Wishing you a Green Christmas! – By Ann Cooper-Smith

With Christmas fast approaching and the number of “sleeps” counting down, it is timely to consider how we can be kinder – not just to our clients, friends and family but also to the environment, our health, and our finances!

Take our quick Christmas quiz – one answer per question and add the number you selected to get a final score and see how you rank at the end.

Q1 – Christmas Trees

Trees are perhaps the obvious place to start when thinking green – which Christmas Tree do you prefer?

  1. The “one off’ plastic version (manufactured using zillions of litres of water) to use once and discard
  2. The “real thing” chopped down, decorated, and then left on the curb for collection in January while you curse the inevitable pine needles clogging the vacuum cleaner
  3. The “recycled” plastic version, carefully packed away and used year after year
  4. A decorated “living” tree in a pot, growing and doing good stuff 24/7/365
  5. A tree created from scavenged items (think lego blocks, drift wood et al) to be “repurposed” again after Christmas – the kids will love that one!
  6. Who needs a tree anyway when the sun is shining and the Pohutakawa is blooming?

Q2 – Gifts

The Earth is becoming more stressed as the population explodes, living standards rise, and our thirst for the latest and best plastic/electronic widgets increases.  Christmas gift options include:

  1. The latest trendy widget/stocking filler that the kids are harping for, even though you know it will be used for all of 5 milliseconds
  2. Gift vouchers to storm the Boxing Day sales to purchase twice as much at half price?
  3. Well-made gifts that will last, be frequently used and are environmentally friendly (or food hampers with a good shelf life) simply wrapped?
  4. Support local businesses by using pampering service vouchers (treat your loved ones to a spa treatment / facial / massage / pedicure / barber shop beard trim) or even better IOU vouchers (“for Christmas I will valet your car each month during 2018” and make sure you do!)
  5. Your presence – make the effort and spend time with those who love you
  6. Donations to a charity (in lieu of a gift to someone who has everything)!

Q3 – Food

Christmas and gluttony go together, right?  What will your Christmas day exercise programme / diet be?

  1. Big breakfast to cure the Christmas Eve induced hangover, then keep up the food intake for the rest of the day (consistency is a virtue!)
  2. Chocolates pre-champagne breaky, double helpings of everything on offer including alcohol (after all, it’s Christmas so you are allowed one day to spurge!)
  3. Normal portions of everything on offer
  4. Smaller portions, favouring nuts and summer berries rather than the pav and sherry drenched trifle
  5. #4 but you get up early to exercise or you play backyard cricket / swim / walk the dog between meals
  6. Nothing special as you’ll be too busy helping serve up Christmas lunch for the homeless at the City Mission!

So how did you score?

Add up the answers to your questions – for example, if you answered Q1 = 3, Q2= 4 and Q3 = 3 your total score is 10.

Score Your “Green” Ranking
3 – 6 You are going to have a really “red” Christmas giving you plenty of scope for those New Year’s resolutions
7 – 10 You’re in the middle of the bell curve – not too bad, but could do better!
11 – 14 Your Christmas will be “green”, but not boringly so – well done
15 – 18 You will be having an extraordinarily “neon green” Christmas – just make sure you have some fun as well!


Q2 wishes you all an enjoyable Green Christmas so you return to work in 2018 refreshed and re-energised!

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