Dreaming of a Green Christmas
We know Elvis had a Blue Christmas, and Bing Crosby dreamt of a White Christmas, but we want to help you make yours a Green Christmas.
Buy with purpose
Many people get caught up in the holidays and feel the pressure to buy something for everyone. The old adage is true- it is the thought that counts. Try giving someone an experience rather than a material item or a homemade edible gift. Perhaps an antique would be a good option for someone on your list- there are many hidden gems in antique stores.
Rather than buying a gift for everyone you know, what about simplifying the list and doing a few Secret Santa games where you buy for one specific person?
Look for locally made gifts and shop local too. Craft fairs and artisan shops are a good source for gifts and there aren’t any added costs for transportation from halfway around the world.
When giving gifts to children, do everyone a favour by giving battery free toys. Discarded batteries are an environmental hazard and their parents will thank you. It’s much friendlier to give toys that nurture a child’s creativity – let them make the sounds and movements of the toys. Before Christmas comes, take a look around and recycle any dead batteries lying around your home.
Connect with Nature
A great way to celebrate the season is to embrace the outdoors. Rather than sit inside all day, take a family nature hike to get yourself prepared for the big family meal. See if you can spot different species of wildlife and engage everyone in your family to have a healthy holiday.
It’s always better to give than to receive, so why not give a little Christmas cheer to the bird? Leave out seeds on a tree or pinecones for the birds and give them a little something extra for the winter.
Choose a live tree
Although plastic Christmas trees are reusable from year to year, real trees are the more sustainable choice. While artificial trees can last forever, research shows that they are typically discarded when repeated use makes them less attractive. Discarded artificial trees are then sent to landfills, where their plastic content makes them last forever.
Live trees, on the other hand, are a renewable resource grown on tree farms that are replanted regularly. They contribute to air quality while growing, and almost ninety percent are recycled into mulch. Live trees are usually locally grown and sold, saving both transportation costs and added air pollution. Live trees also smell really good.
Craft with paper goods
Christmas cards can get expensive and while they can be recycled, it’s always better to reduce the amount of waste first. Reuse photos from throughout the year, or maybe images from an old calendar. Think about how you could turn a newspaper clipping into a tree just by cutting it into a tree shape, or a snow scene with a bit of glue and cotton balls. The recipients will appreciate your creativity and your hard work.
Use environmentally friendly wrapping paper that has recycled content, or reuse your gift wrap from previous years. You can find rolls of recycled paper at many stores and you can decorate them with any craft supplies or markers you have at your home. Try to use tape sparingly or not at all. If you are planning to use ribbon or twine, you can hold the wrapping on by tying it around the gift. It also allows the recipient to reuse both the wrapping and the ribbon again.
Reuse / Recycle
We already mentioned reusing your gift wrap from previous years, but what about reusing things around your home to repurpose into Christmas decor? Old clothes can be cut up and sewn into stockings, the bottoms of old plastic bottles make great snowflake ornaments, and last year’s Christmas cards can be repurposed into gift boxes, gift tags, ornaments and garlands.
Consider buying recycled packaging materials from us when you are wrapping your gifts this year. After all of the gifts have been opened, bring by your flattened cardboard boxes, recyclable packaging materials and old electronics that may have been replaced for recycling.
What are your tips to making Christmas Green? Drop by our Facebook page to let us know!