How to Make Your Christmas a Little Greener
With all the talk about people, towns, and businesses "going green", you may wonder what you can do to make your Christmas a little more environmentally friendly. Having a green Christmas does not mean changing everything. By making a few simple adjustments, you can streamline the preparations and eliminate tons of holiday trash.
Alternatives to Buying Real Trees
Think about your tree. If you normally buy a live cut tree, skip that this year. Invest in an artificial tree that is made from recycled materials. It will last for years and you help prevent materials from ending up in landfills.
For the creative type, make your own tree using things that you have around the house. For example, fold chicken wire into a cone shape and weave in clippings from the backyard shrubs you were going to clip anyway.
If you must have a live tree, buy one with the roots intact and plant it after the holiday is over.
Rethink Your Choice of Lights
Stay away from incandescent lights. Go with the LED versions instead. They use only a fraction of the power needed for the incandescents, and will last more years to boot.
Make Your Own Ornaments
Create your own ornaments. Why buy new ones when you can cut images out of your old Christmas cards and hang them on the tree? Gather pine cones and tie three together with wire, then spray paint them silver, gold or any color you like. Work in cut branches of red berries and paint magnolia leaves for a dramatic effect. When coupled with the ornaments you already have, these elements will give your tree a whole new look.
Get Creative with the Gift Wrap
Have some fun with the wrapping. Instead of gift bags and printed wrapping paper, dig out those old brown grocery bags. Use colored markers or stamps to create one of a kind designs for the gift wrap. The paper is sturdy and can be cut to any size you need. Instead of ribbons, go with fresh springs of mistletoe, small pine cones tied with string, or any other natural element you have around the house.
Finding Treasures in the Oddest Places
Get creative with the choice of gifts. Who says a gift has to be new in order to be cherished? Visit thrift shops, yard sales and second-hand bookstores for gifts that do not place an additional drain on our limited resources. You can find everything from clothing that still has the manufacturer tags to out of print books that will delight any book collector.
People First Gifts Second
Forget about rampant consumerism. Christmas is not about who gets the most or the biggest gifts. Focus your attention less on what is under the tree and more on spending time with loved ones, reminding yourself of the religious foundation for the holiday, and doing something for those less fortunate. You will create good memories to take into the New Year, and not have a bunch of stuff that is relegated to the back of the hall closet by the end of January.
Some Last Minute Tips
Just about every location around the world has some natural elements that can be incorporated into Christmas. Look around and see what you can find in your area. You may be surprised at what you find.
If this is your first attempt to "green up" Christmas, don't feel you have to do everything in the first year. Pick one or two ways to make the holiday more environmentally friendly, perhaps starting with making your own tree or buying one that can be replanted. You can always add a couple more ideas next year and the year after that.
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/holly-tree-houx-stechpalme-holly-1030595/ by JosepMonter