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Four Tips For A Fun Christmas

Four Tips For A Fun Christmas

Last Friday a small group of ladies met at Green Skills Albany to eat, play, create and talk Christmas.

The holiday season in Australia is also peak season for spending, food waste, suicide and stress. Attendees went home with lots of ideas to reduce waste and stress, and increase fun and resilience. Here are four ideas to stay out of debt and buy less stuff this year:

Tip one: beautiful gift wrapping with fabric instead of paper means you don’t need tape or string, and you can either reuse the fabric year after year or include it as part of the present. Try searching on YouTube if you don’t understand the how-to diagrams! You won’t need ribbons either, because these wraps are so pretty. Find scarves and other fabric squares at your local op shop (or the back of your cupboard!). If you need a gift tag, a simple gum leaf with recipient’s name in texta looks great.

Tip two: simple recipes using homegrown, local or plastic-free food (and then cooking the leftovers and composting the scraps) will reduce your environmental impact and your stress levels. Pictured is a two-ingredient recipe.

Tip three: use biodegradable decorations like pinecones, rosemary sprigs, evergreens from eucalyptus to bottlebrush, red flowers, popcorn or paper. Put it in the compost or worm farm when it’s too tatty to use again. Hang them on a real tree like an Albany Woolly Bush (pictured), pine or eucalyptus branch, a stick or pallet tree.

Tip four: sit down with friends or kids and have a crafternoon making paper chains, Star Wars snowflakes, paper doves, beading, paper lanterns and other Christmas crafts. Many of these will last for several seasons. Making things together reduces your stress levels and is more meaningful than bought decorations. We all felt pretty proud of our snowflakes!

May you have a meaningful, connected and joyful festive season this year.

This workshop was supported by the City of Albany and the Waste Authority of WA.

Zero Waste Christmas

Make this Christmas sustainable with Green Skills!

Would you like to reduce your impact and waste this festive season but need some inspiration? Come along to our low cost workshop and have a play with fun ideas for homemade, local and creative ways to use less and stress less. Join us for a fun Friday session 6pm Nov 23rd. Make sure you book in!

Get on track with tips for food, gifts, wrapping, decorations and Christmas trees. We’ll do some easy fun activities, and you’ll go home with a list of local resources and recipes. Practice the art of furoshiki, check out creative Christmas trees, biodegradable decorations, Star Wars snowflakes and more. Let’s cut out waste this festive season!

Check out more ideas here.

Bookings are essential to secure your place, as venue capacity is limited. Please contact the Albany Green Skills office on 9842 1334 or [email protected] to book. Only $5 per person at the door. Check our Facebook page for event updates.

This workshop is supported by the City of Albany and the Waste Authority of WA.

Zero Waste Beauty Potions

We had a huge turn-out for the Zero Waste Beauty Workshop last night at the Green Skills Albany Community Enterprise Development Centre!

 17 ladies gathered to mix potions and talk about minimalist beauty care with Ruth from ruby lentil.


Ruth’s daughter Nya demonstrated how to brush your teeth using a fresh aloe vera leaf! One participant mentioned she was allergic to aloe vera, and it’s a good idea to patch test on your skin before applying it to your gums if you’re unsure.



Potions included a sweet lip scrub and fresh spicy mouthwash to test out and a natural lip balm to take home. All participants received a recipe sheet to explore further potion-making at home as well.



If you missed this event, you can talk to Ruth next Saturday 15th September at the Mt Barker Sustainability Fair at Mt Barker College from 10-2pm.



This event was supported by the WA Waste Authority and the City of Albany.


Zero Waste Beauty Workshop

Zero Waste Beauty Workshop

Come along to a fun evening of pampering and minimalist beauty techniques! Ruth from ruby lentil will be showing us how to make simple, natural body care recipes using locally grown plants or bulk foods from your pantry.

Test some recipes, take something home, find out where to buy locally, learn techniques and leave with some recipes to try out.

We’ll be at the Albany Community Enterprise Development Centre at Green Skills Albany, 38 Graham Street, from 6-7pm Wed 12th Sep. Tickets are $5 at the door. Ring 9842 1334 or email [email protected] to book your place.

This event is supported by funding from the City of Albany and the State Government through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account, and administered by the Waste Authority.

I Am The Broth Of Love

A bubbly Joanna McCluskey from Made of Earth, in Denmark WA, showed a bunch of us how to make bone broth for gut & bone health and kitchen economy in August at the Albany Community Enterprise Development Centre.

Key learnings were: for maximum gelatin extraction, include some feet or other parts with a lot of cartilage and simmer slowly for 12-24 hours.

The basic recipe was local bones from grass-fed animals, rainwater and a splash of acid – lemon juice, vinegar or cooking wine. This helps to extract the goodness from the bones. Joanna tends not to add vegetables to her basic broth pot, to keep it unflavoured and versatile. She’ll add them in later or cook them in broth afterwards.

Joanna talked about different methods of cooking broth, including slow cooker, pressure cooker and wood fire. One participant told us about a chicken broth she ate at a relative’s house in Europe that had been on the stove for over twenty years! The slow cooker (or crockpot) is a handy modern alternative.

A roast can be cooked in the oven or crockpot, the meat cut off and used for several meals and the bones saved. The bones can then be cooked again, to make a meaty broth. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been gnawed because the cooking will kill any germs. After this, the now clean bones can be cooked a third time for several days to make a flavourless broth that can even be the base for fruit smoothies! Now that’s something I haven’t tried.

As well as watching how to start a bone broth, workshop participants ladeled out a pre-prepared pot of mixed broth into jars to take home. There was also enough for a taste, with or without a sprinkle of pink salt and turmeric.

Bone broth can be drunk straight, used as a base for soups, smoothies and sauces, or use the liquid to cook grains and vegies. Season plain broth with miso, eggs, seaweed sprinkles, tumeric, ginger or whatever you desire. Bone broth by the cup is a trendy superfood in some places.

It’s hard to obtain the benefits of bone broth from vegan or vegetarian ingredients; Joanna suggested coral and seaweed is probably the closest thing for minerals, and I would add some (unheated) fermented vegetables for gut health. Some herbs can help to heal the gut lining, like slippery elm powder. If you don’t eat bones, you could try this vegan recipe.

Slow-cooked broth made from responsibly-raised animals has many health benefits, and it means that you can use more of the animal rather than throwing it away. If we are going to eat animals, we should use the whole animal. Bones that have been cooked for this long can be eaten or crumbled into the compost heap or worm farm, which reduces the chance of rats or dogs dragging whole bones out of your compost heap. It’s much cheaper to make your own good broth rather than buy it – it really is a superfood that you can easily make in your own home.