Go Green this Holiday Season

The Christmas holiday season means festive parties, elaborate decorations and presents under the tree. Post-Christmas season means cleaning up the gift wrapping, throwing away the tree and packing up the decorations. If you take a more eco-friendly vision into your decorating and party planning you can enjoy the holidays while reducing your environmental footprint.

Having a live tree adds a wonderful pine smell and adds authenticity to your home. Since most trees are grown on farms for the express purpose of Christmas it isn’t an environmental no-no to have one since you’re not taking it from nature. If you prefer something a little more unique but still ecologically sound try going with a recycled cardboard tree.  They are a great conversation starter and many designs look very cool. You can also do an herb tree. Use a potted rosemary plant to provide a rich, fragrant aroma without killing trees. A double bonus is it’s edible so even after the holidays you can keep the tree for fresh seasoning.

If you do a live tree, you have to consider how to get rid of it properly after Christmas. If your city doesn’t have a recycling program for trees, do it yourself. Take it to a recycling yard where it can be turned into wood chips and mulch for landscaping. This is a great, natural way to turn a cut tree into something positive.

When it comes to décor, conserve energy by using LED lights. You can save energy by keeping the lights on for a shorter period of time. LED candles are also becoming a big hit. They are made of real wax and flicker in the same way as a real candle but with no messy, melted wax and no fire hazard concern. They are better for air quality too.

For present time, get creative with your presentation. Use recycled Christmas cards. Many greeting card companies now offer recycled paper cards, or send an e-card as a paperless way of sending holiday wishes. Wrapping paper for gifts are now being done on recycled paper as well. Or use your own recycled paper. Take the coloured comics page and wrap a kid’s gift in that. It’s bright, colourful and fun for people to look at and read the funnies while trying to figure out what’s inside.

So enjoy the holiday season and have a little environmental awareness at the same time.

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