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Eco-Friendly Christmas Ideas for Green Living

Updated on November 6, 2011
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Ideas for a Green Christmas

While most people celebrate peace on earth during the holidays, many others are also trying to celebrate peace TO the earth by adopting eco-friendly Christmas practices.

If you're dreaming of a green Christmas instead of a white one, here are a few tips to help you out. These easy ideas will make your holiday greener and spread peace to earth, goodwill to all.

Easy Tips for an Eco-Friendly Christmas

Christmas Trees
Artificial trees have become more popular as people opt for convenience over tradition, but it’s debatable whether using a tree made of artificial materials for many years is better than cutting down a tree every year. If you prefer real trees, there are ways to make your purchase more eco-friendly. The easiest way is to purchase a living Christmas tree that still has its roots and can be planted after the holidays. Many local nurseries offer live trees, and some will even take them back to be donated to the local parks department

If you happen to live in Portland, Oregon, or Los Angeles, California you can even rent a tree. Portland’s Original Living Christmas Tree Company and LA’s Living Christmas company both deliver live trees for a fee and then pick them up after the holidays. In Oregon, the trees are replanted, while in California they’re kept to be used again the next year.

Tree Lighting
Make sure you’re using eco-friendly Christmas lights on your tree. You can’t tell the difference between LED lights and traditional lights, but you’ll be using less energy if you opt for the former. For ornaments, have your kids make decorations out of objects you have around the house or shop for ornaments made from local, natural materials rather than crafted in China and shipped around the world.

Gift Shopping
When it’s time to start on your Christmas list, don’t forget to bring a reusable shopping bag with you. You may also want to consider shopping for eco Christmas gifts to your friends and family. They don’t have to be granola crunchers to enjoy a fleece jacket made from recycled materials or cooking utensils made of sustainable bamboo. You can also check out your local craft fairs for handmade gifts that haven’t been created in a foreign location and shipped here using fossil fuels. Or get personal and make a homemade gift! Create a gift basket of items your friend or family member is sure to like, and they’ll also appreciate the effort and thoughtfulness of having a gift made especially for them.

Gift Wrapping
When it comes time to wrap your gifts, don’t use paper from the local retail store. Shop online for recycled paper or get creative and make your own. You can use brown paper bags decorated with stickers, paint or cut out designs, or use the comics section from the local paper. You can even skip wrapping altogether and wrap your Christmas gifts with fabric or place them in reusable holiday tins or boxes you can find usually at your local craft store or super store.

Christmas Cards and Letters
If you’re sending out cards during the holidays, choose recycled Christmas cards or try sending digital greetings instead. Sites such as Smilebox make it easy to create great looking personalized greetings with your own photos and text. For holiday letters, use a Christmas letter template and print it on recycled paper you can purchase from the local office store.

Christmas Parties and Meals
Forget about the convenience of using plastic dishes and utensils at your holiday party and use real dishes instead. When it’s time to dine, light candles and turn out the lights for great ambience and a more energy-friendly Christmas meal.

With these few easy green steps, you’ll be on your way to a wonderful eco-friendly Christmas!

What are your tips for an eco-friendly Christmas?

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