What changes will you be making to help protect our planet this festive season?

From swapping to digital greetings cards to reusing last year’s gift bags, there’s plenty of easy ways we can all have a greener Christmas.

Needing a little inspiration?  We caught up with Redcar and Cleveland College’s work placement co-ordinator Helen Mahoney.

Part of Etc.’s Green Initiatives Group (GIG), the group is always keen to find ways we can make a big difference.

The latest initiative is seeing Helen and the joinery department donate our wood shavings to the Kirkleatham Owl Centre!

“It was something I thought of when I saw the shavings being swept up and bagged,” said Helen.

As you can imagine the team create a lot of wood shavings in their everyday training.

Struck by a moment of inspiration, Helen got in touch with the Kirkleatham Owl Centre to ask if they would be of any use.

The centre is home, not only to owls, but to emus, vultures, meerkats, and many more cute and furry animals and birds. There they offer educational visit, support conservation projects, as well as providing rehabilitation and treatment of sick and injured birds of prey.

Now regularly receiving six sacks of wood shavings a month, centre manager, Craig Wesson, said: “They are great as we use the wood chippings as bedding for the birds and animals.”

Helen said: “It is great to be able to help in such a simple way.”

To find out more about the Kirkleatham Owl Centre visit: www.kirkleathamowlcentre.co.uk

Want to help, or get involved, check out their Amazon wish list!

Helen is also now collecting newspapers for the centre, the papers are needed for a host of reasons including lining bird boxes and beds.

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