Green Guru Michael Kelly shares tips on how we can all enjoy a Greener Christmas

Founder of GIY Michael Kelly along with Muireann Ní Chíobháin have a new book out. It is beautifully illustrated by Fatti Burke and aims to teach children how to grow and cook food as well as live more sustainably. They are sharing some of their top tips on how we can all have a more sustainable and environmentally friendly Christmas.

Michael has been sharing his passion for sustainable and seasonal living for over 10 years now and he shares some of the things he has learned in order to have a more eco-friendly festive season.

Top Tree Tips

Michael says, when it comes to the tree, choose a live one; live trees are a renewable resource and are replanted on tree farms contributing to our air quality and ecosystem. “You could also opt for a potted tree for indoors and then enjoy a ‘Nature Restoration’ activity with the family after Christmas as you plant it outside again or place it outside in a large pot and decorate it for the birds with seed balls, peanut butter and seed trays. It’s a fun activity for the kids and offers an important food source during the long cold winter days of winter for the birds. And finally, on the tree, of course, use LED lights on the Christmas tree and at home!


Dinner Time Wins

On to the dinner, the first tip is to buy less, every year Irish households dump tonnes of food waste, we never need as much as we think so don’t fill that trolley.

A Turkey and ham dinner with all of the traditional trimmings can see 10’s of thousands of food miles racked up. We all need to make a more conscious effort of buying local and hyper-local, buy your food from a farmers’ market or direct from producers themselves not only will it taste better but it is a more sustainable food shopping practice. And if you do have leftovers – a turkey carcass makes great stock for soups and you can compost the vegetable peel.


Go green with gifts

Homemade gifts are not only thoughtful but for more unusual present, homemade treats or sauces are a completely unique gift. In the GIY Know-It-Allmanac we have some delicious recipes for Rocket Pesto, homemade ketchup or Beetroot Chocolate Brownies all so simple that even kids can make them successful. Ideally, reuse wrapping paper and if you do feel you have to buy some then avoid the shiny please and buy some brown paper which is fully recyclable.

Christmas is also a wonderful time to reconnect with nature. Consider starting a family tradition of a nature walk or plan a small patch of the garden for growing your family’s favourites during 2020. The GIY Know-it-Allmanac is a month-by-month guide to growing, cooking and eating food and it has all the tips and tricks that you could need. It focusses on seasonal foods and highlights each month’s significant dates, likely weather, along with ‘get crafty’ projects and garden to-do lists.

GIY’s Know-it-Allmanac is published by GIY. It is a 104-page hardback and is available now from all good book shops along with the website and is priced at €25.00: Picture: Patrick Browne

GIY’s Know-it-Allmanac is published by GIY. It is a 104-page hardback and is available now from all good book shops and also online at and is priced at €25.00



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