Christmas is evolving for me. As a child and young adult it was all about the gifts of course, and now that I have children of my own its changing… I want to create traditions more based on family, giving and earth friendly ways. By showing our children when they are young they can carry these values with them through life. Here’s a little list of some of my favorite ideas for having a Green Christmas. Happy Holidays to all!
1. Look for locally made gifts, or gifts from recycled materials – Support our local businesses and communities and reduce environmental impact.
2. Give ‘battery-free’ gifts – According to the EPA, about 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Discarded batteries are an environmental hazard. Even rechargeable batteries find their way into the waste stream eventually. .
3. Give away a few items prior to Christmas– Do you really need all those toys for your children? Show them what it means to have less and to show them the spirit of giving.
4. Connect with Nature – perhaps a new tradition…. A family hike after gifts are opened, or a decorate a tree for birds. Perhaps pine cones with peanut butter and seeds turned into holiday treats!
5. Reduce your Exterior Xmas lights – We grow up being excited about the house on the block with the most lights. Why not show your kids that moderate is earth friendly and there are lots of ways to decorate without consuming energy. Paper snowflakes in the window seen all day long! Or alternatively using LED lights and only having them on after dark.
6. Buy a live potted tree – Although plastic trees are “expected to last forever” studies have shown they wear and tear and then after only a few years are tossed in the landfill forever. Potted live trees can be used for several years and then planted later or turned in to mulch. Most communities have free chipping service.
7. Homemade Cards – Store bought are elegant but expensive. Why not try homemade this year? Keep cards from last year, and with a handy little helper you would be surprised what wonderful, thoughtful and much appreciated cards they will come up with.
8. Recycled Gift Wrap – Whether its kids art, calendars, newspaper or last years wrapping paper. Half the paper that we consumer annually comes from wrapping and decorating consumer products.
9. Not all gifts need to be store bought – Homemade gifts or the gift of an event ticket or a special outing for your little one is just as special if not more.
10. Eat Healthy – promote unprocessed or GMO free foods. Buy local and look for free range organic turkeys. Love the holiday favorites? Try making them at home and avoid all those unnecessary additives and preservatives.