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But naturally!

Poorva Bhise, Indian Express, 25 Dec 2008

IE Christmas 2008 In what could well be termed the most wonderful time of the year, people are in the mood of partying, planning get-togethers, having great feasts, decking up Christmas trees and exchanging gifts. But this celebration can get even better if we don't have to harm nature in the process. The excessive use of plastics and thermocole in Christmas and New Year decorations affects the environment. So, a lot of city-based NGOs have come up with the idea of protecting nature.

One such NGO is eCoexist, which believes in co-existence of all human beings on this earth. It works to ensure that the things used in such celebrations are respectable towards nature and don't increase the consistently rising pollution. So they have come up with beautiful handmade decorations that are completely eco-sensitive. They come in the form of a sachet of six decorations, prepared by using left over fabrics and recycled paper. Manisha Gautam, the founder of eCoexist says, "We want people to celebrate a green Christmas and so we have come up with these decorations. Abida Khan designs them and they are manufactured by the women of DISHA, Mahila Vikas Sahakari Seva Society, based in Pune. It offers training to women in various art and craft skills."

These sachets come in various colors and are made from cotton and silk fabric left over with tailors and designers. She says, "The sachets are priced at Rs 250 for cotton made articles and Rs 300 and above for silk made ones, thus making them affordable to a larger section of society. It is a one time investment. You can store them and use them for next Christmas celebrations. These decorations can also be used for decking up a Christmas tree and later to design the children's room. They are available in various stores across the city."

This is one way in which we can also celebrate Christmas in a unique and nature-friendly way. There are also other options like planting a tree in your backyard and decorating it during Christmas. There will be an emotional attachment with the tree as you have been nurturing it and seen it growing along with you.

The team of eCoexist suggests another eco-friendly idea, "Choose a living tree in your locality and decorate it with food items that could support bird and animal life around it."

So, this Christmas make your celebrations a tad more special by incorporating these d├ęcor ideas. Just be careful that in your haste, you don't end up wasting anything. With a little bit of advance planning, you can very well have a green and eco-friendly Christmas.

Read this article on the ExpressIndia website

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