1. Use LED Lights
For your green Christmas, start by using LEDs. These small Light Emitting Diodes use 80% less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Look for the Energy Star seal for ones with the highest energy efficiency rating.
2. Limit Lighting
Turn Christmas trees on only when you’re in the room to enjoy them. Also, make sure to turn outside decorations off before you go to bed at night, or put them on a timer.
3. Send E-Cards
Replace snail mail cards and letters with e-cards and e-mails to save paper and mailing expenses. Not only is this great for a green Christmas but it can be used all year round. This will also reduce your carbon footprint since it eliminates the fuel used for transporting standard mail (not to mention the manufacturing process for the cards). Win-Win-Win!
4. Shop Online
Rather than burning gas driving around searching for that perfect Christmas present, shop online instead! Not only can you find (and buy) locally, but you can do it from the convenience and comfort of your living room. Etsy is great for this!
5. Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping
If you have to buy gift wrap, make sure it’s made from recycled materials. You can also make your own gift wrap from cloth, burlap and other materials. Of course, always make sure to save wrapping paper and bags from gifts you receive to use the next year.
6. Get a real Christmas Tree
I bet you didn’t expect this one when you were thinking you wanted a green Christmas… Visit a local Christmas tree farm and cut down your own tree. Not only is it a fun family activity, but many experts believe artificial trees actually have a greater negative environmental impact when all aspects of their life cycle are considered. Earth911 has a great article on this!
7. Make Natural Decorations
Rather than buying plastic ornaments, wreaths, and decorations shipped from overseas, make your own from pine cones, holly, seashells, river stones, and evergreen branches. Makes for a great activity to do with the kids too!
8. Recycle Decorations
Make sure your green Christmas ends on a good note! After the holidays, be sure to recycle your Christmas tree and other natural decorations rather than sending them to the landfill. Most cities do this now but Today’s Homeowner can bring you up to speed on this.
9. Meal Ideas
The family meal is a time to connect and celebrate. Here are some tips to help make the experience even more enjoyable by showing your support your local farmers and making sure your family has the healthiest options posible:
- Choose as much organic and free-range produce as possible;
- Choose a heritage turkey or grass-fed, organically raised roast;
- Choose organic fruits and vegetables when possible;
- Choose local fruits and vegetables when possible.
10. Decorating for Meals
For a Centrepiece, create it from natural elements such as pine wreaths and beeswax candles. Bring nature indoors!
Also, make sure to skip the disposables! Bring out the fine china, utensils and cloth napkins! Make your meal as special as your family is 🙂