Advent Calendars have been used for centuries to count down the days before Christmas.  They remind ourselves of the things we can be thankful for as the sun makes its way to its nadir and slowly turns towards spring. Susanne Elston, a Toronto-based journalist and blogger has come up with a great way to continue this tradition and use it to promote environmental awareness and giving. It is called an Advent Sharing Calendar:

“To begin, create an Advent Sharing box. Take a small box or coffee can, put a slot in the lid, and then wrap the container in recycled Christmas paper. Monetary gifts are added every day”

At the end of the season, take the money you have collected in your box, and send it as a donation to your favourite environmental charity. The Manitoba Eco-Network lists many great local environmental groups you may wish to consider (including Green Action Centre).

We have adapted Susanne’s idea here.  One change we made is that we have added some positive environmental actions you may wish to celebrate by putting money in your box, rather than only adding money to punish negative behaviours.  You can download our version.  If you print it, it is in landscape format.  We have provided links to more information on our websites and elsewhere.  Feel free to change the donation amounts, or to put different ideas in your advent calendar.  Let us know if you followed through on any of the suggestions in the calendar.