Christmas does not have to be hard on the environment. There are many ways that you and your family can help save the environment and still celebrate Christmas as usual.
1. Energy efficiency
When you're away from home, turn those lights off and unplug any and all power strips. You should do this outside of the holiday season anyway but if you didn't then start now. Your wallet will thank you and so will the environment. Use LED lights instead of regular lights because they use 95% less energy. Turn off your displays when you go to sleep.
Also, before leaving the house to run errands, sit down and make a list of everything you want to do and where to go and what to get. Doing this will help you make less trips to the store for one of two items and will also keep you less stressed because you'll know what you need and where to go. If possible, walk to the stores. Depending on your location, turn your thermostat a little colder or hotter to save energy and money. If you burn a fireplace, turn the thermostat even lower for heat or just turn it off all together.
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2. Gift Wrap
You don't have to use traditional wrapping paper when you wrap presents. You can use scarves, cloth, t-shirts, magazine and newspapers and so much more. Be creative! If it is done right then it can be really pretty and elegant. Also, if you use a scarf or something similar it is just another part of the gift that can be used!
If you do chose to use traditional wrapping paper, try and use less tape. If you're going to wrap your present with a bow then leave out the tape all together! Use the ribbon to keep your paper together. Also, avoid glossy foil and metallic papers because they contain a large amount of metals in them and are difficult to recycle. If you receive a gift with bows. keep the bows and reuse them the next year! Your wallet will thank you for this when you don't have to buy bows. Reuse your gift bags too. Use tie on tags to make it possible for others to reuse them as well. That way the tags can be easily removed with out damaging the bag. Or you can do what I am doing and cut out the wrapping all together! Have everyone sit down and close their eyes as you place their gift in their laps or in front of them and then have them all open their eyes at the same time. If you will be shipping gifts then opt for the biodegradable packing peanuts and environmentally friendly soft foam.
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3. Give Green
You could donate to charity, an environmental organization, a nature conservancy, or you could even give a gift that has been hand crafted or recycled. Maybe even both, handcrafted out of recycled material! If you have children, have them go through their toys and pick 3 toys that they do not use a lot or do not want then donate the toys. This will teach them about giving to the needy, a great lesson and habit for them to learn. Make homemade Christmas cards. The amount of Christmas cards sold during the holiday season takes the harvesting of 300,000 trees. There are lots of ways to make your own Christmas cards just as beautiful as the ones you bought, and they'll mean more to the ones you give them to. Pinterest has got you covered.
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For more ways to stay green through the holidays click here.
You can also recycle old fake trees. Most metal recycling plants will accept them. There are so many more ways you can stay green throughout the season and long after. Wishing you a wonderful, green festive season. Pass these tips on and get the whole family involved for a an even greener season!