How to Have a Green Christmas

Discover 50 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Holiday

Non-Fiction - Home/Crafts
72 Pages
Reviewed on 12/11/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Henry has been a summer camp director, a 2nd grade teacher, and a mission and outreach director. He currently spends his time as a Daddy and Program Director for Friendship Gardens, a non profit organization growing fresh, healthy food for a meals-on-wheels program. Henry is a husband, father, environmentalist, local food advocate, garden nerd, worm composter, and backyard chicken raiser. Follow Henry on twitter @rhenryowen

    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Dagg for Readers' Favorite

"How to Have a Green Christmas" by Henry Owen is a very thoughtful book full of commonsense and the true spirit of Christmas. The media incites us to “buy stuff” and be materialistic but Christmas is really about love, not only for our family and neighbours but for the planet too. In this short book Owen shares 50 ideas with us, arranged by topic. However, he doesn’t expect us to adopt them all at once but suggests we try to take a few steps each year towards being greener at Christmas. This is a very sensible approach since the ultimate aim of the book is to change our attitudes. We must look beyond the superficial glitter of Christmas to what it really means. Just as we should think of gifts as experiences rather than things, we should think of Christmas in the same light. It is not about getting as many things as possible. It is about genuine sentiment, compassion and caring. It is about using the principles of reducing and recycling at this season of excess.

Owen’s suggestions of making our own gifts (and we don’t have to be “artsy fartsy” to do this), regifting, gift exchanging, giving ebooks, and giving people what they want rather than some unappreciated surprise, all make sense. We should refuse to give battery-powered gifts or any that contain polystyrene (number 6 plastic) or other hard-to-recycle materials. We shouldn’t get drawn into a battle to outdo the neighbours with a light show. A modest amount of LEDs is sensible and perfectly acceptable. There is no need to giftwrap everything either. It is fine for kids as they can tear the paper off in excitement but when we are 40+ we don’t really need that any more. There are so many good, environmentally friendly and manageable ideas in this book: making decorations, composting the festive food waste, going for walks rather than driving to the mall, or feeding the birds. With this book at our fingertips, we can have a responsible Christmas and look beyond the tinsel trappings at what it is really about and what we actually need to do to make it special.