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I’ve been giving some thought to how to have a more environmentally friendly Christmas. As much as I love Christmas, it isn’t always the most environmentally friendly holiday. I don’t want to enjoy the holiday less, I just want to be more conscious of how my decisions impact our environment.
Environmentally Friendly Christmas
We’ve been trying to be more aware of how our actions affect the earth in my home so I thought it only made sense to carry that awareness into the Christmas holiday season. This year, why not try to incorporate just a few environmentally friendly practices into your family’s Christmas celebration.
Environmentally-friendly Christmas tree
Are Christmas trees environmentally friendly? Consider a potted Christmas tree if you want a live tree. We’ve had the same artificial tree for years so we have no plans to toss it and buy a real tree. But, if you use real trees, consider purchasing one that is live and potted and then replant it after Christmas in your yard so it can continue to grow.
Environmentally-friendly Christmas decorations
Use nature for your decorations. Pine boughs, pine cones, and strings of popcorn and cranberries can all decorate your home just as beautifully as store-bought decorations. Or, consider making your own homemade decorations if you need more rather than buying them new from the store. Consider this 5 minute Christmas ornament that even kids can make.
Give your tree a new purpose
Recycle your Christmas tree. If you don’t purchase a living Christmas tree, make sure you recycle your Christmas tree after Christmas. You can have it cut for wood chips or if you have the property, haul it outside as shelter for the birds and small animals during the winter.
Environmentally-friendly Christmas cards
Consider pairing down your Christmas card list. Do you need to send 50? 20? 10? Can you hand deliver some when you see relatives instead of mailing them? Look into Christmas cards that are printed on recycled paper with environmentally friendly ink. Or, make your own Christmas cards or send digital cards.
Sustainable Christmas gifts
Not all gifts need to be purchased. Consider making some of them yourself instead. Even better, make gifts that can be used up like a tray of Christmas cookies, a box of peanut butter fudge, a potted plant, or your favorite homemade jam.
How do you wrap eco-friendly gifts? Wrap gifts in reusable gift bags instead of wrapping paper that is thrown out each year. If you do use wrapping paper, purchase recycled paper and reuse it again the next year. Just be careful when you unwrap! If you want to have a more environmentally friendly Christmas, you can give fewer things and more experiences.
Eco-friendly Christmas lights
If you like to decorate your yard or house with Christmas tree lights, consider using solar or LED lights that use electricity. LED lighting uses less electricity than traditional lights. And, did you know that you can fix your Christmas lights yourself if you need to?
Eco-friendly Christmas wreath
The most eco-friendly Christmas wreath is one that you already have. If you already have a Christmas wreath that is artificial, continuing to use that rather than purchasing something new is the best choice. If you want to purchase a new one, the most eco-friendly Christmas wreath is one that is made locally from found materials. Look at your local farmer’s markets or craft fairs and see if you can find someone who makes them near the holidays. Buying local is a great way to have a more environmentally friendly Christmas.
We don’t typically use tinsel on our trees because we have a cat. And, tinsel is very dangerous for cats. They can eat it and it gets tied up in their intestines. Instead, we use strings of popcorn and cranberries. When Christmas is over, we just put them outside for the birds. That way, nothing goes to waste at all. I’ve never seen an eco-friendly tinsel before. But you might want to consider using a fabric Christmas banner. Or, this burlap bunting would be a cute idea as well. Or, if you want to have a more environmentally friendly Christmas and consume less, just don’t use it. Why not try making your own Christmas bunting? Find out here.
Check out this easy Advent Wreath craft you can make from an upcycled bundt pan. I love the way it came out! You can find a bundt pan at the thrift store if you don’t have one.
There are lots of ways you can have a more environmentally friendly Christmas. Which one of these suggestions will you try first?
Ellen is a busy mom of a 22-year-old son and 27-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.