Green Christmas: French town uses only recycled decorations

A northern town has made all of its Christmas decorations from recycled goods this year and hopes to inspire others to do the same

16 December 2020
The town has made a Christmas tree and a chicken coup out of recycled materials
By Ben Smith

Monchy-le-Preux, like thousands of other villages and towns across France, has set out its Christmas decorations for the festive period.

However, unlike most other places, this village in the Hauts-de-France region has made its decorations entirely from recycled materials.

The Connexion spoke to Aline Bertin, who works at the local Mairie, to find out more about the initiative.

How did this idea come about?

It all started after the first confinement in May. The municipality elected a new council and it just happened to be that all of us were on the same page. We wanted change regarding the way the municipality was led, especially regarding the ecological aspect.

If I can describe our philosophy in a few words it would be: 'to become eco-responsible and prevent waste'.

What are the decorations and can you explain how you recycle the items?

We are very lucky to be working alongside Aurélie Petit in our battle against waste. She has a shop in our village that is solely focused on rebranding and rebuilding old items destined for the bin.

She collects any materials that she finds useful and transforms them into something special. She’s very talented and is our main asset in becoming an eco-friendly village.

As for the decorations, I cannot list everything we have done simply because it would take too long to explain.

But, for example, at the school there is a Christmas tree made out of recycled wood and plastic where every day we try and put presents and add more decorations - again, mostly out of wood.

We have even built a shed for chickens in the school grounds with 100% recycled materials.

We are able to do this with the help of Aurélie but also we must thank everyone in the Mairie and the village who spent time and effort in donating and redecorating.      

Is this going to be a frequent thing for Christmas in Monchy-le-Preux?

Yes. We have not only decided to become a much more eco-friendly village but also to pass on these traditions to the village’s inhabitants and the children.

We have held some small events where all the children of the town are present with teachers and are taught the values of being eco-responsible. All the town’s inhabitants play a part.

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