A White Christmas with a ‘Green’ theme

So, it is the first day of the big month! So I thought that it would be okay to say something about the holiday season….

Christmas is the time to be caring and kind. Unfortunately, our enthusiasm to show our appreciation for our friends and family often causes us to forget about the health of our planet. In order to help you enjoy the season while being considerate of the natural environment we have a few ideas to help you make your holidays ‘green’. Many of these tips will also save you money!

1) Decorate a potted tree or an indoor house plant. The majority of the purchased evergreen trees come from farms where they are grown with pesticides and fertilizers; additionally these trees are rarely enjoyed for more than a few weeks and then discarded. Purchase an evergreen tree in a pot that can be planted or decorate an ornamental indoor tree or shrub.

2) Use creativity to wrap your gifts- Traditionally the aftermath of Christmas gift giving resembles a hurricane in a paper factory. Invariably a majority of this paper ends up in the dump or using up valuable energy to recycle the fiber. Wrap your gifts in something useful, perhaps another gift such as a towel, sweater etc. or put it into a basket or cloth reusable bag. You could also make your own wrapping from comics, calendars, magazines, wall paper etc.

3) Buy locally and organically produced food for your Christmas dinner, and serve your meals on reusable dishes (instead of disposable) and use cloth napkins.

4) Buy gifts that are useful such as: environmentally conscious gifts (bike, rain barrel, reusable water bottle etc.), experiences (retreat packages, sports tickets, gift certificates etc.).

5) Create your own Christmas decorations from recycled materials (tin foil, paper rolls etc.) or natural materials (birch bark, cranberries etc.)

6) Reuse last years Christmas cards by cutting off the side that has writing on it- especially great for gift tags.

7) Make your own gifts. There are lots of great ideas just use your creativity; a batch of homemade cookies, a jar of jam or chutney, knit a hat or scarf, make a suet ball etc.

8) Ask for the gift of clean air. Offset the CO2 you create during your Christmas travel by asking people to purchase you emission reduction credits.

9) Instead of exchanging gifts at a Christmas party why not use the money you would spend on material items to make a donation to an agreed upon charity.

10) Share unwanted gifts! Instead of creating more waste in a landfill site why not donate your presents to a local charity shop or have an unwanted gift swap with friends who might appreciate your gifts.

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