The housekeeping team of Casino Hotel, led by Anish Joseph, creates Christmas décor out of waste materials

The season is upon us and with it the Christmas spirit. Step into any home and hotel and you will be bewitched by the creativity that goes into the making of Xmas decorations. One singular effort at this has been by the housekeeper of Casino Hotel on Wellingdon Island. Anish Joseph has made Xmas trees, wreaths, baubles and lights with waste material that the hotel accumulates over days. Recycling waste is an idea whose time has come, believes the 28-year-old from Kannur.

The hotel entrance charms with paper ball lights. The porch is an eye-catching canopy of used plastic bottle domes and rolled paper stars. The lobby has a magnificent beer bottle Xmas tree where 288 bottles stand in a pyramid deck formation, light bouncing off their glassy green surfaces. Cardboard stars and dried Banyan leaves are painted in golden shades and arranged artistically. Pine wood strips cut from cake boards are arranged in formations on walls with attractively painted sawdust balls. A paper ball chandelier catches one’s breath!

These wonders made from waste are organic, earthy and fascinating. “Actually it is easy to do this, but it is time consuming,” says Anish who took two weeks and the help of four to five housekeeping staff from the hotel to make the decorations.

The hotel also involved the community and approached Raksha School for Special Children to join in. Anish taught the teachers the craft and the children went about it with “ease and fun”. It all began last year, recollects Anish when the GM of the hotel, George Joseph mooted the idea. “But last year it was a small affair but a success. So this year I thought of ideas where I could insert light bulbs into the decorations to make them glow.” So Anish put mind and skill together and made the plastic bottle dome as a sample.

It was immediately appreciated and so he began work on a large scale. In two weeks he with his team executed the concept. “Earlier we used to spend about Rs. 50,000 into buying decorations now, we need only about Rs. 5,000 for glue, twine, stapler and pins,” he says, pleased at the savings this approach has brought in.

As a child, Anish actively participated in Onam and Christmas festivities, but this recycling concept, he says, was totally new to him. It was an idea that enthralled him and he began to think seriously about it. Today an inspired Anish has created wonderful decorations from waste.