Holiday Gingerbread Houses Become Eco-Friendly Creations

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When 11-year-old Aubrey Gehle found out she won first place overall in the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center”s 2nd Annual Sustainable Gingerbread House Competition, she compared the overwhelming feeling to Christmas morning.

“This is my Christmas right here!”# Gehle said.  “I am just so surprised because I”ve never won such a big award before.”#

As part of its December Green Holiday Program, the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center hosted the Sustainable Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit. Architects of all ages crafted environmentally friendly houses out of edible materials that highlighted sustainability and green building design. Bird seed, dog biscuits and peanut butter were a few materials used to create at least three sustainable building elements, such as solar panels, rain barrels, green roofs or windmills.

Each of the gingerbread houses showcased their own unique features and taste, including smart cars, baby animals and even a fully furnished, three-story mansion. Gehle used her favorite subject, birds, as her inspiration, creating an edible house that her flighted friends could enjoy long after she claimed her first place prize. “I was thinking about birds and how most of them are migrating and there”s scarce food in the winter,” she said.

The gingerbread creations will be on display at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center for the rest of December. For more information on the contest or environmentally friendly elements you can incorporate in your home, visit gwinnettehc.org.