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Swithun and Gina Andrade with sons Gareth and Cooper Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: An Indian family in Dubai has made a Christmas tree using 120 discarded cardboard holders of kitchen tissue and toilet paper, paving the way for a sustainable Christmas.

Meet the Andrade family, dad Swithun, mum Gina and their little boys Gareth and Cooper who have put together their very own sustainable Christmas tree, thereby showing people how to reuse materials in the house as much as possible.

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Cooper at work on the Christmas tree Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

“We have always thought about conserving energy as a family. Together we try and make a positive difference to the environment. We have two small boys we want to set an example for. Today, the environment has taken a beating thanks to humans dumping waste and not caring about leaving a sustainable future. This was our small way of making a difference.”

Swithun said the family’s Christmas tree took just a couple of hours to create. “We decided two months ago to make our own Christmas tree. So we started collecting cardboard holders that usually get discarded after kitchen or toilet roll paper gets exhausted,” he explained.

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Swithun said the family’s Christmas tree took just a couple of hours to create Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

He said the base of the tree has been made from kitchen roll holders as they provide a bigger support for the tree to stand on. “Every piece has been wrapped with crape paper lying around in the house - and there is plenty of that thanks two little school-going boys,” explained Swithun.

Gina said: “Normally people buy a tree locally but that is made of plastic and we did not want that. Others fly in their Christmas trees from overseas and we definitely did not want that. It just leads to wastage. So we thought we will make our very own environment-friendly, cute Christmas tree,” she said.

The idea has rubbed off on a friend Helga Mascarenhas who lives in the same building as her in Dubai. Helga has made decorations from salt dough. “It is simple. Just add salt to flour and let it dry. I made different shapes of the decoration. I don’t like to keep only plastic decorations on my tree. I want to teach my daughter to live sustainably. I can only do it by setting an example.”

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Helga Mascarenhas with his sustainable Christmas decor Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

A look around Helga’s apartment reveals more such decor. Helga has upcycled four glass jars to place candles. “I collect glass bottles as I don’t want to throw them away. This is my way of spending a Christmas that involves less wastage,” she added.