Lifestyle

Meet the family having an eco-friendly Christmas

This family grows and feeds as much as possible (Image: Imogen Tinkler)

We are becoming more and more environmentally conscious as time goes by and concerns about the environment increase.

A family in Whitstable, Kent, has made eco-friendly Christmas a family tradition since 2017, despite keeping the environment in mind.

Imogen Tinkler, 39, lives with husband Duncan, 39, with their children Xanthe, 4, and Athene, 6 weeks old, and their rescue dog Spartacus.

Imogen told Metro.co.uk: “Being eco-friendly has always been a part of our Christmas but it really started more than that when we had our first Christmas as a family, ‘ Imogen told Metro.co.uk.

‘Having children is definitely a trigger for determining how you shape your own Christmas, what traditions you want to carry out and how you decide what is important to you.

‘Several things have led us to that – such as the amount of trash and the possible overuse over Christmas.

‘It’s ridiculous that at a time of celebration there is so much waste. Every year there seems to be more and more and I don’t want Christmas to be just things for my kids.

‘Part of the excitement is preparing and creating everything throughout the year for a big winter party. It is not about instant gratification and it is important to be mindful of the world we live in.

‘Having an eco-friendly Christmas makes you more mindful and I think that makes things all the more special.’

She believes that as the years go by, society becomes more and more wasteful and that decades ago, rural town life in general became more ecologically conscious.

The family foraging for food in the wild (Image: Imogen Tinkler)
They also make their own preserves (Image: Imogen Tinkler)

Imogen continued: ‘3.3 million penguins worth of plastic are wasted on Christmas. It blew my mind. We don’t want to add this as a family because I believe it is harmful to the magic of Christmas and the environment in which we live.

‘Christmas is such an important time of year but the real magic lies in spending time with family and being inspired by the natural world.’

Imogen grew up with these ideas in mind, as her mother would make her own wreaths and they would earn holly, as well as make their own decorations.

Continuing this, while adopting other good habits, is about ‘environmental perspective but also honoring tradition’.

“I want my two daughters to appreciate the source of everything and the love and care that makes it all possible,” she added.

‘To be aware of how far things have come and what will continue to evolve. I’m really sad to witness the excess without any thought. We really think like a family of our waste. ‘

Seaweed has many uses (Image: Imogen Tinkler)
Gifts are second-hand (Image: Imogen Tinkler)

One way they work to prevent waste and environmental destruction is through foraging.

In recent times, making animal feed has become more popular.

Food is an important part of a family’s life, when they run Bangers and Balls, a seasonal food brand that runs a dinner club and teaches in an online community.

Food is also an important part of Christmas.

‘We forage locally in Whitstable everywhere we go – from the time we take the dog to the jog daycare to the beach. Once you know what to look for, there’s a lot to look for. It’s like going for a treasure hunt every day,’ Imogen said.

‘In the UK we are very fortunate to have a wide range of products once you know what to look for. We used to live next door to one of the best places to eat in London – Burgess Park. So it’s not just for the rural dwellers – you can also find it in the city.

‘We look for so many different things, from fresh fresh nettle to make pesto nettle, stinging nettle and ginger beer and even nettle powder balls, to elderberry to make champagne and chili sauce.

‘Just as the traditional British Hedgerow is dotted with crimson rose hips, succulent blackberries, sloes, hawthorns, peaches, there are also more unusual finds such as juniper and berries. quince.

‘We loved Hedgerow so much that we wrote a children’s book books based on it. ‘

Other things the family have earned include wild garlic that appears in the spring. They preserve it throughout the year and some will end up on the Christmas table. Seaweed is another common find.

‘Duncan uses it in everything from gravy to ice cream. It offers the ultimate Umami flavor and will feature in our Christmas sauces.

‘We even make our own salt by collecting it from the sea. It is truly amazing how much abundance there is in the world around us. ‘

Being eco-friendly is important to the family (Image: Imogen Tinkler)
The family runs a business that teaches others to earn a living (Image: Imogen Tinkler)

In addition to earning food, the family also grows crops to serve on the Christmas table.

They grow kale, tomatoes, gooseberries, kiwis, strawberries, and black currants. There are herbs as well, and Imogen will preserve them with her husband.

Using some of the herbs they grow, they make oils and vinegars, such as mint and rosemary.

Imogen told us: “We only have a postage stamp about a garden. ‘It’s amazing what you can do in a small space. I honestly believe we were the only ones who left London and ended up with a smaller garden.

She adds: ‘We make everything from gin sloe to sizzling cranberry sauce to Christmas pudding.

But they cannot develop everything. Items such as turkey and beef come from a local butcher.

‘We have fish on Christmas Eve and we buy fish from somewhere, all locally caught or farmed.’

Food items will be considered able to reduce their carbon footprint (Image: Imogen Tinkler)

An eco-friendly attitude also includes gifts, which are often second-hand and purchased through charity shops.

Imogen said: ‘I love rummaging through a charity shop and seeing what I can find.

‘One of my all-time favorite Christmas hits is the 1980s pop-up The Night Before Christmas Book. It’s completely intact and only £1.

‘I also use Facebook Marketplace. It feels great to buy things there and know that you are helping others too, as people often need money from this or that goes into their kid’s piggy bank.

‘I bought Xanthe’s bike on it, it’s beautiful and looks brand new – much better than the old stuff that goes to the landfill.

‘The person I bought it from was also happy that the money went to a bigger bike for her daughter. It makes me feel like part of a community. ‘

At first, Duncan was a bit ‘worried’ about buying gifts this way for their children – but he’s back.

“He didn’t want them to feel like they had to have the best of the best,” explains Imogen.

‘He’s not worried now because he can see they can’t tell the difference and loves it.’

Homemade food will also be used as gifts for friends and family.

“The rest of our family liked their gifts and the great food, so they thought it was brilliant,” says Imogen.

‘It’s not about losing, it’s about being mindful of what you have and creating memories that last a lifetime.’

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Contact by email MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

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https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/19/meet-the-family-having-an-eco-friendly-christmas-15777499/ Meet the family having an eco-friendly Christmas

Tom Vazquez

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