While we all wish for a White Christmas it would be even better if we had a “Green Christmas.” There are so many ways to be earth friendly all year long and during the holidays you can make a big impact by doing a few small things. From Christmas trees, to holiday lights, wrapping paper to food there are plenty of ways you can make your holiday Green.
I love to see the twinkling of holiday lights and can’t convince myself to get rid of them altogether but I can buy LED lighting for my Christmas tree and other holiday decorating. Even if you have to purchase new lights most people save an average of $50 on their electric bills during one season. Not only will I save money but also I’ll alleviate some of my concerns of burning the house down because LED’s are less likely to start a fire. Switching to LED’s can make a big impact without too much effort or expense.
We could make big strides if people decided to cut down on gift buying for Christmas. We’d use less fuel driving from store to store and emissions could be reduced by not delivering all of those gifts. We could buy American made products, fair trade items and only shop at green businesses but that isn’t very easy. We could just make a donation to a favorite charity for a gift recipient but every year we end up purchasing gifts so the least we can do is to wrap the gifts with Green in mind.
Every year tons of wrapping paper is bought and thrown into the garbage can to sit in landfills and die a slow death. There is recycled gift paper out there but will you take the time to recycle it again? If not then consider the many alternatives to using wrapping paper. A brown paper bag can be decorated nicely, newspapers, old maps, re-usable gift bags, fabric or even a pillow case can make an attractive gift wrap. Other ideas include giving a container as a gift and then filling it with smaller gifts. Laundry baskets, waste baskets, recycling bins, wicker baskets, roaster pans, baby bath tubs, a suitcase, a rubber maid container and many other items work well for this purpose. Pick a fun theme and no one will even remember the gift wasn’t wrapped with paper.
What about all of those Christmas cards you get each year? I know I am guilty of sending glossy pictures, full sheet letters and I receive a bunch every year. While it would be nice to just send an email Christmas card there’s something magical about getting real mail at Christmas time. This year I decided to cut down on the amount of paper I use and am going to send out a postcard instead of the traditional full page letter. I figure people can find out what I’m doing on an almost daily basis by reading my blog or checking my status on Facebook. I have stacks of old Christmas cards that I have cut up to use as postcards themselves. I’m doubtful I’ll ever get around to using all of them but in the meantime I can use them as gift tags.
When it comes to a Christmas tree nothing could be greener than a real tree. Real trees are a renewable resource that help the environment and are 100 percent recyclable. No dangerous chemicals are used in the production of the tree and they don’t end up in landfills after years of use. An artificial tree may sound like a good idea at first but it isn’t a green one.
When it comes to the holiday meal a person could buy free range, organic or all natural food, but what do those terms really mean. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a moose roast with hand harvested wild rice, vegetables from the garden and fresh blueberry pie? Unfortunately that won’t be possible for many people but by cutting back on the amount of food bought, prepared and wasted a person can make a difference. Every year tons of food is thrown out to end up in the landfills. This year make an effort to prepare less food and use leftovers. Package extra food up and freeze it, send it home with guests or bring some to a single neighbor to enjoy so it doesn’t just end up in the garbage. If you aren’t already composting then during the holidays would be a great time to start.
There are some simple things every one can do to make this Christmas more Green. While you don’t have control over the weather to make it a white Christmas you do have control over how Green your Christmas will be. I am dreaming of a Green Christmas, how about you?