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Not white, but a green Christmas this year!

Pallavi Polanki, Hindustan Times, December 22, 2007

After Holi and Diwali, it is Santa’s turn to go green. Paper mache snowman and bells, cotton-stuffed tree ornaments, and smoke-free candles are giving Christmas an eco-friendly spirit.

“We have to give customers what they want. And with growing concern for the environment, buying plastic has become a no-no for some. For them, these decorations are ideal,” said Sharad Goyal of Kriti Creations, a store in Delhi’s Khan Market that stocks paper mache and terra cotta decorations and also tree-hangings made of cloth.

Manisha Gutman, a Pune-based environmentalist, makes eco-sensitive decorations for festivals. Her Christmas decorations are lapped up in no time. “Our decorations come in a variety of shapes — moons, stars, angels and balls. We use leftover fabric, recycled greeting cards and cotton. These provide an alternative to the plastic and thermocol glitter that are non-biodegradable,” said Gutman. The decorations, marketed on, are made by women’s groups in rural Maharashtra. 

While the movement to celebrate a Green Christmas is big in the West, it is not without followers in India. Employees at energy company British Gas India have extended their eco-initiative to Christmas.

“Members of the Green Team, as it is called, have made sure that decorations that we bought this year were eco-friendly and made from recycled material. I shudder when I think about all the plastic waste that is created after Christmas and New Year celebrations,” said a spokesperson of British Gas India.

Even environment-clubs in some schools are doing their bit. “We teach our students to make smoke-free gel candles and paper mache products. All decorations at the school Christmas carnival this year have been made by students using re-cycled paper,” said Nita Ganguly, eco-club in-charge of Sanskriti School.

So, while we may not have a snow-laden White Christmas, like they do in the West, we sure can hope for a green one.

Read this article on the Hindustan Times website

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