Green living extends to the holiday season as easily as it does to the other times of the year. Consumers who want to celebrate with a green holiday can start by eliminating excess during the season. Unpack the holiday supplies and decorations and take inventory before spending any money on holiday items you already have.
Make your own wrapping paper from brown or white paper bags. Carve a holiday stamp in a potato or apple, cut open the paper bags, ink up the stamp, and add the design.
Replace nongreen materials with recycled materials. Pack gifts with air-popped popcorn instead of Styrofoam. Replace bubble wrap with tissue paper or magazine pages to protect gifts. Skip tree tinsel and other foil or plastic decorations.
Reduce fossil fuel consumption. Send gift cards to long-distance relatives rather than heavy packages, which will use less fossil fuels than transporting boxes. Plan holiday gatherings close to home, and carpool to the homes of relatives.
Replace old tree and outdoor bulbs with LED lights, which use less energy. Limit the number of hours you keep them turned on with a timer, and be sure to turn them off before going to bed. You could also opt out of using lights during the holidays.
Give green gifts such as battery chargers and rechargeable batteries. Buy battery-free gifts like books, arts and crafts, and musical instruments. Give old items new life by gifting people with vintage items. Re-gift unused items or children’s clothing that was never worn.
Go for a real tree, preferably one that can be replanted, instead of an artificial tree that could contain lead or be made with polyvinyl chloride. The best option is one from a tree farm, where the trees are cut only after a customer picks one. Recycle or replant the tree properly after the holidays.
Buy locally grown produce for the holiday meal to support local agriculture and farmers. Order baked goods from local bakeries rather than grocery store bakeries, which often receive their baked goods frozen via a large truck. Consider ordering the holiday turkey or ham from a local butcher.
Send holiday greetings electronically. Use a social networking site, email, or send a group text message from your phone. Keep a holiday newsletter tradition alive by creating an electronic version and email it instead of printing it.
- Do not stress about doing everything green for the holidays.