Earth Friendly Christmas Cheer

by Sabrena on December 15, 2011

With the countdown to Christmas approaching single digits tomorrow, chances are that at this point you’re not obsessing about how to make things more eco-friendly (that’s not a judgment, just an educated guess). Life has a sneaky way of trumping altruism, but there’s still time to make green choices before the Fat Man descends down the chimney and the ball drops in Time Square.

Perhaps there are are still a few people to check off your own naughty-or-nice gift list. Consider giving gifts that won’t someday end up in a landfill: like music or cooking lessons, or tickets to a show. And nothing says “I love you” this holiday season like Carbon Offsets! (Yes I’m being cheeky, but you’ve got to admit the idea has its merits).

Buying local is another great way to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. Besides steering clear of the resources used to transport a gift from China to your home, buying local usually means less packaging – one more green thumbs up for the planet.

If you’ve got a few last minute gifts to buy, you’re likely to have a little wrapping left to do too. Might I suggest green wrappings. A few years ago I tried out my first “Make and Take” by recycling old magazines into paper that (I think) would rival any hipster-chic packaging at Urban Outfitters.

For my little guy I took advantage of some Sesame Street Advertisements (just tape or glue-stick together):

And we ended up with this under our tree:

I think this year’s samples are an upgrade:

You can find additional wrapping ideas in this Gaiam Life article.

No Green Holiday article is complete without touching on the great tree debate: real or fake? Most have probably already trimmed their tannenbaum for this year, but a little education could prove useful for years to come.  My husband and I seem to have the same “discussion” every year about this (well, he calls it arguing. I call it discussing.)

Hubs favors the fake tree for its supposed savings in the long term, the ease of putting it up and because he convinced our real tree will some how spontaneously burst into flames. I say something that’s $20 – $40 each year, smells fabulous (and without the help of odd fake fragrances or Scentsy candles), is virtually free of carcinogens and can be “treecycled,” is a much better long term investment for our family and the future of the planet.

If you’re looking for a little more info on the subject, I’ve found these websites helpful.

Regardless of which tree you’ve chosen, it’s hard to have a Blue Christmas when you’re thinking green. So what are your favorite traditions to make the season merry and bright for the planet?

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