The holiday season is a time of sharing and giving, and what better way to give to everyone on your list and in the world than to take eco conscious steps to make the world a bit more green during the season of never ending green and red. The good news is that it is easy to go green with the Christmas spirit; here are a few suggestions.
#1 Plant a Tree Getting a Christmas tree is one of the most precious times of the holiday season, and for many people it is steeped in family tradition. Many people think that an artificial tree is a good way to be eco-friendly, but really that is not necessarily the case. First of all, artificial trees are usually made with petroleum products and a lot of chemical processing. And eventually when they do start to age and droop they are not recyclable or compostable, and thus take up landfill space. Not very merry.
The absolute best way to green your Christmas tree is to purchase a living evergreen in a pot of dirt. You can purchase trees like this at any large home center for very reasonable prices and in a variety of sizes. By purchasing a potted Christmas tree you are able to plant it after the holiday ends, adding to the beauty of the world.
You may be thinking to yourself that this only works in warm climates, but nothing could be further from the truth. Even if you live in a northern part of the country you can plant your live tree. All you do is plan ahead and dig the hole before the ground freezes; dig a hole about twice as wide as the container will be. Then, take your tree – in its pot – into the house for the holiday and decorate to your heart’s content. When Christmas is over, take the tree outside, remove it from the pot and put it in the hole and throw some fresh dirt around it. The tree will immediately go dormant (if it even had come out). Do not be surprised if the tree gets a little brown come summer. This may even last for a year or two; do not panic. Just wait it out and within three years the tree will take and you’ll have a beautiful, live tree in your yard. Do this every year and your family could have a forest of past Christmas memories… literally.
#2 Out with the Old in an Earth Friendly Way One way to go green and to make room for Santa’s big bag of toys is to clean out your child’s toys and donate them to charity. Old toys can take on new life in the hands of another child, and your house will stay less cluttered and more jolly.
#3 Reuse and Recycle Your Tannenbuam If a potted tree is too small for you or you simply can’t imagine planting in the winter, then be sure to recycle your live Christmas tree. There are a number of ways to do this. One way is to put your tree out with the yard waste where it can be chopped for mulch. Another way is to give it to a friend who has a farm; goats and other farm animals love to munch on and play on old Christmas trees!
#4 Send an eWish Christmas cards are fun, but let’s be honest – who uses snail mail anymore? Save paper and money by sending your holiday wishes electronically. There are many online companies who offer free ecard services.
#5 Twinkle in LED Style As your lovely holiday light strands start to lose their spark, replace them with the long lasting beautiful glow of LED lights. These use less energy and last so much longer. And they are not that much more expensive.
#6 Take a Sleigh Ride Staycation A lot of people travel over the holiday season, and of course this gas simply adds to ozone depletion and greenhouse gasses. So this year, try a staycation with your family, a vacation where you stay home. Look for local activities, take sleigh rides in the yard – find fun without using gas.
#7 Recycle in Style Try not to make more landfill waste. This can be done by choosing gifts with less disposable packaging, and also finding creative ways to use packaging and wrapping paper. Save your wrapping paper for wrapping small, future gifts, for scrapbooking and for card making. With a little crafting creativity you can really make a green holiday season.