Once Thanksgiving is over, Christmas hits us in every store, street and even on the television. One of the biggest trends in America, going green, is being implemented even more through the holidays. This Christmas there are several things you can do under the tree and around the house that will help our environment.
Below are some helpful tips for reducing your carbon footprint this Christmas.
When you’re about to string up your home with Christmas lights you can reduce your carbon footprint by using LED lights. These lights are 90 percent more efficient than incandescent lights. In addition, LED lights do not get as hot as traditional lights, and when one goes out, the rest of the strings stays lit.
You can also set a timer for lights in and outside of your house. This way you can still enjoy them all day and go to bed with the tree lit up, but they can power off while you are sleeping, or at work.
A live Christmas tree evokes the season with it’s pine fresh smell. Organic tree farms are becoming more common too. If you choose to go with a live tree you still get the experience of picking it out, enjoying its natural smells and you can replant it after the Christmas season. If you don’t want to plant it in your yard you can chop it up because it’s biodegradable. It can also be made into compost or wood chips if needed. Did you know that Christmas trees trap more carbon dioxide than other trees?
The Gifts and Gift Wrap
To really divest in the going green spirit you can give experiences - instead of or in addition to some material gifts. This could be a spa day, a massage, a sports game, a nice dinner or anything that creates a memory. Another form of green giving is making the gifts you give. There are so many things, from scarves to soaps to gift baskets, that can be made and may mean a little more than a store bought gift. You can even make the stockings that these items will go in!
Instead of buying numerous wrapping paper rolls all you need to do is turn your paper grocery bags inside out and wrap with those. So many of us have them stored away in our homes anyways, that these make perfect and free wrapping paper. This also allows you to decorate them as you would like - stamps, old Christmas cards or magazine clippings etc. You can get super creative and the presents under your tree won’t look like anyone else’s.
Another green way to use gift wrap is to buy reusable gift bags, these are the cloth ones. These may be initially more expensive, but can be used year after year and don’t need to be recycled.
In addition to the lights, decorate your home with in-season fruit and branches from any of the 35 different kinds of Christmas trees. Decorate or spray paint acorns or pine cones and create a display or center piece. Use live wreathes and fresh garland. Holidays aren’t just about what you see, it’s about the smells too!