Making your Christmas a Little Greener!
The most wonderful time of year is just around the corner! Christmas is one of those holidays that seems to be filled with cheer and happiness whether you’re celebrating with the whole family or just having a small gathering. With everyone sitting around the table drinking eggnog and eating holiday ham, it’s a great time to be surrounded by loved ones and indulge in those holiday traditions. Yet, it’s easy to get stressed out with last minute present shopping and decorating when you really want to relax and watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas. But with a little planning and research, we’ve compiled a few tips for you to keep your Christmas green.
LED Holiday Lights:
LED lights require much less energy to burn for a longer (and brighter) period of time than traditional holiday bulbs. With lower prices and an ever-growing variety of styles (warm lights, different colors and those that flicker in specific patterns), you’ll be saving an extra few bucks on your energy bill while contributing to a truly green (and red and blue and orange) Christmas. If you’re ready to take it one step further, visit your local hardware store and buy a few light timers. You can connect them to your Christmas tree and decorations and set a time for them to switch on and off while you’re away at work or during the day when the lights won’t be visible. It will save you a few extra minutes in the morning and by the time you come home, the house will already be lit up and waiting for you.
Whether you’ve made your list and checked it twice or are waiting until the day before to get your shopping done (it’s okay, we all been there), make your gift giving a little less stressful this year by setting some rules for yourself. While Christmas is the season to go big or go home, it can also be a time to really think about what your loved ones need (and want). Rather than spending all that money on presents that could just end up in the closet, consider doing an activity with your loved ones by teaching them to make something (such as knitting or baking). Support your community by shopping for locally made gifts that add those special touches. If you’re indecisive set a one gift rule where you can spend a bit more. If you’re on more of a budget this year, create a price limit of how much you and your loved ones can spend for each other so that no one feels overshadowed if they just can’t go that extra mile. Christmas is all about the spirit of giving and you don’t need to be Santa bringing the most gifts home!
Santa’s going to need to put all those presents somewhere so make your holiday season as green as the tree you’ll be putting up whether you’re going the real tree vs artificial tree route. While artificial trees may last you longer, real trees can serve the community once you’re done with them. If you’re buying a smaller tree, plant it in a large pot and you’ll be able to reuse it for a few years to come without having to re-pot it. You can also recycle the tree once you’re done with it at a local recycling area or just check dates for collection and drop off. Recycling your tree will give it a second life from generating electricity to preventing beachfront erosion. Have your tree chipped and mucked which can be used for landscaping or sold at a low cost to gardeners.
If you’re opting out of using a real tree, consider making your own. Websites such a Pinterest provide many great DIY alternatives if you’re feeling creative this year. From seashells to flowers to trees made out of gift wrapped boxes, bring your loved ones together for a festive and creative day.
The best part of Christmas is opening up those presents in the morning – however, wrapping paper may be the biggest culprit and contributor to Christmas waste. Consider going light on the tape and using ribbons to really tie the gift together, making the gift-wrap reusable for years to come. There are also a variety of other options you can use besides the traditional wrapping paper. Newspapers, maps, scarves, twine, old tablecloths and fabric swatches are all options that with a little bit of flair can be just as festive as the traditional snowflake and penguin print gift wrap.