It’s Christmas eve and our guests will arrive shortly but I wanted to take a minute and wish all of the readers of BooneyLiving.com a very merry Christmas! I also wanted to use the opportunity to point out some tips that you can all take with you to make your Christmas not only merry but “green” as well.
There’s no doubt that the holidays are a very busy and hectic time for a lot of people. It’s times like these when many people tend to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives that we forget about our convictions of living a green lifestyle. This time of years provides us with lot’s of opportunities to make responsible choices.
Here’s a list of the top 20 ways that I came up with to have a green Christmas:
- Consider sending eCards instead of paper cards this holiday season.
- If you must buy paper cards, insist on only buying those that have been made with recycled paper.
- Consider giving green gifts that are manufactured from natural materials.
- Some people are opposed to re-gifting old items but I think it’s a great idea. If you have items that are in good condition that you don’t have a need for anymore, consider giving them to someone who would appreciate having them. I should point out that you should use caution with this tip because not everyone will understand your motives for wanting to recycle old items as Christmas gifts.
- Consider giving hand made items as gifts this year. This is a way of adding a very personal touch to the gifts that you give out. Many times these homemade gifts will become cherished treasures for the people who receive them.
- Buy a potted live tree to decorate and when the holiday seasons have passed, plant the tree in your yard. This is a much better option than cutting a tree down that took several years to grow just so you can display it in your house for three weeks.
- Buy and decorate a fake Christmas tree instead of contributing to the millions of trees that are cut down each year. If you look a little, you can even find one that is made from recycled plastic.
- If you must decorate with a real tree, recycle it when you’re finished with it instead of sending it to the land fill. You can probably find someone to take it and they will put it in a wood chipper and turn it into compost.
- If you put your gifts in cardboard boxes before you wrap them, pick up empty boxes from a local store to use instead of buying them new.
- Save any boxes that your gifts might come in so that you can use them again. If you just don’t have the room to store these boxes, make sure to recycle them instead of throwing them in the trash.
- Consider presenting your gifts in reusable gift bags that are made of recycled paper instead of wrapping them.
- If at all possible, unwrap your gifts carefully so that you can reuse the wrapping paper again next year.
- Buy and use recycled wrapping paper to wrap the gifts that you give out.
- Instead of throwing mountains of wrapping paper into the trash, save it in a bag and recycle it.
- Retire those old archaic (and dangerous) incandescent Christmas lights and replace them with modern energy conserving strings of lights.
- Remember to turn your Christmas lights off at night when you go to bed to conserve energy.
- Put your Christmas lights on a timer so that they will only come on when you actually want them on.
- Consider using solar powered Christmas lights to conserve energy.
- Consider using fewer Christmas lights in your decorations to conserve energy.
- Give rechargeable batteries and chargers as gifts. You’ll be reducing the number of alkaline batteries that end up in landfills and you’ll be encouraging others to be green at the same time.
Remember That This is The Season For Giving
I don’t know about you but I personally get a lot more pleasure from giving than I get from receiving gifts. Please take some time this holiday season and in all of the holiday seasons to come and do something selfless for people who are less fortunate than you.
Our family loves to adopt a family that is down on their luck and do something nice for them. When we were able, we’ve gone all out and spent several hundred dollars on Christmas presents for families that were struggling. Other years we’ve been the family that was struggling and we’ve actually been the recipient of other people’s generosity. I can tell you from personal experience exactly how much it means when someone that you may not even know extends a hand of love and generosity during the holiday season.
This year, we adopted a family from our local battered women’s shelter and bought gifts for them. I don’t mention this to say, “Hey, look at how good we are!” I’m saying it to point out that there are people out there who could really use a little leg up and what better time to be the one to extend your hand than the holiday season.
In closing I want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Let’s all do our part to make 2012 the greenest year yet!