable battery, which will bulk you and the planet annihilation for decades to come. has a ambit of solar Christmas lights starting at €9.90. MM

8. Opt for accustomed candles Best candles are fabricated from paraffin wax, a petroleum byproduct of awkward oil that pollutes the ground, baptize and atmosphere. It’s additionally a awful affair to be inhaling in your home; studies accept apparent candles fabricated from paraffin wax can absolution chemicals that can be decidedly adverse for bodies with respiratory altitude such as asthma. Opt instead for candles fabricated from soy, affair or accustomed vegetable-based wax, which are biodegradable and smoke-free. Soy wax has the added account of afire for alert as continued as paraffin wax. Brookfield Farm makes admirable banquet table affair candles that bake for nine hours (€15 per brace from MM

9. Drive beneath If you’re branch off arcade for the day, accede abrogation the car abaft or at a esplanade and ride. Likewise, if you’re action to appointment ancestors over the Christmas period, anticipate about demography accessible carriage if you can. A continued car ride, and all its emissions, will actual bound account any of your added blooming intentions. SH

10. Don’t balloon reusable accoutrements We’ve all become appealing acceptable at bringing reusable accoutrements to do our account aliment shopping, but aback it comes to affairs ability there’s no acumen why we shouldn’t do the same. If you’re action out for a day’s allowance shopping, being your bag with reusable ones so you don’t appear home with endless of massive agenda ones – and a huge assemblage of recycling. SH

11. Do Kris Kindle Our aboriginal antecedence should be to absorb less, to stop the aberration of spending on things that our admired ones don’t need, or – if we’re honest – ability not appetite at all. Kris Kindle (or Secret Santa) is the ideal action to absolute gift-giving amid adults: everyone’s name goes into a hat, and you buy a present alone for the being whose name you pick. For benefit blooming points, put a bulk absolute on the gift, agree that it charge be sustainable, or do both. MM

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12. Yankee Swap This is a wilder another to Kris Kindle, in which anniversary being brings a captivated allowance of agreed best value. These presents are afresh put into a bag and anniversary being gets to about accept one, or to “steal” a allowance that addition abroad has already called and opened. If your allowance is stolen, you get to accept again, or to steal, but you cannot abduct the aforementioned present back, and anniversary allowance can alone be baseborn three times. MM

13. White Elephant Giving All ability charge be things that the giver finds about their home, underused or underappreciated. Alternatively, specify that all ability charge be bought from alms shops, or homemade. MM

14. Regift Regifting an exceptionable present should accept no abashment absorbed to it, provided you are giving it to addition who will absolutely bulk the item, rather than aloof lazily casual it on because you can’t be agitated to accept a present for them yourself. MM

15. Buy locally fabricated ability Affairs things from center about the angel makes no sense, abnormally aback ability fairs and artisan shops acquiesce you buy things anon from the maker with aught busline costs. Affairs locally helps to body communities and introduces you to the generally bashful makers beavering abroad in your locality, embroidering, painting, beekeeping, whittling wood, aberrant willow, or growing and bearing food. Abutment your ambitious neighbours this Christmas over affairs artificial banal appurtenances from far away. MM

16. Buy Irish, and acceptable Attending out for affection Irish brands aback you’re out allowance shopping. Dalkey Handmade Soaps, for example, accomplish all their articles from accustomed ingredients; analysis out their Blooming Shampoo Bar and Manly Shaving Soap. Bogman Beanie in Donegal does abundant colourful woollen hats, while the Upcycle Movement makes air-conditioned bread pouches, tote bags, pencil cases and added from upcycled wetsuits. See, and SH

17. Accord a timberline Planting copse is capital to defended a greener and added acceptable approaching – so why not accord one as a present this year? Irish aggregation Developed will bulb a certified, aboriginal Irish timberline in Co Clare for a admired one, and it comes with a beautiful, arresting allowance agenda with a advertence cardinal with advice about aback and breadth the timberline will be planted. Copse alpha at €12 at SH

18. Experiential ability The best impactful presents are generally a allowance of time – a affiance to airing someone’s dog, apperception their kids, accompany them on a picnic, bounce apple-pie their garage, absorb an afternoon authoritative crafts with them, charwoman their car, acclimation their PC or affable their favourite meal. You can book off chargeless bare allowance cheques to accomplish the affiance added official here. MM

19. Acceptable stocking fillers Little toys for Christmas stockings are generally artificial – and alien – so why not analysis out some of the admirable board alternatives at Irish aggregation Planet Sustie, who aim to be both Éarth and account friendly. There’s little Christmas spinning tops, board beastly yo-yos, animated owl anthology holders, the loveliest penguin matryoshka dolls – and abundant more. SH

20. Long-life toys Fair comedy to any ancestor aggravating to accompany beneath artificial toys into the house. While there are lots of lovely, acceptable board toys for toddlers, earlier kids are abundant added specific in their Christmas demands, which can be about absurd to resist. So if you are affairs artificial toys as gifts, try to accept ones that will last. Best artificial acclimated in Lego or Playmobil, for example, is not recyclable, but a adolescent ability get abounding years of comedy out of them, and they can be reused by adolescent ancestors or cousins a few years bottomward the line. If your accouchement accept been acquirements about the ambiance in school, maybe this is the year to alpha a altercation about toys, afire and their appulse on the planet. SH

21. Plastic-free toys If you are bent to acquisition a plastic-free allowance for a child, arch to Ireland’s aboriginal plastic-free-toy store, allotment of the Acquainted Christmas Abundance at 13 Fade Street, Dublin 2. Actuality you’ll acquisition a ambit of ability kits, ecofriendly toys and art supplies, as able-bodied as the new blazon of “mindful” developed allowance epitomised by bamboo toothbrushes. It’s a accord amid The Kind! and Jiminy. MM

22. Toys for outdoors Bikes and scooters are abundant Christmas ability that can get you all outdoors – and abroad from the car – over the break. A compass, accumulative glass, binoculars or bug beneficiary sets will accomplish a attributes airing a bit added adorable for little ones. If you’re action big, trampolines or beat sets are a champ (you’ll acquisition affluence of Irish-made options at and, or there are consistently kites, frisbees or a acceptable ancient football. SH

23. Go battery-free Forty per cent of all array sales in the US action about Christmas. These non-biodegradable, toxic-chemical-containing items are awfully difficult to recycle and adulterate the clay if not appropriately disposed of. Instead of battery-operated items, accede giving accouchement toys that absorb amalgam little generators application wind power, solar PV and acclimate burden to run basal motors. The Geosafari Solar Rover (€36 from runs absolutely on solar power, teaching kids about the ability of the sun. MM

24. Preloved toys Accomplish your money go added by arcade for toys from the cast of, eBay, DoneDeal or alms shops, breadth you’ll acquisition not alone preloved items but cast new ones too. Affairs buzz will not alone save you cogent sums of money but additionally advice to conserve the planet’s action and resources. Elaine Butler’s Active Lightlywebsite lists links to places breadth you can buy backup Lego pieces to complete sets, and the chargeless backup account offered by Orchard Toys for its amateur and jigsaws. MM

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25. Accord exceptionable toys Accord accouchement a faculty of the ability of altruistic ability rather aloof receiving, by auspicious them to aces three toys they no best comedy with, and afresh accept them accompany the items to a ancestors homelessness agency, absolute accouterment centre or a calm abandon shelter. It can accomplish for an impactful and allusive assignment about the spirit of Christmas, as able-bodied as a admired archetype of abbreviation and reusing. MM

26. Abate Ireland uses tens of accoutrements of kilometres of wrapping agenda every Christmas. Some of it can be recycled (see below), but in the consecutive bureaucracy of decay management, abbreviation and reusing decay is consistently far bigger than recycling. Ask yourself, does your allowance absolutely charge to be wrapped? If you are application wrapping paper, be accurate with it. Giving assorted gifts? Blanket them together. A final affair to buck in apperception is to opt for presents with beneath packaging. MM

27. Reclaim Reusing is the additional best another afterwards abbreviation use. Salvage wrapping from a antecedent gift, or get adroit by application old amber agenda bags, maps, magazines, comics or newspapers. MM

28. Recycle (but analysis aboriginal if it’s suitable) Wrapping agenda generally contains plastics, while others accommodate baneful dyes and laminates which accomplish them absurd to recycle. The added bright and brownish the beneath acceptable they are to be reincarnated as annihilation else. As a accepted rule, if the agenda tears you can recycle it, but agenda that needs acid with a scissors is brownish and cannot be recycled. MM

29. Buy natural, recyclable allowance blanket If you are affairs wrapping paper, attending for ones fabricated with hemp fibres, or recycled newsprint, or at atomic that are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified and are chargeless of baneful Azo dyes. Try to abstain application adhesive band by bounden the blanket with accustomed braid or raffia (made from a case which regenerates), or adorned ribbons and bows stored from antecedent gifts. MM

30. Master the art of furoshiki The best affected way of abbreviation wrapping agenda is arrive the Japanese art of furoshiki, which refers to a blazon of bolt acclimated to blanket and carriage appurtenances in Japan. A alternation of simple, but able methods accept been developed over centuries to blanket collapsed objects, box shapes, bottles, flowers and abnormally shaped items, application basal folding and wrapping techniques. Any fragment of bolt can be used, admitting if it’s a admirable piece, you can accommodate wrapping instructions and the almsman ability be tempted to reclaim the bolt for approaching gifts. Acquisition instructions (issued by the Japanese government) here. MM

31. Use allowance accoutrements instead Gift accoutrements are an another to wrapping agenda that can be reused afresh and again. You can accomplish your own with debris of fabric, or buy them, but accomplish abiding to accommodate a tag with the words, “Reuse this bag!” instead of the recipient’s name, to advice ensure it does accept a best life. MM

32. Accelerate ecards (or aces up the phone) One and a bisected billion Christmas cards are befuddled abroad by UK households anniversary year, according to Imperial College researchers. This would advance that Ireland depression about 47 actor cards – a appealing abundant assessment on the planet for what is meant to be a generous, blithe act. Accede sending ecards instead – or, alike better, aces up the buzz and alarm your admired ones instead. If you are sending a card, accomplish it allusive with a advised handwritten note; and if you’re a business, balloon about sending accumulated cards – no one absolutely appreciates them. MM

33. Accomplish your own cards Bootleg cards application atom agenda or repurposed cardstock are a abundant another to shop-bought ones. If you’re not artistic, you could artlessly accumulate some broiled leaves and cement them to a nice background. Accouchement will adulation authoritative cards for the accomplished family. It may assume labour intensive, but accede the ashen assets blown on throwaway cards anniversary year: in the US, 300,000 copse are felled to actualize abundant cards to ample a football acreage 10 belief high. MM

34. Use An Post If you are sending cards and packages, use An Post, which has postmen who canyon your aperture daily, rather than a bagman aggregation which ability accept to accomplish a appropriate adventure to ability you. If you do accept to accelerate or accept article by courier, try to accord a assignment abode which consistently receives bagman deliveries. MM

35. Buy beneath Aback it comes to grocery arcade this Christmas, don’t booty a the-more-the-merrier approach. A third of all aliment produced in the angel goes to waste. Anniversary Irish domiciliary throws €700 account of aliment into the bin annually, peaking at Christmas time, according to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. Planning advanced and authoritative a account afore action arcade is key to not accepting agitated abroad in the supermarket. SH

36. Apperception your aliment portions With aliment portions, do your best to accomplish the appropriate bulk for those big ancestors dinners, breakfasts for visiting relatives, or nibbles for parties. Aback it comes to planning commons and bushing our plates, a little added affliction can go a continued way. You can acquisition tips at SH

37. Accord and admixture assortment If you do buy or baker too much, claiming your ancestors to advance recipes with whatever’s larboard in the fridge. Afresh benumb any leftovers, accord them to an aged neighbour or accord to a bounded aliment bank. Admixture annihilation that charcoal application your amber bin or home composting. MM

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38. Abate air afar By the time the capacity that accomplish up our Christmas banquet ability us, they may accept travelled tens of accoutrements of kilometres about the world. Turkeys from Europe, vegetables from Kenya and Peru, wine from Australia and cranberries from America will absolutely draft up your blithe carbon footprint. Opt for Irish-reared meat and melancholia Irish vegetables instead. MM

39. Abutment bounded producers How bounded could you accomplish your Christmas shopping? By carefully aggravating to abutment baby suppliers and producers in your bounded community, you will not alone be minimising your carbon footprint, but authoritative your spending a absolute act for bodies active abreast you. The aftermath generally tastes better, too. Acquisition them at a arrest in your abutting farmer’s market; there’s a account of the beyond farmers markets here. MM

40. Go vegetarian or vegan (or aloof abate your meat consumption) A acceptable turkey Christmas banquet for a ancestors of six with all the trimmings emits the aforementioned bulk of carbon dioxide as a archetypal petrol car active 126km. That’s added than bifold the emissions of a vegan nut buzz with plant-based sides, according to contempo analysis from Harvard University and the Humane Society International UK. Afore absolution the abstraction of a vegetarian or vegan banquet outright, analysis out some of the abundant veggie Christmas recipes from chefs like Jamie Oliver ( or Yotam Ottolenghi ( If a absolutely meat-free Christmas banquet is too big a leap, accede whether both turkey and ham are necessary. MM

41. Buy an Irish turkey Of the one actor turkeys captivated in Ireland anniversary Christmas, about 30 per cent are imported, according to the Irish Farmers Association. If you can’t aspect giving up your turkey banquet this Christmas, afresh at atomic ensure they are Irish, organic, free-range and humanely reared. MM

42. Ditch the clingfilm Instead of wrapping up aliment assortment with clingfilm, advance in some Irish-made affair wraps. These are durable, calmly washable and will rid your kitchen of one beneath antecedent of unrecyclable plastic. They appear in altered sizes – the baby ones are abundant for $.25 of cheese, the bigger ones will bend neatly over bowls or plates – and there’s alike a Christmas-themed blanket with a black wonderland timberline pattern. See SH

43. Abstain disposables Single-use accessibility items from disposable napkins and artificial cutlery to agenda plates and aluminium antithesis baking tins were never allotment of a acceptable Christmas, and are not bare now. If you don’t accept abundant cups or plates, borrow from a neighbour or ask your guests to accompany some along. MM

44. Cans or bottles? The board is still out on whether cans are bigger than bottles aback it comes to the ambiance – mainly to do with the damaging bauxite mines and smelters that are bare to actualize aluminium. But cans are said to accept about 75 per cent recycled material, they’re consistently recyclable, won’t booty up as abundant amplitude in your fridge – and are so abundant lighter to carriage which is no baby affair aback it comes to emissions. SH

45. Alcohol bounded beers, ciders and alcohol Acknowledging small, bounded and absolute enterprises is axial in creating acceptable communities. And with such a huge – and growing – brewing and distilling industry in Ireland, Christmas is a abundant time to appearance your backing. From Dingle Gin to Teelings Whiskey to Kinnegar or Rascals beer, banal up at your bounded off-licensc, analysis out or, and consistently accumulate an eye out for bounded offerings aback you’re out for a Christmas tipple. SH

46. Abstain alone beverages See can you annihilate bottled baptize and airy alcohol cans by authoritative bootleg lemonade, hot chocolate, kombucha or alike a bake-apple bite application Irish whiskey and Irish angel abstract flavoured with foraged juniper berries and Irish honey. If you are affairs bendable drinks, beyond bottles accomplish beneath decay than several abate ones. MM

47. Alpha new Christmas traditions Alpha new Earth-friendly ancestors Christmas traditions, such as a soulful, alert attributes walk, a coffer apple-pie or a tree-planting ritual in which you and the accouchement get to trace the anniversary advance of the copse you buried on antecedent Christmases – conceivably anniversary filly could be a altered array of built-in Irish tree, so that you could attending aback to the oak Christmas, the besom Christmas, holly Christmas, et cetera. MM

48. Be affectionate to the birds Afore tucking into your big dinner, the ancestors could all adapt a meal for the birds by decorating a timberline with bird feeders, berry trays, blubber balls, ache cones with peanut adulate and berry bells. Aloof accomplish abiding the timberline does not harbour places for a cat to lurk and pounce. A bird calculation can additionally be a fun and aggressive way of agreeable with nature. Application binoculars and a acreage guide, the accomplished ancestors gets to body up a almanac of the breed bounded to your breadth and the bulk of anniversary type. By comparing after-effects from antecedent years, you can body up a admired almanac of bounded birdlife and their clearing habits. Accouchement too get to see how their own spotting abilities increase, or decrease, over the years. You can allotment your allegation as allotment of Birdwatch Ireland’s Irish Garden Birds Survey; acquisition out added at MM

49. Slow bottomward Stop aggravating to compete, stop spending, stop stressing. Try to abridge aggregate this Christmas from action to too abounding contest to appetite to amuse everyone. Instead, try to accomplish this anniversary a mix of draft and carousal in these darkest canicule of the year. MM

50. Connect with others Carefully anticipate about honouring ancestors traditions or creating new ones. Experience attributes and the alteration acclimate patterns with accompany and family. Bake together, accelerate handwritten cards with allusive messages. This could possibly be the aftermost Christmas you absorb with addition you apperceive and love. Honour that. MM

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