About us.....

Abingdon Carbon Cutters is a Community Action Group formed to help reduce the carbon footprint of Abingdon in response to climate change, and to promote a sustainable and resilient lifestyle for our town as fossil fuel stocks decline. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at St Ethelwold's House, which is here.

At some meetings, we have guest speakers to present various topics, and at others we discuss our own personal actions to address climate change. The group has a focus on encouragement, both of one another, and of the town community.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eco Christmas ideas, and Christmas Feast on Dec 16th

If you missed our last meeting here are some of the ideas we discussed for making your Christmas presents and festivities more sustainable without losing any of the fun (in fact it will increase the fun!).

You are also warmly invited to the Carbon Cutters Christmas feast on Weds Dec 16th at 7.30pm in the Hearth at St Ethelwold's. Bring a festive dish to share of something you love to eat, the lower the food miles the better!


Eco-Christmas ideas

1.    Reduce the giving of unnecessary cards
2.    Design and send one by email
3.    Recycle cards for gift tags
4.    Recycle cards via national outlets FOE, Woodland Trust via WH Smith (248,000 trees would be saved if no cards were sent!)

5.    Decide as a family on a maximum value of any presents exchanged
6.    Secret Santa – everyone gives and receives one present. Requires some organisation
7.    Exchange events/experiences eg theatre tickets for the whole family
8.    Subscription to organisation eg RHS, Soil Association, Organic Research Centre, National Trust
9.    Send a cow, goat, flock of chickens
10.    Give a piece of woodland (Woodland Trust) or sponsor a hare with the Wildlife Trust, or a piece of land where Heathrow runway would be built
11.    Get things from swap shops, EBay, charity shops etc
12.    Christmas vouchers - other
13.    Give presents made by local potters, artists, craftsmen
14.    Try and buy locally before going further afield
15.    Open one present a day, rather than all together, for the 12 days of Christmas (young children)
16.    Recycle boxes, jars – fill with sweets, biscuits, coloured pasta, nuts etc and wrap a ribbon round
17.    Make or buy homemade jams, preserves etc and edible gifts from Farmers Market, Local Roots, National Trust shops etc
18.    Make own hamper with above or on a theme eg Italian
19.     “Silly” presents.  Everyone brings an unwanted present received in the past, beautifully wrapped up.  Each person chooses one and opens in turn.
20.    Wrap stylishly (see workshop below) with up-cycled paper, string wool, ribbon, raffia – decorate with paper ‘snowflake’ or use old paper carrier bag held together with a peg.  Make gift bow (http:/howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2009/10/makegift-bow-from;magazine-page.html)
21.    Wrap presents in squares of cloth (Japanese) google Futoshiki
22.    Use shredded newspaper to pack out present

Christmas tree /Decorations
23.    Buy a small one with roots in a pot and keep from year to year (keep watered particularly  when inside)
24.    Re-cycle (Market Place after Christmas) or shred for you own compost heap
25.    Don’t use preservative sprays to stop needle fall
26.    Keep it as cool as possible
27.    Buy a locally grown one – recently cut ones also hold their needles better
28.    Real trees are more eco-friendly unless the artificial tree lasts a long time – well over 10 years
29.    Don’t buy any new decorations – if you are bored with yours swap them with someone else
30.    Decorate your tree with only natural objects, dried slices of orange, lemon, small red apples, cinnamon sticks etc
31.    Reduce the amount of time the lights are on
32.    Buy LED lights if you need to replace them (use 10% of the power of traditional ones and the whole lot don’t go when a bulb breaks)
33.    Decorate a tree branch or foliage from the garden instead of a tree
34.    Decorate the house with natural foliage from garden, cut out festive shapes (stars, angels, snowflakes etc) paper chains from magazines, surplus paper etc

35.    Don’t eat meat – lower carbon & saves cooking time – eat lasagne!
36.    Cook a smaller bird
37.    Buy local, organic, unfrozen bird and veg – Farmers Market, Farm shops (Millets) veg box schemes etc
38.    Avoid over-shopping by sticking to a list and not going to the supermarket - use local shops as above
39.    Use up left-overs – see ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ website
40.    Buy dried fruits from Uhuru in Cowley Road
41.    Buy Tradecraft food from 35 Ock Street – open 1- 12 daily
42.    Buy online from Alternative stores.com
43.    Celebrate Christmas a week late buying ‘best before’ stuff

44.    Buy in  big containers with real corks
45.    Don’t buy too much
46.    Make your own punches, squeezed juices etc

47.    Use liftshare.com



Tuesday 15 December
7.30 – 9.00 PM
St Ethelwold’s House
30 East Saint Helen Street

Mince Pies - Christmas Brownies - 0pen fire

Bring your presents (any shape or size) and Allie Hudson will show you how to wrap them stylishly using old paper, fabric, magazines, string, wool and this and that.

Please bring scissors and bits and pieces for decorating
e.g. old ribbon, string, wool etc, paper carrier bags of all sizes.

Wrapping paper (up-cycled) will be provided

Cost £3.00          For further information please ring     01235 555486 or email ethelwoldhouse@btinternet.com

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