Saturday, December 29, 2012

Yes, I'm back! (maybe, perhaps)


You can see there has been a huge gap between my last post and the one I just published yesterday.  Like nine months.  Really.  My blog has become yet another tombstone in the abandoned blog graveyard.  So many of us start with the greatest intentions, and then life gets in the way and there you have it: what was once a lovely blog is now a ghost town, abandoned, cobwebby and forgotten.

Much has happened in these last nine months.  I got a full-time, grown-up job.  I became a winemaker, and my free time went whoooooosh!  I love the paychecks, and the structure this job gives to my life.  The responsibility is very gratifying to my ego.  However, I miss the play time I had for myself.  Time, one of the greatest commodities of life.

That said, I did want to follow up on the wonderful Christmas tree that the earth-conscious folks in El Granado were planning for 2012.  I contacted their spokesperson, like last year, and got some photos and information.  At first, I thought it would be weird to publish the article here, dusty and lonely as this blog was, so I pitched the idea to another, very popular, eco-centric blog.  They agreed, but due partly to circumstances and partly to poor planning, they flaked.  With December 25 gone, it became important to put forth the article, because there is such a thing as an expiration date on Christmas.  I took a broom and a mop to attack the cobwebs, and decided to revive the blog, if nothing else to fulfill the commitment I made to El Granado (one of these years I really must stop by).

So this is what happened.  I am not sure how involved I will be with this blog in the future.  It is NOT part of my 2013 resolutions.  But if I find something worth sharing, I shall reopen it, dust and all. 

Here's something worth sharing:

My husband works by this tire shop, and he took this photo to show me.  I love that the orange lights are not lights.  They are puffs of fluorescent spray paint. Brilliant!!!

I want to wish anyone reading this my best wishes for a wonderful 2013.  May your resolutions stick, may your loved ones be happy and healthy, may you spread good cheer around!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Green Christmas of El Granado - 2012

A year ago I wrote about a small town in the south of Spain, El Granado, and their recycled Christmas tree tradition.  They are at it again, and for the fourth year in a row, El Granado citizens have decorated their town for Christmas in a very original and eco-friendly manner. In the center square, this year's 26-ft tall Christmas tree was made with 1,200 flowers made from plastic bottles

 The main flower chosen for the tree was the brown-eyed rockrose (Cistus ladanifer), a native species of the region. These flowers were made from the bottoms of 5-L water bottles

Among the rock roses you can also find other colorful flowers, made from plastic soda bottles

This project has been a true collective effort. The citizens of El Granado helped with the gathering, cutting, painting and installation of the flowers.

I am looking forward to seeing what they come up for Christmas 2013! I wish more towns and cities had the initiative to do something similar. With a little bit of ingenuity, it is amazing the beauty that can be created. Projects like these bring people together, and raise the collective awareness of how precious and how finite our resources are.

My sincere thanks to Maite Barroso, spokesperson for the town of El Granado, for her help and her wonderful photographs.