Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, green needs to be the color of the season in more ways than just the Christmas tree. The holiday season adds millions of tons of extra garbage to the landfills, not to mention the exorbitant amount of electricity that gets used and the chopping down of trees.
Finding ways to create a holiday celebration that is eco-friendly is really not just a choice anymore, it’s the most responsible and ethical act we should all be adopting at least to some degree. With a little creativity and change of mindset it isn’t too hard to take a few steps to try and do your part in minimizing the impact as much as possible.
Here’s a few ideas to get your started on your green holiday.
Use LED Christmas lights
Decorate the tree without bulbs. String cranberries, popcorn, nuts or pinecones for color.
Get a small ceramic Christmas tree.
Make your own card or send an electronic one.
Recycle your Christmas tree or buy one in a pot that can be planted.
Decorate a tree that is already in your yard. If you’re a bird lover, you can cover the tree with things the birds will love like nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Then you’ll have pleasure that is three-fold, a beautiful tree, the act of giving to the birds and the joy of watching the birds delight in your gift.
Wrap your gifts with newspapers, paperbags, aluminum foil or pages from a magazine.
Another green holiday wrapping alternative is to buy a beautiful piece of cloth, it can then be reused next year. Fabric shops have a variety of fabric with holiday themes. You can use the cloth as purchased or sew it into different shapes to fit the gift you have in mind.
Baskets can also be used in place of wrapping. Baskets come in all different types, sizes and shapes and can be reused year after year. The basket itself can serve as a gift as well.
Green Holiday Gifts
Give gift certificates for groceries or clothes from Gaiam Organics or Diamond Organics or other similar online store.
Reusable nylon grocery bags or the organic cotton canvas bags
Organic clothes or socks
Gift certificate to the local health food store
Give services like a massage, acupuncture, nutritional consultation, chiropractic adjustment or yoga instead of material goods.
Buy organic fair trade chocolate without sugar.
Organic towels or napkins
Wooden toys for children
Organic fruit and nut basket. The fruit and nuts will be eaten and the basket can be used for something else, so there is no excess to be thrown away.
Consider regifting – giving away something that you don’t use.
By incorporating a few green holiday gifts and practices into our celebrations, it’s a great way to honor, celebrate and give to our ultimate mother – the Earth.
Unfortunately, the real meaning of the holidays has gotten lost in the shuffle of greed and excess. The most important aspect for having a happy holiday is found in giving simple kindness to others and spending time with those we love.