Can you have a greener Christmas: some do's and don't's


By Shauna Summers

Cutting down trees is a key element to some families’ holiday season which is contrary to the type of Green Christmas that is good for our trees. I jotted down a few suggestions that could help each of us make the holiday season a little healthier for Mother Earth as well as our pocketbooks. Check out the lists:

  • Shop local when you can and avoid the long lines at the big box stores
  • Craft your own Christmas gifts (up-cycling counts!).  Sew, cook, bath balls, or get creative and make a tiny terrarium or Christmas decoration.
  • Alternative Christmas trees include: a potted live Christmas tree, an artificial tree, decorate a large potted pine plant (not tree)
  • Don’t buy new, buy vintage and reduce your footprint!
  • Give your kids something to do on break AND get rid of old stuff → let the kiddo’s (at church or at home) make tree garland by cutting up old Christmas cards in triangles and gluing them over yarn.
  • Turn your lighted Christmas items on and off when you can’t enjoy them; or get a timer.
  • Burn clean! Buy candles made from beeswax, soy or vegetable wax which won’t release toxins and make your house smell wonderful!
  • Avoid wasteful purchases of things you or others don’t need
  • Don’t use or buy wrapping paper -- some Christmas wrapping paper isn’t recyclable! Instead, make a basket/bucket/container part of the gift and cover it with cute cotton fabric that is recyclable (or reusable by the recipient)
  • Check out antique stores, Goodwill or eBay to find great deals on unique and unusual items for friends and family, like vintage dishes, pottery, retro outerwear, and jewelry. You’ll also be saving money and reducing your carbon footprint at the same time!
  • Don’t burn candles with paraffin which are derived from petroleum, they release toxins into your environment - yuck!