Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a GREEN Christmas!

One of the several magazines that I subscribe to is Better Homes and Gardens and one of the articles in their December 2009 issue is how to live 'green' during the holidays. Click on the attachments below to read the full article.

Small changes make a big difference. For a more environmentally-conscious holiday, try starting with these initial 5 steps:

1 - Get a live tree
The smell of an evergreen tree is a strong part of many families’ Christmas traditions. A live tree can be re-potted in the yard to bring joy for the rest of the year. If a live tree is not manageable, at least recycle the tree at the end of the season. Many cities will grind them up for mulch and wood chips.

2 - Limit gift purchases
How many new things does anyone need this year? Skip store-bought items and exchange home-made gifts, housecleaning or babysitting certificates, or go in together on a professional photographer for a family picture. Instead of a traditional gift exchange have a white elephant Christmas exchange, make a group donation to a charity of choice, or give the gift of time instead of things. Stick to the list and don’t get sucked into last minute must-have purchases (something I have a problem with - sticking to the list).

3 - Re-use wrapping paper
Instead of buying multiple rolls of wrapping paper, get creative with how to wrap presents. Try to re-use wrapping paper from previous years, use paper bags or sections of newspaper, or even cloth napkins or dish towels.

4 - Get new lights
Ditch the incandescent bulbs for decorating the tree and house, and use light-emitting diode (LED) lights. In addition to using less energy than conventional bulbs, LED lights last longer.

5 - Re-use holiday cards
In addition to getting back in touch with friends and family and providing table decorations, holiday cards can be recycled for the following year as name tags, place cards, or for gift cards.

Enjoy the Christmas holiday and think about ways to celebrate integrate green practices beyond the holiday season and into every day life.

Merry Green Christmas!

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