Eco Friendly Holidays. Let's Celebrate Green Christmas.

Christmas decoration in Maryland 2011
Christmas decoration in Maryland 2011 | Source

Christmas, the "Feast of Love" or "Waste Orgy"

  • Give fewer but useful gifts.

  • Whenever possible use natural products for Christmas.

  • Check out some ecologically friendly holidays.

  • Have fun but Celebrate responsibly.

The holiday season means shopping, decorating, packing, and feasting. It means also tons of trash and waste. Especially at this time of the year, the volume of garbage increases enormously. This is damaging our environment! Think about alternatives during your next Christmas-shopping-tour. Let it be your very own special contribution to the nature.

Eco-Friendly Tips for Xmas

  • Try cloth napkins rather than paper towels; they are great to use and over time even help to save some money. By the way, the table dressed with cloth napkins looks usual more stylish and tasteful.
  • Saving water during the holidays and parties; instead of using water, scrape dirty dishes clean and put them into the dishwasher.
  • Surprisingly, a better buy than a plastic Christmas tree is a real tree. This is healthier for the environment. Plastic doesn’t lose needles, this is true, but at some point a plastic tree is going to be plastic waste. Real Christmas trees, on the other hand, can easily be used as compost. Our beloved Mother Nature would love you for that.
  • Plant a Christmas tree in your own garden.
  • Buy pine seeds and grow your own tree for the next, next, next (!) Xmas time.

  • Choose an organic Christmas tree if you can. Remember that those from Christmas tree farms are often grown with a high usage of pesticides.
  • You can even rent a Christmas tree. I know at least one company specialized in this job; it is Forever-Green-Christmas. They rent in-pot grown, living trees; they would deliver them in November and collect the trees in January.
  • Speaking of renting, you even can rent the whole china and dishware for Christmas. The party rental store delivers it clean and collects it dirty. You won’t even be bothered with dishwashing.
  • Make wood chips out of used Xmas tree and recycle it in this way as organic mulch.
  • When buying wine or champagne, think about the following info. There are now wineries, which have eliminated environment-polluting lead, tin, or aluminum contained in bottle tops. They only use natural cork closures without any other additions or attachments.

Here You Only Can Have a Green Xmas. Waikiki, Hawaii.

Green Christmas in Waikiki, Hawaii.
Green Christmas in Waikiki, Hawaii. | Source

7 Shades of Green Christmas Decorations

  • Environmental Christmas decorating is like the Nature 'herself' would decorate your home. Take natural décor fruits, branches with berries, dry slices of citrus fruits, nuts, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, fabric ribbons, and figures made of wood (think wood; wood, wood, wood is good! :-), wax, straw, paper, or glass. Use cotton instead of snow and glitter sprays.
  • Do you plan to buy new Xmas lights? Take LED fairy lights. They allow you spend less energy and would last longer than regular lights.
  • Use more often candles instead of electrical light. For making lanterns with a candle inside, use glass jars painted with translucent paints or wrapped with colored cellophane.
  • If possible, recycle your old wreaths or garlands from the last year. Use some new additions to them and let them look like striking, brilliant new decoration.
  • Self made popcorn garlands look fabulous on an Xmas tree. Take popcorn, dried cranberries, mending needle and strong cotton. Thread five pieces of popcorn per one cranberry.
  • Use Christmas cards printed on recycled paper or send e-cards instead.
  • Save the fronts of Christmas cards you've received, punch a hole and use them as gift tags.

Dreaming of Green Wrappings for Christmas

  • Reduce the amount of trash by using alternative packaging materials such as fabric gift bags, or creative and original self-painted boxes, tins, jars, or plain recycled paper. If you don’t like to paint, decorate the box with seasonal items like tree twigs, flowers, or whatever you like. Such personalized gifts are always well received.
  • Use luxury fabric and ribbons for gift wrappings.
  • An idea how to use fabric for wrappings shows you the following "Furoshiki" video (see below).
  • Make sure, you use wrapping paper made from recycled materials, for example, use even seasonally decorated and painted newspapers to wrap your gifts.
  • Recycle gift wrapping papers and use them again.
  • Colorful tinted glass or even crystal containers can make a mysterious shimmering package.
  • You can also use or reuse beautifully painted or transparent silk scarves for gift wrapping.

Hagerstown at Xmas time
Hagerstown at Xmas time | Source

Green Gift Ideas for Santa Claus

  • A successful gift doesn't need to be new. Home-made gifts are tremendously popular. Sometimes you can find real treasures at flea markets or second hand shops. A Christmas solution could be, give fewer but useful gifts.
  • When your gift is powered by disposable batteries, or by AC adapter (mains charger), choose the latter one.
  • If there is no AC adapter (mains charger) available, buy rechargeable batteries and consider giving a battery charger as well.
  • Give natural, green presents like bulbs of amaryllis or young, still very small trees from a tree nursery.
  • For all occasions or events, even for Christmas, you can ask your guests for cash or charity donations instead of gifts. Everybody would be happy, even the environment!
  • Give a bicycle instead of a car for Xmas. :-)

Other earth friendly Christmas gifts:

  • Natural cosmetics.
  • Fantastic gifts for saving on heating are blankets, socks, pullover, jumpers, and sweaters.
  • Solar powered charger for smart phones and all other cellphones.
  • Windup radio or MP3 player.
  • Juicer.
  • Energy saving meter.
  • Organic tea or coffee.
  • Solar powered weather station.
  • Solar powered Mars explorer, other robots, or educational self-build toys.
  • Playhouses for children made from recycled card ready to be decorated or painted.

See also, fairtrade labels and traidcraft (fighting poverty through trade) in the UK and this link is for the fairtrade in the USA.

ENJOY YOUR CHRISTMAS NATURALLY AND HAVE FUN!

How to wrap your presents in Furoshiki (cloth) to avoid using wrapping paper.

I love Christams, I always will... :-)

© 2010 Maria Janta-Cooper

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Comments 12 comments

Toby Hansen 5 years ago

Some very good advice here! Having only two people and a dog to buy presents for, I do not generate a lot of rubbish.

I find paper gift bags are the best form of wrapping. All you have to do is place the gift inside. No having to cut the perfect edge or messing about with tape! Then the recipient has a handy bag to use themselves, or they can recycle it next year.


jantamaya profile image

jantamaya 5 years ago from UK Author

:)

I do like you now, but I remember as I lived in Germany we were all diving under all the 'mountains' of beautifull gift paper and packagings. This is why I thought to write about this :).


minnow profile image

minnow 5 years ago from Seattle

My family lives simply and hardly gives any gifts anymore. It's very liberating, isn't it? Another good hub.


jantamaya profile image

jantamaya 5 years ago from UK Author

Yes! I love this idea! Simply living is the best. I am and will always be a giving person, but not necessary in a material sense. I'm not a materialistic girl. :) Sometimes a smile is a better gift than anything else.


sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago

mm,.. food for thought... I wonder if anyone is thinking of this during all the shopping and packing.. we keep reusing our gift wrappers and always carry our back packs while shopping.. but I guess more needs to be done...thanks for spreading the awareness. Keep up the good work!!


jantamaya profile image

jantamaya 5 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Sofs for reading. I appreciate it very much :).


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

Jan.. your hubs are great..makes me look forward on another green tips you have. Bravewarrior and I are into going green and I am so glad to found you. You're sweet. thank you as well for the comments in my hubs:)


jantamaya profile image

jantamaya 4 years ago from UK Author

Dear spy, I value your comment very much. Thanks for info about Bravewarrior, have to check their hubs and will link them (and also your hubs) with my hubs together. :-) Have a GREEN day!


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 4 years ago from Washington MI

What a masssive list of fabulous ideas to save the environment. These ideas are simple and beautiful. I love the wrapping gift in cloth, that is such a great idea. The wrapping can actually be a gift itself. I am tweeting this as everybody should read this hub.


jantamaya profile image

jantamaya 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi :-) love you crazybeanrider, at least love your feline icon :-) ;-)Thanks for commenting. You've made my day :-)


cuttler profile image

cuttler 3 years ago from HubPages

This is great...I had a similar idea on how to dispose Christmas trees and décor after the festivities in a bid to conserve the environment, but, I couldn't come up with enough ideas. Maybe if you can think up some environmentally friendly ways of disposing Christmas trees and other decorations you could do a hub on it. Its just an idea...I mean after holidays there is just so much clatter in the streets and homes and I have a feeling that most guys don't know what to do with their décor and trees after the festivities. If you find this idea interesting please do a hub on it. Otherwise, great stuff hear.


jantamaya profile image

jantamaya 3 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Cuttler for visiting and commenting. I'll try to find some other and new ides for this hub. OK?

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