It’s Christmas day and after nearly falling off your chair in your desire to win, the cracker rips open; the terrible joke is read and the whole family laugh regardless, and the gift is marvelled at for a matter of seconds… then the cracker is discarded and the gift stuffed into a drawer or even thrown away with the remnants of lunch… Sounds familiar? I am sure this happens in households around the country as the nation sits down for our annual Christmas Day lunch… What a waste. How can we avoid such unnecessary expense and waste without forgetting about the tradition and the joy that crackers bring?
One option is to make your own crackers; the crackers can be made using toilet roll, wrapping paper or even magazine pages. This way you can carefully choose how they look as well as what gifts go inside – possibly a home baked cookie or chocolate. This is a great acivity to keep the kids busy for an hour or two! To make your own ‘eco’ crackers, just follow the step-by-step process below (don’t hold me responsible for the outcome :
- Centre a toilet roll lengthwise along the 10″ side of the 8 x 10″ piece of a recycled or recyclable paper. Wrap the paper around the roll, securing it with 1 or 2 pieces of transparent tape. (The tape can be attached to the underside of the crepe paper so that it does not show.)
- Insert snapper (these can be purchased from most craft shops) and gift into the roll. The ends of the snapper should extend beyond the ends of the cracker. Tie each end of cracker with string.
- To make fringe, take an 8 x 5″ piece of paper and fold in half lengthwise. Cut 1″ deep slashes about _” apart along unfolded edges. Repeat with second piece of 8 x 5″ crepe paper.
- Take about 12″ of decorative string (gold, silver, etc.) and place along inside fold of fringe. Gather and tie around end of cracker, over first tie. Repeat with other end, using second fringe. Ends of fringes may be curled gently.
- Decorative trims, lace, ribbons, etc. may be used to decorate the body of the cracker.
Alternatively, if you don’t have the time, but still want to use the “here’s one I made earlier” line with your expecting family, Biome have 2 eco cracker options firmly supporting the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra.
First is Biome Lifestyle’s eco seed crackers –the cracker paper is seed paper; once the cracker is ‘pulled’, plant the paper in your garden and the following summer you will find a beautiful array of wild flowers! Additionally, the gift inside is handmade by a small co-operative of women in Nepal. Each cracker purchased ensures improved economic prospects for these disadvantaged women.
Second is Biome’s eco play cracker. These crackers are carefully assembled in the UK and are guaranteed to encourage some healthy competition amongst the family as each has its own parlour game. At the bottom of the box there is also an eco alternative to the old favourite, Snakes & Ladders, to help you and your family learn more about some key eco issues. If you find you’re green you’ll go up the ladders to success; if you’re not so green then you’ll go down the snakes and risk losing the eco title.
And if all this talk is sending you crackers (sorry!) then watch out for my next post- I am running a competition to find the best Christmas cracker joke ever. The winner will be chosen by the Biome Lifestyle team and will receive 2 boxes of eco play crackers.