5 Ways to Go Green for the Holidays

christmasstockimages.com 2.jpgThe holidays bring the spirit of giving.  Why not extend those glad tidings to the earth we all share, by shifting to eco-friendly alternatives to your holiday trimmings? Going green doesn’t mean you have to give up your very favorite parts of the holiday ~ have your turkey and by all means decorate for the season.  Consider, however, eco- friendly options to your holiday festivities.

To get you started, check out these 5 ways to go green for the holidays:

Tinsel and Tissue ~Wrapping Paper Alternatives
1. Recycle gift bags. Get a heavy duty plastic one, decorate it to make it special and use it from year to year.
2. Wrap presents in something re-useable. For instance, if you have out of town guests, present their gift in a promotional cloth bag from a tourist attraction where you live. Two different family members from overseas did this for us and we think of them fondly every time we use the bags.
3. Go retro or vintage and use brown paper bags and colorful ribbon to complete your packaging.

Tree – Real or Artificial?
4. Here’s a question ~ buy a cut “real” tree or use an artificial tree? While the dilemma rages on, with solid pros and cons on either side, one way to side-step the debate is to purchase a live tree with the root ball attached.

Keep in mind, for homes with standard ceiling heights,  your tree will have to be smaller (3 – 4 feet high) than you may be used to because you will have to account for the height of the root ball.

Even if you do not have a yard of your own to plant the tree once the holiday season is over, purchasing a live tree may still be a good option. You can sell or give away your tree to one of any number of happy recipients. To find your tree a new home, check with your local parks departments, landscapers, golf courses, schools, churches or maybe someone you know personally. Read here for more detailed information on whether a live tree is a good choice for you.

Happy Holiday Cards or E-Card Wishes?
5. 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States. That’s enough to fill a landfill the size of a football field 10 stories high. While it may be lovely to receive your card and note from Aunt Suzy and Uncle Bill detailing their trip out West. Wouldn’t you feel just as special, if you received an e-card with a personalized note? Maybe others would feel just as special if you did the same.

Even if others still are in the sending cards mode, you can still be green. Rather than tossing all the cards at the end of the season, think of a creative way to re-use them… perhaps, for next year’s decorations.

So, now you have a number of ideas to get started. Hopefully this has sparked your creativity and you find yourself having a joyfully merry and very green holiday.

 Image Credit: Christmasstockimages.com