Christmas is still two months away. However, it is not to early to start the preparation to create a greener Christmast. Here are some ideas.
- If you choose to have living tree, buy it from nearby source.
- Chop down your tree yourself should it be possible.
- Make sure about the use of pesticide for your chosen living tree. Choose organic tree which are free from chemical fertilizer as far as possible.
- Buy potted tree with roots still attached. When Christmas is over you can replant it in your garden or donate it to the city park.
- Check if your city has “tree for rent” program.
- Recycle your tree after Christmas season is over. You can compost it for example.
- If you choose to have artificial tree, try to find one produce in your home country. It reduced to cost of associated with shipping and eventually save energy.
- Making own family tree from scrap or recycled materials. It will be great fun for the whole family and the tree will definitely be unique.
- Sending e-card instead of paper card. It can significantly reduce landfill.
- Buy card made of recycled paper. If you have time you can make one yourself.
- Reuse cards you receive. The back of the front of the card is usually still empty, so you can use it to make gift tags or your children can use it for art and craft project.
- Choose LEDs (ligh emitting diodes) instead of incandescent lightning for your Christmas light decoration. It last longer and more energy-efficient and last longer.
- If you live in tropical countries, you can consider using solar-powered lighting.
- Set timer for your lighting decoration to save energy.
- Choose smaller bulb for your lighting decoration.
- Reduce the number and size of lighting display.
- Turn indoor and outdoor lighting display off at bedtime.
- Buy artificial wreath that can be used year every year
- Make your own wreath using shell, fabric remnants, unused part of an item for example used buttons, old accessories, old soda can, etc, anything that you can use around the house. For natural touch you can use handmade garland and leaf.
- Choose plant to decorate the house that can be potted after the holiday such as amaryllis.
- Use natural object for decoration such as pine cones, leaves, ever green branches. All that can be turned into compost. You can also use seasonal fruit decoration that you can eat afterwards such as pomegranates, cranberries and gourds.
- Search around the house to find family items that can be used for decoration such as old ribbons, family photograph, etc.
- Make your own Christmas candle. You can use sites like DIY Network. Alternatively use beeswax or soy based candles.
- Save decoration that can be reused next year.
- Make your own gifts from natural items such as shell, pine cone, etc or other recycled items. You can also give your hand knitting cloth or scarf as gift.
- Choose battery-free gifts.
- When you buy electronics or toys as Christmas gift, choose ones with rechargeable batteries.
- Buy gifts from recycled materials.
- Go for immaterial gifts. For example poem, a song, sporting event tickets, movie tickets, car wash coupon, library membership, free cooking lessons, etc.
- Instead of present you can give home made cookies for your family and friends.
- Instead of buying new items, buy antiques for Christmas gift.
- Buy your gifts at flea markets, local fair or thrift stores.
- As far as possible choose gifts that are locally made. Transportation activities had increased greenhouse emission.
- Whenever possible, avoid wrapping your gifts. Alternatively, you can hide the gifts around the house and set up a game afterward for your children to find the gifts using set of clues. It will be exiting for your children.
- Should wrapping is necessary use old magazine, newspaper, paper bag, used papers or old fabric as wrapping materials.
- Buy wrapping paper printed on recycled paper.
- Use wrapping that can be used for other purposes. For example canvas bag can hold gifts and can also be used for grocery shopping afterwards, tin that can be used and reused as cookie or candies container, etc.
- Keep the bows, wrapping papers to be reused next year. Used large wrapping paper can be reused to wrap smaller gifts.
- Avoid using metallic wrapping paper or glossy foil.
- Avoid using tape whenever possible or used it to the minimum.
- To decorate your gifts, use thing from your junk drawer such as old Christmas light, unused shoelaces to tie around the gift box, old flannel, etc.
- To cushion the contents of your gifts use unshelled peanuts, polyester fill from old pillows or dry pasta instead of plastic bubble wrap.
- When you received gift you don’t need, you can pass it to someone else, but do it with care as not to offend the original giver.
- Send invitation of a Christmas feast by email
- Avoid using disposable glassware and plates whenever possible. Instead you can rent additional tableware when necessary.
- Buy food in bulk.
- Recently, there is tableware made from 100% organically grown bamboo. This merchandise is produced in Vietnam. It provides alternative green tableware for your holiday party.
- Compost leftovers from your Christmas feast.
- Arrange donation activities with your kids when they can donate their old toys.
Go on a family nature activity during the holiday such as mountain hiking, etc.