Between the mass consumerism, wrapping paper, christmas cards, and decorations Christmas is one of the harshest holidays on the environment. But don’t let that squander your holiday spirit. We’ve got five tips to help you have a holly, jolly, green Christmas…
1. Shop Local and Support Small Business
Every year consumers are opting to shop locally and support small business over their corporate counterparts. According to a Forbes article small business make up 3/4 of America’s total businesses and only half survive five years or more. By supporting small business your supporting the prosperity and innovation of the country. Small business recycle more of their revenue back into the local economy and bring more life to your communities.
2. Christmas Trees
It’s arguable that real trees are more eco-friendly than fake trees. Fake trees are made up of petroleum products, using up resources in production and shipping, and ending up in our landfills. It is estimated that 30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. a year and 250 tonnes of them were thrown out after the hoidays, all of which could have been recycled. Recycled trees are used for everything from generating electricity to wood chippings. To locate Christmas tree recycling centers and services in your neighborhood, type in your ZIP code at Earth 911
3. Cloth or Recycled Wrapping Paper
Think of all the waste that comes from something such as wrapping paper. Our favorite alternative using a nice scarf to wrap up those smaller gifts; wrapping your present with a present. Check out BOBO (http://www.bobowrap.com/) wrapping scarves made specifically for this purpose. Newspapers and magazines are also great options. You can personalize it even more by cutting out articles and pictures that you think the other will like.
4. Light Decorations
Driving through your local neighborhoods to view homes dressed in holiday lighting is a tradition practiced by many families. There’s ways you can save energy without having to risk losing your place in the line up of best christmas lighting. Upgrade your lighting supply with LED and other low-energy Christmas lights. Save energy by putting a timer on your lights so they turn on and off at certain times. No more forgetting to turn the lights off before bed.
5. Re-usable Cards
Think of the times you’ve received store bought cards then think of those home made cards you’ve received. I don’t know about you but I’ve always treasured homemade cards much more than store bought. Not only will it make the receiver feel special but you’ll be saving resources and money—win-win.
- Last years calendar, with their heavier paper, make for a great card alternative.
- Repurpose old Christmas cards by cutting them into small shapes and using them as gift tags.
BONUS Family Activities
- Decorate the trees around your house and feed the birds at the same time with pine cones filled with peanut butter and seeds.
- Family nature hikes will create more memories than sitting on the couch watching television. Walking stimulates creative thinking and good conversation.
- Visit your local shelter or sanctuary, spending time with animals has proven to boost serotonin and increase the likelihood of the little ones being more involved in animal conservation.
3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18/green-christmas-tips-ideas-eco- friendly_n_2318448.html?slideshow=true#gallery/270371/5
Written by: Brittany Parker