Kermit the frog claims it isn’t easy being green…but with a little creativity – I think it is! All you need is a fresh set of eyes and an open mind to notice the little things that you can do to make a difference and implement some green christmas ideas this holiday season.
This past year I have found myself on quite a quest to live more simply and leave less of an impact on the environment. Sometimes it can be overwhelming as to where to start, and I am nowhere near perfect – just making a conscious effort through little daily changes!
When my husband and I first got married, I declared that I would never buy a single sheet of gift-wrap for the rest of our lives – quite a bold statement from a gal so young! While I am guilty of purchasing tissue paper from time to time – I still like to get creative in wrapping gifts to save my wallet as well as the trees!
This Christmas our home will be free of store-bought gift-wrap – here are some crafty ideas to save you buying (then throwing away) paper, as well as some other handy hints I’ve compiled for greening up your holiday season.
Decorate a-la-naturale…with cinnamon sticks, pine cones and other delights found out in nature. A popcorn or cranberry garland is also eco-friendly. Get your kids to help decorate, cut up their artwork to hang with ribbons on the tree or to make paper chains with.
Recycle your fresh Christmas tree once you take down the decorations. Rather than taking up space in the landfill, your tree can be ground into wood chips, which can then be used to mulch gardens or parks. Visit this link to find a tree recycling drop-off in your area here
Buy energy effiicent Christmas tree lights such as these.
Don’t know what to do with all those Christmas cards you receive? Chop them up into gift tags for next years gifts! Use a square punch or good old fashioned scissors, tie a ribbon on and there you have it!
If you’re really hard core – say no to Christmas cards and send them electronically instead. Scan in your kids artwork, play around in photoshop to create a cool card that can be enjoyed without the waste. Check out elfyourself.com for a very fun alternative to send your family and friends!
Shred the paper from catalogs to help fill gift boxes and packages – sprinkle some glitter in to snazzy it up a bit!
Switch to cloth napkins instead of paper. Sew your own from cheerful holiday fabrics, or invest in solid color that can be versatile throughout the year. Tie with ribbons, raffia or tinsel to add flair to the table setting.
Save and wash glass jars to cluster together and fill with tealights/small candles for an eclectic, pretty decoration.
Shop for items without excessive packaging.
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Handmake your gifts, or buy handmade on etsy.com.
Shop fair trade, sustainable, organic and other environmentally friendly items. Do an online search for unique gift ideas that are kind to the earth (hemp/organic/bamboo clothing, items made out of recycled goods etc, chemical free etc). Think about where your item has come from and how it was made – make a statement with what you buy.
Consider an “experience” gift rather than a store bought item, for example: gift certificates to a restaurant, zoo passes, movie tickets, indoor rock climbing gym, babysitting vouchers, art classes, a photography session, or the offer to help organize closets or garage, a weeks worth of meals, the use of your vacation home. Much better than that last minute boring pair of socks don’t you think?!
Give the gift of the nature! Buy someone a pass to state or national parks and help support the environment as well as a gift that can be enjoyed all. Picnic or camping equipment could be combined with the pass for an awesome family gift!
Give a donation gift to someone in need on the recipients behalf. There are tons of great websites to do there, here are a few to get you started…
Use alternative to wrapping paper – part of the gift as the wrap for example tuck a treat inside socks, scarves, dishtowels, blanket etc. Get creative with what you have at home – newspaper, fabric, leftover brown paper from packages you have received, newspaper. Snazz it up with ribbons, lace, raffia, strips of Christmas fabric, tags, baubles – get the kids to help, they’re bound to have some fabulous ideas!
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